Masthead for the WMU department of physics WMU logo part of image WMU logo part of image Physics Department part of image

Main Navigation

Undergraduate Programs

Geophysics Major

  • Click on physics course numbers to see descriptions and any pre-/co-requisites.
  • All course descriptions can be found here


The Geosciences and Physics Departments offer a program of study leading to a major in geophysics. Students choosing this program of study are also required to take mathematics courses which correspond to a minor in mathematics. Students contemplating a geophysics major should contact the Geosciences Department as early as possible for advising.

Total Major: 42-44 hours

MAJOR CORE: 40-41 hours

Required Courses - Geosciences (22 hours)

GEOS 1300 Physical Geology 4 hrs
GEOS 1310 Historical Geology 4 hrs
GEOS 4300 Structural Geology 3 hrs
GEOS 4390 Geologic Mapping 3 hrs
GEOS 5010 Geologic Communications and Presentations 1 cr hr hrs
GEOS 5600 Introduction to Geophysics 3 hrs

Plus one of the following

GEOS 3010 Minerals and Rocks 4 hrs
GEOS 3350 Mineralogy 4 hrs

Required Courses - Physics (18-19 hours)

University Physics I 4 hrs
University Physics I Laboratory 1 hr
University Physics II 4 hrs
University Physics II Laboratory 1 hr
Introductory Modern Physics 4 hrs
Introductory Modern Physics Lab 1 hr

Plus one of the following

Introduction to Astrophysics 3 hrs
Thermodynamics 3 hrs
Electronics 4 hrs
Waves and Optics 3 hrs
Electromagnetism 4 hrs

Electives : 3-4 hours

One elective from upper-level geosciences, physics, and engineering courses to be chosen with consent of advisor (3-4 hours).

Required Math Minor (19 hours)

MATH 1700 Calculus I, Sci. & Eng. 4 hrs
MATH 1710 Calculus II, Sci. & Eng. 4 hrs
MATH 2720 Multivariate Calculus and Matrix Algebra 4 hrs
MATH 3740 Differential Equations and Linear Algebra 4 hrs
MATH 5070 Numerical Analysis I 3 hrs
NOTE:  MATH 1220 - Calculus I can be substituted for MATH 1700, and MATH 1230 - Calculus II can be substituted for MATH 1710.

Baccalaureate Writing Requirement

Students who have chosen the Geophysics major will satisfy the Baccalaureate Writing Requirement by successfully completing one of the following courses:
ENGL 3050 Practical Writing (4 hours)
GEOS 4320 Geomorphology ( 3 hours)
GEOS 4350 Sedimentation and Stratigraphy (4 hours)

Required Supporting Courses (8 hours)

Either CHEM 1100/1110 General Chemistry I (4 hours) or CHEM 1120/1130 General Chemistry II (4 hours);
and CS 1110 Computer Science I (4 hours).