Skip to main content
Menu Search & Directory

Geophysics, B.S.

Geoscience is the study of the Earth and includes the fields of geology, geophysics and environmental science. Volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, landslides and plate tectonics are some of the things that geoscientists investigate and try to understand. Saint Louis University's Bachelor of Science in Geophysics is offered through its Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. 

Geophysics is a quantitative and instrument-oriented discipline that investigates the Earth’s internal structure and processes by studying seismic waves and variations in the planet’s magnetic and gravitational fields, as well as its rotation.

Additional program highlights include:

  • Students 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.

Curriculum Overview

Students in the geophysics program are given a firm foundation in solid Earth science taking courses in mineralogy, petrology (the study of rocks) and structural geology. Upper-level geophysics courses, with an emphasis on seismology, build on this foundation and ensure students are well prepared for graduate school or work in industry.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Students in the department may have the opportunity for part-time work assisting faculty members with their research. Such jobs expose students to various aspects of science, as well as provide them with some income. The City of St. Louis provides opportunities for science-related volunteer work in places such as the Saint Louis Science Center and Saint Louis Zoo.

Careers

A degree in the geosciences prepares students for a variety of interesting careers. Many geoscientists work in industry or for government agencies concerned with oil and natural gas exploration and production, mining, water resources, civil engineering, waste and pollution management, environmental impact assessment, conservation and land management, policy analysis and implementation education. Students in the program also acquire a solid background in critical thinking, effective communication and computer use relevant to a variety of both scientific and non-scientific careers.

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will know the founding principles in their field of study, as well as the facts and content appropriate to the field.
  2. Graduates will be able to use their knowledge to reason about issues in their discipline.
  3. Graduates will be able to solve quantitative problems in their discipline.

Geophysics students must complete a minimum total of 67 credits for the major. 

Core Requirement
College core requirements54-63
For additional information about core courses
Required Courses
EAS 1430
EAS 1435
Introduction to the Solid Earth
and Introduction to the Solid Earth Lab
4
EAS 1450
EAS 1455
Introduction to Oceanography
and Intro to Oceanography Lab
4
Or
EAS 1420
EAS 1425
Introduction to Atmospheric Science
and Introduction to Atmospheric Science Lab
EAS 2450Communicating in Science3
EAS 2200
EAS 2205
Mineralogy
and Mineralogy Lab
4
EAS 4050
EAS 4060
Petrology
and Petrology Lab
4
EAS 4300
EAS 4305
Structural Geology
and Structural Geology Lab
4
EAS 4370Earth Dynamics3
EAS 4160Exploration Seismology3
or EAS 4620 Introduction to Earthquake Seismology
CSCI 1060Introduction to Computer Science: Scientific Programming3
MATH 1510Calculus I4
MATH 1520Calculus II4
MATH 2530Calculus III4
MATH 3550Differential Equations3
MATH 3110Linear Algebra for Engineers3
or MATH 3120 Introduction to Linear Algebra
PHYS 1610
PHYS 1620
University Physics I
and University Physics I Laboratory
4
PHYS 1630
PHYS 1640
University Physics II
and University Physics II Laboratory
4
PHYS 3110Classical Mechanics3
Elective Courses
Select a minimum of 6 credits from the following:6
EAS 4160
Exploration Seismology *
EAS 4620
Introduction to Earthquake Seismology *
GIS 4010
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
MATH 3240
Numerical Analysis
MATH 3270
Advanced Mathematics for Engineers
MATH 4210
Introduction to Analysis
MATH 4310
Introduction to Complex Variables
MATH 4320
Complex Variables II
MATH 4570
Partial Differential Equations
MATH 4800
Probability Theory
STAT 3850
Foundation of Statistics
STAT 4840
Time Series
STAT 4850
Mathematical Statistics
STAT 4870
Applied Regression
STAT 4880
Bayesian Statistics and Statistical Computing
PHYS 4210
Electricity & Magnetism I
PHYS 4220
Electricity & Magnetism II
CSCI 1300
Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming
CSCI 2100
Data Structures
CSCI 4710
Databases
CSCI 3100
Algorithms
CSCI 4750
Machine Learning
Total Credits121-130
*

Cannot count for both a required course and an elective.

Continuation Standards

Students must have a minimum of a 2.00 GPA in their earth and atmospheric science courses and required related credits (biology, chemistry, mathematics and computer sciences, physics, etc.) by the conclusion of their freshman year. Students who fall below a 2.00 GPA will be placed on probation. If a student fails to obtain at least a 2.0 GPA in their major courses and required related credits by the conclusion of their sophomore year they will not be allowed to continue in the program.

Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here: https://www.slu.edu/core/index.php
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-6
Fine Arts3
Literature6
Mathematics4
Science8
Philosophy6
Social Science6
Theology6
World History6
Total Credits54-60

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements.
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate, and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
EAS 1430
EAS 1435
Introduction to the Solid Earth
and Introduction to the Solid Earth Lab
4
EAS 1420
EAS 1425
Introduction to Atmospheric Science
and Introduction to Atmospheric Science Lab (Could be replaced with EAS 1450/1455 in the Spring)
4
MATH 1510 Calculus I 4
A&S Core 3
 Credits15
Spring
EAS 1450
EAS 1455
Introduction to Oceanography
and Intro to Oceanography Lab (Could be replaced with EAS 1420/1425 in the Fall)
4
MATH 1520 Calculus II 4
CSCI 1060 Introduction to Computer Science: Scientific Programming 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits14
Year Two
Fall
EAS 2450 Communicating in Science 3
PHYS 1610
PHYS 1620
University Physics I
and University Physics I Laboratory
4
MATH 2530 Calculus III 4
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits17
Spring
PHYS 1630
PHYS 1640
University Physics II
and University Physics II Laboratory
4
MATH 3550 Differential Equations 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits13
Year Three
Fall
EAS 2200
EAS 2205
Mineralogy
and Mineralogy Lab
4
EAS 4370 Earth Dynamics 3
EAS 4160 Exploration Seismology (Can be replaced with EAS 4620 in semester 7) 3
MATH 3110
or MATH 3120
Linear Algebra for Engineers
or Introduction to Linear Algebra
3
A&S Core 3
 Credits16
Spring
EAS 4050
EAS 4060
Petrology
and Petrology Lab
4
PHYS 3110 Classical Mechanics 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits16
Year Four
Fall
EAS 4620 Introduction to Earthquake Seismology (Can be replaced with EAS 4350 in Semester 5) 3
EAS Elective 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
General Elective 3
 Credits15
Spring
EAS 4300
EAS 4305
Structural Geology
and Structural Geology Lab
4
EAS Elective 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Credits16
 Total Credits122

Program Notes

In freshman and sophomore years, credits for general electives should be used to take mathematics courses that may be required for the upper-level math and earth and atmospheric science courses. It is recommended that general electives in junior and senior years be taken in other upper-level earth and atmospheric science or science courses in consultation with advisor.