Jun 20, 2024  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Geophysics, M.S.

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The Department of Geosciences offers a wide range of courses leading to the Degree of Master of Science in both Geology and Geophysics.  Applicants to the Master’s of Science Program must have earned a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent.  Applicants to graduate school will be evaluated based upon their Grade Point Average (GPA), Graduate Record Exams (GRE) scores, and letters of recommendation.  A GPA of 3.0 or better in the last 60 hours and commensurate scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections of the GRE is generally considered acceptable for admission.  Letters of recommendation are also given considerable weight in the evaluation process.  All non-native English-speaking students must take the TOEFL examination and receive a score of 550 or better for the paper exam, 213 or better for the computer exam, and 79 or better for the internet-based exam.   In addition to these requirements, graduate admission may also be contingent upon a faculty advisor agreeing to supervise the applicant’s research.  Therefore, prospective students are strongly encouraged to contact faculty members in the applicant’s field of interest prior to the application deadline.

Submit all online graduate applications to www.applytexas.org.  Please ensure that you have asked ETS to submit your GRE and TOEFL scores to UH using code 6870.  Also, for reference letter purposes, ensure that you have included 3 names and email addresses on your application.

Have original transcripts mailed to:

Sylvia Marshall, Academic Advisor II
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Rm. 312, SR1
University of Houston
Houston, Texas 77204-5007


All students: Complete applications for Fall semester admissions must be submitted for review no later than January 1. Complete applications for Spring semester admissions must be submitted for review no later than September 1. All of the required forms (letters, scores and original transcripts) must be received by our departmental office by the deadlines stated above.

Do NOT send any material to the Office of Admissions!

Background Requirements

To ensure a common background for students in the Geophysics MS program, students will take or have successfully completed course work equivalent to the following courses:

  • GEOL 1330 (Physical Geology)
  • GEOL 1130 (Physical Geology Laboratory)
  • GEOL 3340 (Geologic Field Methods)
  • GEOL 3345 (Structural Geology)
  • GEOL 4330 (Introduction to Geophysics)
  • MATH 3331 (Differential Equations)
  • MATH 3363 (Intro. to Partial Differential Equations)
  • MATH 3364 (Intro. to Complex Analysis)

Substitution of courses equivalent to those listed above as well as waivers of requirements will be considered on an individual basis.  Applicants with a few deficiencies can satisfy those requirements while also taking graduate courses at the University of Houston.  It is normally recommended that a student with 6 or more deficiency courses, e.g., those whose undergraduate degree is in another discipline, consider working toward a second undergraduate degree in Geophysics prior to graduate work.

Program Information

A minimum of 30 credit hours is required for the M.S. degree in Geophysics, 6 of which are thesis hours. All students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with all rules, regulations, etc., of the University, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Department of Geosciences and for meeting all requirements. Applicants are encouraged to review the detailed requirements for the M.S. degree posted here. Application forms for admission as well as financial support can be found on the degree programs page.

To provide a fundamental background in the essential elements of geophysics, all students are required to take the following 4 courses:

Students are encouraged to make their selections for other graduate courses after consultation with their thesis or graduate advisor.

Non-Thesis Option for M.S. Students in Geophysics

All part-time (6 hours per semester or less) M.S. students admitted into the Geophysics graduate program in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (EAS) will be admitted as non-thesis option starting Fall 2014. Present students are grandfathered in the old system.

Non-thesis M.S. students must complete 39 credit hours for the degree.  The hours can be 36 for formal course work and 3 for a research capstone project or can be all course work (i.e., 13 formal 3-hr courses).  With approval of the Graduate Advisor, 9 of the 39 hours can be 4000-level or above courses from the EAS or other departments in NSM or Engineering.  The rest of 30 hours must consist of 6000-level or above EAS courses.

In order to ensure breadth, all students are required to take the 4 core courses listed above.  An average of B must be maintained in courses taken for graduate credit.  A grade of C+ or lower in 4 courses (12 hours) renders the student ineligible for any advanced degree at the University of Houston.

  • Questions pertaining to application documents, procedure, and status should be addressed to the Academic Advisor, Sylvia Marshall (smarshall@uh.edu).
  • Questions pertaining to academic program and requirements should be addressed to the Graduate Advisor, Dr. Aibing Li (ali2@uh.edu).


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