1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Grad school for geophysics/physics

  1. Jan 26, 2013 #1
    I'm a physics major who's interested in geophysics. I'm planning to go to graduate school for either physics or geophysics, but I seem to be leaning more towards physics. I've got a year or so to figure this out so I've been talking to professors, one of which is a physics PhD in the geology department. He suggested that I go for a geology minor regardless so that's what I've been shooting for. The problem is, I probably won't be able to take quantum II (second half of Griffiths) if I go through with the minor. I'm worried that without quantum II, I'll be less competitive for physics grad programs, but without the geology minor I won't be as competitive for geophysics programs. Is having quantum II as an undergrad necessary for physics grad school even if I'm going to do research in geophysics?

    Appreciate the help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    One should talk to one's faculty members and ask them about QM II.

    Griffith's PART II: Applications would seem important if one goes into a graduate program

    Time-Independent Perturbation Theory
    The Variational Principle
    The WKB Approximation
    Time Dependent Perturbation Theory
    The Adiabatic Approximation

    If one plans on Geophysics, then coursework in geology would seem important. What is one's background in geology, and what is one's interest in geophysics?
  4. Jan 27, 2013 #3
    Thanks for the input. I'll certainly be talking with my adviser about the best way to go about this. I guess I just wasn't sure if Quantum II is really that important in my case. Definitely for condensed matter, optics, etc but geophysics I'm not so sure. I know that it wouldn't be necessary if I apply to geophysics programs but I feel as though physics programs would like to see quantum II.

    Actually, many people in my physics program don't end up taking QM II... It counts as a capstone course but most people just go with a research capstone instead. I'd like to do both.

    I'm in my first physical geology course at the moment, and I would have to take 4 more classes for the minor. I'm interested in seismology mainly among other things which I'm still being introduced to.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook