geophysics short courses

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

Geophysics is the study and measurement of the physical properties of planet Earth including magnetic and gravitational fields, composition of the core, the surface and the atmosphere, movements of tectonic plates, seismic activity and much more. Geophysicists can work in a variety of areas including seismology, petroleum exploration, environmental research, and mining.

Online Geophysics Courses and Programs

Get an introduction to geophysics with online courses from major universities and institutions. Edx offers both individual courses and advanced programs designed to help you learn about geoscience in an engaging and effective online learning environment complete with video tutorials, quizzes and more.

Additionally, edX offers the option to pursue verified certificates in geophysics courses. The certificate lists edX and the name of the university or institution offering the course and can be uploaded to your LinkedIn profile. It is proof for employers and others that you have successfully completed the course. Get started in with one the following courses or programs.

Chalmers University of Technology offers two self-paced courses that cover the measurement and analysis of water, ice masses, the Earth’s core and the atmosphere. Learn about the tools and technologies used to collect and monitor environmental data and understand the importance of acknowledging environmental changes. Additional courses look at deep-Earth science, plasma physics, astrophysics and much more. Explore all free online courses. Many courses are self-paced so you can enroll and start learning today.

Geophysics PhD and MS Degree Requirements

MS in Geophysics: 26 credits of >4000 level UW coursework are required. To fulfill this: take the 5 credits of required department courses; take four required Geophysics classes (12 credits); pick two other geophysics courses (6 credits). In addition, 3 more credits are required in geology, geophysics, mathematics, and physics. Finally, four credits of dissertation research are required.

PhD in Geophysics: 72 credits of >4000 level UW coursework are required. To fulfill this requirement: take Department required courses (5 credits); take 9 geophysics courses (27 credits) out of our 13 geophysics courses listed above. The rest of the credits are a mixture of dissertation and other course work (geology, geophysics, mathematics, physics). Up to 24 credits of appropriate MS course work maybe transferred from a prior degree.Course work (credits)MS **PhD ***Quantitative courses required *912Geophysics courses required915

* Quantitative courses include seismology, physics, mathematics, and engineering courses.

Fundamental Required Courses

GEOL 5210 Reservoir Characterization (joint School of Energy Resources course): 
This course is fundamentally designed for graduate and senior undergraduate students who would like to develop a practical understanding of the usage of seismic data in characterizing hydrocarbon reservoirs and or monitoring the carbon-sequestrated reservoirs/aquifers. Basic theory along with practical hands on exercises with real seismic data using commercial and internally developed software packages will be covered throughout the course.

GEOL 5216 Global Seismology
This course covers the first half of the Global Seismology textbook which includes: derivation of the 1-D vibrating string, the infinitesimal tensorial stress-strain relations, derivation of linear wave equation, derivation of wave scattering at interfaces, derivation of Rayleigh and Love wave solutions, standing versus traveling wave formulations, anisotropy, and attenuation. The class observational aspects includes and study of wave propagation in the spherical geometry of the Earth and source physics.

GEOL 5217 Geodynamics:   
This course examines the fundamental physical processes necessary for the understanding of plate tectonics and a variety of other geological phenomena. It provides a solid grounding for future study and research covering plate tectonics, stress & strain, elasticity, isostasy & the flexural strength of the lithosphere, gravity, and thermal processes.

GEOL 5210 Signal Processing
This course is primarily concerned with processing digital signals using linear, time-invariant systems. Digital signal processing (DSP) has found extensive applications in geophysics and this course covers the basic principles of the methods used in analyzing digital signals for geophysical applications. The primary goal of this course is two-folded: (1) to introduce signals, systems, their time- and frequency-domain representations and the associated mathematical tools that are fundamental to all DSP techniques; (2) to provide a working knowledge of the design, implementation and analysis of digital filters.

GEOL 5215 Inverse Theory
This course uses the Parameter estimation and Inverse problems textbook. An introduction to linearized discrete inverse theory is provided. This theory is prevalent in all the sciences that measure data and have adequate physical models. The fundamental objects of inverse theory are studied such as vector spaces, matrix invertibility, singular value decompositions, Bayesian viewpoints, covariance and resolution matrices. Programming in the MATLAB language is required.

GEOL 5446 Introduction to Geostatistics
This course uses the course notes developed by the instructor, supplemented with reading assignments. Geoscientists routinely face interpolation problems when analyzing spare data from field observations. Geostatistics has emerged as an invaluable tool for characterizing and estimating spatial phenomena. In this class, both the basic principles of geostatistics and its practical applications in the geosciences will be presented. Topics include Ordinary Kriging, Co-Kriging, and stochastic simulations (unconditional and conditional). Exercises and homework problems can be solved by hand, using Excel, MATLAB or a geostatistical software package.

