Geophysics uses physics, mathematics and chemistry to understand gravity, earthquakes and magnetism. Learn about the Earth through the exploration of seismic waves, as well as its magnetic and gravitational fields. You'll also examine natural phenomena such as earthquakes, floods and landslides, and learn about plate tectonics.

The first seismograph at SLU was installed in 1909. Its recordings can still be found in the University's archive of seismograms.

Major in Geophysics

Geophysics students at SLU start with a foundation in solid Earth science. You'll take courses in mineralogy and structural geology. Upper-level geophysics courses, with an emphasis on seismology, build on this foundation and ensure that you will be well prepared for graduate school or to work as a geophysicist.

You might also have the opportunity to work with SLU faculty in SLU's Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences on their research, gaining solid practical experience in the field.

  • EAS 1010: Earth Systems I
  • EAS 1020: Earth Systems I Lab
  • EAS 2200: Mineralogy
  • EAS 2210: Mineralogy Lab
  • EAS 4050: Petrology
  • EAS 4060: Petrology Lab
  • EAS 4300: Structural Geology
  • EAS 4310: Structural Geology Lab
  • EAS 4510: Principles of Seismic Exploration
  • EAS 4520: Principles of Seismic Exploration Lab
  • EAS 4550: Principles of Gravity and Magnetic Exploration
  • EAS 4600: Introduction to Physics of Solid Earth
  • PHYS 1610: Engineering Physics I
  • PHYS 1620: Engineering Physics I Lab
  • PHYS 1630: Engineering Physics II
  • PHYS 1640: Engineering Physics II Lab
  • PHYS 3110: Classical Mechanics
Internships and Careers

Graduates are prepared to work as geoscientists and for government agencies concerned with oil and natural gas exploration and production, waste and pollution management, mining, water resources and civil engineering.

You might also use your skills providing environmental impact assessments, conservation and land management or policy analysis.


Faculty teaching in SLU’s geoscience program are devoted to the training of students in the classroom, laboratory and field. Faculty are also involved in research in Antarctica, Asia, South America and North America. They bring these experiences back into the classroom to enrich student learning. 

On-Campus Resources

SLU Earthquake Center

If you choose to major in geophysics at SLU, you may have access to the Saint Louis University Earthquake Center. The Earthquake Center is part of both a regional network that monitors the New Madrid seismic zone and a global network to monitor seismicity around the world. SLU is also home to the Global Geodynamics Project, which records the Earth's gravity field at a number of worldwide stations and maintains standards for the deployment of all superconducting gravimeters.