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PhD in geophysics

  1. Mar 7, 2017 #1
    Hi everyone,

    I'm currently doing an MSc in Carbon Management at the University of Edinburgh, and have decided that I enjoy the geophysics aspects (renewable energies, etc.) more than the economics/policy aspects in which I have undergraduate experience.

    Given this, I'd like to pursue a PhD in geophysics, but am unsure whether my masters is likely to be considered adequate preparation. I have tried contacting potential departments, but can't seem to get a straight answer.

    Any advice would be appreciated


    Richard :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2017 #2


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    I think this is one of those cases where it depends on the department, but I suspect in the majority of cases they'll be looking for you to have the equivalent of a physics major. Geophysics is typically a branch of the physics department. The students have to take some core physics courses and write the comprehensive examination just like all the other physics students, so if you're applying to one of those programs they'll be incorporating the probability of you passing those as part of your admission assessment.
  4. Mar 8, 2017 #3
    Welcome to PF!
  5. Mar 8, 2017 #4
    Sometimes it's tough to discern the meaning when folks are unresponsive to inquiries. After enough lack of response, I tend to form a working hypothesis that they are not interested and move to other pastures.
  6. Apr 1, 2017 #5
    I think it depends on where you're doing your PhD as well. As Choppy said, some institutions will lump geophysics into the physics department, particularly in Europe. In the U.S. however, geophysics is almost always in a geology/earth science department which are typically much more lenient in terms of preparation. I'm currently doing a PhD in geophysics and people's backgrounds vary greatly. Most have earth science backgrounds, but others such as myself came from physics, computer science, chemistry, engineering, or even economics. I think the basic requirement in the U.S. is several semesters of chemistry, physics, and maths. If you have coding experience, that will also be a huge asset.

    Depending on the classes you're taking in your MSc, I think your background should be sufficient for most programs. Good luck!
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