Advanced Wave Propagation and Imaging courses

GEOL 5210 Inverse Scattering: 
The problem of non-destructive imaging of the structure inside a body based on observations made on some boundary of the body is encountered in many branches of applied science such as seismic prospecting, medical imaging, oceanography, material science and archeology. The approaches to solving the imaging problem are as diverse as the physical settings mentioned above. This course is confined to methods that involve the introduction of waves propagating inside the body. These waves, in turn, scatter from irregularities present inside the body and are subsequently recorded on its boundary. This type of imaging problem has been successfully treated as an inverse problem based on wave equations. In this course I will present the basic theory and the implementations of inverse-scattering imaging in acoustic seismic exploration, ultrasound medical imaging and synthetic-aperture-radar remote sensing.

GEOL 5210 Computational Seismology

GEOL 5210 Seismic Wave Propagation
This course is primarily for graduate students intending to specialize in seismology. Theory of seismic wave propagation in anisotropic medium will be covered in detail. As exercises, students will not only require deriving certain computational algorithms, but they will also require developing computer programs and implement those algorithms. At the end of the course, students will learn how to compute wave-equation based synthetic seismograms for anisotropic medium.

Geohydrologic courses

GEOL 5444 Geohydrology: 
This course uses the course notes developed by the instructor, supplemented by Groundwater Science by Charles Fitts. It provides an introduction to the basic principles of groundwater hydrology, including fluid and porous media properties, hydrostatics and hydrodynamics, Darcy’s law in homogenous and heterogeneous media, aquifer system analysis, mass balance analysis, groundwater flow equations and their solutions with classical analytical methods (e.g, Thiem solution, Theis solution, superposition of flow solutions in space and time). Most exercises and homework problems can be solved by hand, using Excel, or write small MATLAB codes.

GEOL 5010 Groundwater Flow and Transport Modeling
This course uses the course notes developed by the instructor. Movement of groundwater in the subsurface is responsible for a variety of environmental, engineering, and geological processes of interest including heat transfer and solute transport. To evaluate them, mathematical modeling provides an essential quantitative tool. In recent years, increasing reliance is placed upon using computer simulations to make predictions of flow and transport in the subsurface, thus familiarity with the fundamental principles behind modeling is critical. This course presents an overview of the analyses of groundwater flow and solute transport using numerical modeling. The Finite Difference Method will be introduced as well as direct and iterative linear algebra solution techniques. Exercises and homework require programming with MATLAB (alternatively, Fortran or C language can be used).

MSc Geophysics: Overview 

MSc Geophysics is a 2-year post-graduate degree program offered by various Universities and Colleges in India to teach important aspects of Geography and Physics to study crucial matters related to Earth Sciences.

This 2- year program ensures a prospering career in leading private and public sectors, with an average salary of INR 3,00,000 – INR 10,00,000.

A bachelor’s degree in any related discipline, preferably Physics, Chemistry, Geology, or Earth Sciences with a minimum aggregate of 60% and good scores in CETs can make you eligible for pursuing a master’s degree in Geophysics.

Many of the renowned colleges in India offer a master’s degree in Geophysics. The annual fee varies from college to college, starting from INR 10,000 to INR 10,00,000. 

MSc Geophysics: Course Highlights 

Course levelPostgraduate
Full-formMaster of Science in Geophysics
Duration2 Years
EligibilityBachelor’s degree in any related discipline (Physics, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Geology, Electronics)
Admission ProcessBachelor’s degree with a minimum of 60%+ CET (IIT JAM, AUCET, BHU PET)
Examination TypeOffline and Semester based
Course FeeINR 10,000 – INR 4,00,000
Average SalaryINR 3,00,000 – INR 10,00,000 
Top Recruiting AgenciesGeological Survey of India, National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) Hyderabad, Geological Survey of India (GSI), National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), INCOIS, Ground Water Departments of State and Central Government, CSIR & DRDO Laboratories, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, ONGC, GSI, Bharat Petroleum, etc.
Job ProfilesGeophysicist, Exploration Geophysicist Advisor Geophysicist, Research Scientist, Exploration Geoscientist, Associate Professor, etc.

MSc Geophysics: Admission Process 

Admission in Masters (M.Sc) in Geophysics is done through an entrance exam, conducted by various colleges with the following other requirements:

  • Admission in this course program is usually conducted via entrance tests. 
  • The candidates are required to have a Bachelor’s degree in any related discipline preferably Earth sciences, Physics, Chemistry, Geology with a minimum score of 50-60%.
  • The candidates are also expected to qualify entrance tests such as IIT JAM or LPUNEST to avail admission in colleges of their choice.

