Earth Sciences: Geophysics Track (ERTH)

Students in the Department of Earth Sciences learn about the minerals, rocks, soil, ice, biota, and waters that compose the Earth, and the processes that shape the Earth from its interior to the surface. Geophysics track students focus on building a deep understanding of physical processes to understand natural hazards, Earth structure, water, and resources. Students work with sensors and data to perform computational analyses and test models and concepts related to diverse concepts such as tectonics and climate change.
Top Five
Reasons to Study
This Major
  1. Understand the world around you and the earth beneath your feet.

  2. Learn data science using real-world data sets.

  3. Conduct field investigations and solve problems related to hazards and sustainability.

  4. Develop technological skills for cutting-edge research.

  5. Prepare yourself for practical careers or further academic study.

College of Arts and Sciences
Where Can I Go?

Students in Earth Sciences may choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS), a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS), or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Earth Sciences provides students with a foundation for employment in:

Federal, state, and local government

Research laboratories and institutes

Energy industries

Public works departments

Geological surveys

Environmental consulting firms

Land use planning agencies

Nonprofit organizations


Colleges and universities
Alumni Jobs


Data scientist

Field engineer

Natural hazards analyst

Hydrologic technician


Environmental consultant

Courses You
May Need

1st Year
GEOL 315; PHYS 251, 252, 253; MATH 251, 252, 253

2nd Year
GEOL 363, 455; CHEM 221, 222; MATH 256

3rd Year
GEOL 281, 282, 468; PHYS 351, 352, 353

4th Year
GEOL electives

Major Credits
Required 76 credits
Electives 28 credits

Total 104 credits

Core Education Requirements

BS or BA Degree Minimum = 180 credits.

Core Education is approximately 71—83 credits depending on transfer credits and placement scores and requires courses in:


Math and/or CS (BS) or Language (BA)

US: Difference, Inequality, Agency

Global Perspectives

Areas of Inquiry in:

Arts and Letters

Social Science / Science
What Will I Learn?

Natural hazards assessment and risk reduction

Data science and computation

Sensor design

Science policy and communication

Field-based skills

Technical writing

Environmental and climate change science
Experiential learning opportunities

Numerous faculty conduct field-based research that rely on undergraduate help

Numerous faculty conduct laboratory experiments that need undergraduate assistance

Field-based courses and field trips throughout the academic year [e.g., Field methods]

Field camp in the summer

Hands-on learning through software and remote-sensing technologies
Specialized Courses

Seismology [Earth Sciences]

Computational Tools for Earth Sciences [Earth Sciences]

Fluid Dynamics [Earth Sciences]

Earth Monitoring [Earth Sciences]

Advanced Geographic Information Systems [Geography]

Tectonics [Earth Sciences]

Sensor Design and Environmental Monitoring [Earth Sciences]
Add A Minor Or Certificate

Data Science

Computer Information Technology



Contact Us

Tykeson College and Career Advising

An equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This publication will be made available in accessible formats upon request. © 2020 University of Oregon. Revised: 8/11/2020