MSc Geophysics: Eligibility Criteria 

The eligibility of this course is as follows:

  • The candidates are required to have a Bachelor’s degree in any related discipline such as  Physics, Chemistry, Electrical engineering, Geology, and Earth Sciences.
  • The candidates must have cleared their previous examination with a minimum aggregate of 50-60%.
  • The candidates are also expected to have qualified the entrance tests such as IIT JAM, LPUNEST or AUCET with a good score.

MSc Geophysics: Entrance Exams 

There are many entrance exams held annually to get admission in M.Sc Geophysics. All of the details of the entrance exams are mentioned below.


IIT JAM is an entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institute of Technology to offer admission to students in their respective programs. The test consists of questions on subject-related matters with a fair share of logical and analytical reasoning and aptitude tests.


BHU PET is conducted by Banaras Hindu University to offer admission to students in their postgraduate programs. The test usually is concerned with the knowledge of a student in the related area as well as his or her thinking abilities and reasoning skills.


LPUNEST or Lovely Professional University test is conducted by the university to avail admission to students who wish to pursue a master’s degree with this particular University. The test pattern consists of logical and analytical reasoning, a reading comprehension test, and questions related to the given subject.


AUCET is conducted by The University of Andhra in Visakhapatnam. The test consists of questions related to logical and analytical skills as well as questions about Geology, Physics, and Chemistry.

The dates of application and examination for the above-mentioned examinations are mentioned in the table below.

Exam NameApplication DateDate of SubmissionDate of ExamDate of Exam Result
IIT JAMSeptember 10, 2020October 17, 2020February 14, 2021March 20, 2021
BHU PETJanuary 30, 2020March 20, 2020August 24 to August 31, 2020September 26, 2020
LPUNESTSeptember 1, 2020October 15, 2020Up to October 15, 2020 (in any slots)Within 4 days after the exam is conducted.
AUCETJune 6, 2020July 31, 2020October 13 to October 15, 2020October 21, 2020

MSc Geophysics: How to Prepare for the Entrance Examinations? 

For admission into the reputed colleges, candidates are required to follow the guidelines as mentioned below:

  • Candidates are advised to go through their previous syllabus and course to understand important core concepts of a particular subject.
  • Candidates are also expected to study with determination and maintain a time table for proper learning and time management.
  • For important numerical and analytical information, candidates can refer to online journals and research articles for a better understanding of complex principles.
  • Candidates are advised to go through the exam pattern with emphasis on previous year question papers to understand the pattern of the exam.
  • Candidates are also advised to practice every day to score better grades in their Entrance Examinations.

MSc Geophysics: How to Get Admission in a Good College? 

To get admission in top colleges of M.Sc in Geophysics, candidates should follow these guidelines.

  • Candidates are advised to understand the college’s exam pattern through analysis and make a time table to give equal attention to all related topics.
  • Candidates are also advised to go through the previous year’s papers of the University or College Exam to understand the types of questions asked and study accordingly to score better grades.
  • Candidates are also advised to have a good knowledge of reasoning and aptitude questions to score well in the exam.

MSc Geophysics: What is it all About? 

Geophysics is a stream that is a combination of two important core subjects i.e. Physics and Geography. The two subjects and their integrated learning is known as Geophysics which has become an important subject to learn the basics of Earth Science and to procure more information on earth’s natural surface.

  • This degree imparts knowledge on earth’s natural surface and resources through the study of quantitative physical methods that are making extensive use of Physics in studying various natural phenomena such as seismic activity, electromagnetic waves, and radioactivity.
  • The earth’s crust and core are subjected to numerous changes that are responsible for many natural activities that still need to be investigated thoroughly, therefore Geophysics is the field that offers answers to such questions and conducts active research and analysis on these important activities.
  • The stream also provides information on the structural alignment and composition of the earth by exploring the earth’s surface and investigating how the earth was formed and the functional forces behind this formation.
  • The stream also applies the concepts of Physics to understand the geological point of view of earth’s formation and to derive answers for the same.
  • Such crucial knowledge of earth can further lead us to find how important minerals, oil, and stones are formulated to ensure the protection of naturally occurring resources.

Why Should You Study MSc Geophysics?

Why Should You Study MSc Geophysics?

MSc in Geophysics ensures a prospering career with exposure as well as the opportunity to secure high positions with decent salary packages.

  • Candidates can seek employment with major organizations of geology such as the Geological Survey of India as geoscientists to actively pursue research and development.
  • Candidates can also become exploration advisors in geological organizations and can assist the main advisor in the preparation of reports and information on different aspects of the earth’s formation.
  • Candidates can also pursue a research career and can carry out their independent ventures or research proposals and can also get paid. The candidates can also visit the important geological places for data analysis and specimen collection.
  • Candidates are always welcome to pursue a career as a teacher or a professor in a College or a University and also conduct research and publish it in journals for a successful career in teaching.
  • Candidates can also seek employment as Scientists in Agricultural Laboratories and Institutions to study soil formation and fertility of the earth’s surface.
  • After completing the degree, candidates can also secure jobs in organizations such as Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Hindustan Petroleum, Indian Oil, Bharat Oil, etc.

MSc Geophysics: Who Should Opt For This Course Program? 

  • Candidates who possess an excellent command of theoretical aspects of Geology and Physics.
  • Candidates with an excellent eye for detail and intricacy can also pursue this career.
  • Candidates possessing determination and patience to conduct fieldwork and sampling as well as research are also suitable for this particular course program.
  • Candidates having prior knowledge of statistics for quantitative and qualitative research are also suitable for this program.

MSc Geology vs MSc Geophysics 

ParametersM.Sc in GeologyM.Sc in Geophysics
OverviewM.Sc in Geology is concerned with the study of the earth’s formation and surface and exploring Earth’s crust and core. The field is also concerned with the study of rock formations.M.Sc in Geophysics is a combination of Geology and Physics and amplifies the concepts of two critical fields to study and investigate the core concepts of geological formations with the help of Physics to find more comprehensive theories and solutions.
Average FeeINR 10,000- INR 2,00,000INR 10,000 – INR 4,00,000
Top Colleges IIT Kharagpur, Hansraj College DU, MIT Manipal.IIT Kharagpur, LPU Jalandhar, BHU, IIT Mumbai.
Duration2 Years2 Years
Admission ProcessMerit/ Entrance ExamEntrance Exam
Job ProfilesProject Assistant, Geological Technologists, Assistant Geologist, Geoscientist, Hydro Geologist, etc.Geophysicist, Advisor Geophysicist, Research Associate, Professor, Exploration Geophysicist, etc.
Top RecruitersReliance Industries Limited, GSPC, Schlumberger, Oil India Limited, NIO, etc.ONGC, Coal India Limited, Oil India Limited, Cairn India.
Average SalaryINR 2,00,000 – INR 8,00,000INR 3,00,000 – INR 10,00,000

MSc Geophysics: Job Prospects and Career Options 

The stream of Geophysics offers compelling job opportunities in both private and public sectors and organizations with decent salaries and incentives.

  • The candidates after completing their degree can seek recruitment at the Geological Survey of India as Scientists and Explorers.
  • The candidates can also seek employment at prominent oil companies such as ONGC and Bharat Petroleum.
  • Candidates can also seek employment as research associates and assistants at companies such as oil refineries and agricultural industries to provide information and assistance on earth’s changing surface and concepts.
  • Candidates who wish to study more can earn their doctorates and can work as teachers and professors in leading educational institutions to offer support and guidance to students who wish to study this field.
  • Candidates can also work as Geoscientists and explorers to collect and manage specimens and sample work for research and investigation purposes.
  • Candidates can also work as Geophysicists at organizations of repute and carry out important research in geological phenomenon with knowledge of Physics and Mathematics.

M.Sc in Geophysics: Jobs

M.Sc in Geophysics: Jobs

Some of the common job profiles one can apply for after an M.Sc in Geophysics are mentioned below, along with the job description and average salary offered.

Name of the Job ProfileJob DescriptionAverage Salary
GeophysicistsGeophysicists study the changes and natural transitions, the phenomenon of earth and its surface through integrating the knowledge of Physics to find important solutions and theories.INR 6,00,000 – INR 10,00,000 
Exploration GeoscientistsExploration Geoscientists are professionals who study the causes and effects of earth’s formation, and its related queries. They also conduct trips to places of geological importance to collect specimens and conduct research.INR 6,00,000 – INR 8,00,000
GeoscientistA Geoscientist is a professional that studies the changing atmosphere of the earth’s outer and inner surface and further investigates the formulation and evolution of the earth and its related elements.INR 4,00,000 – INR 7,00,000
Advisor GeophysicistSuch professionals assist Geoscientists by providing key information on potential ways to procure information and act as an administrative head of the projects by leading a group of individuals for geological expeditions.INR 8,00,000 – INR 10,00,000
Research ScientistA research scientist is a professional that conducts research and analysis on potential fields and finds data for interpretation and also prepares reports.INR 3,00,000 – INR 4,00,000
Associate Professor or LecturerSuch professionals are employed as teachers in educational institutions to impart knowledge on crucial elements of Geophysics to the students.INR 9,00,000 –

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