geophysical engineering


What is Geophysics?

The study of Geophysics embodies the exploration and appraisal of Earth’s interior. A combination of mathematics, physics, geology, chemistry, and computer science trains a student as a geophysicist. Students are trained in the three main areas of applied geophysical methods: gravity and magnetics, electrical and electromagnetic methods, and seismic methods.

Geophysics professionals use some of the most cutting-edge technology anywhere. At Montana Tech, one of only two ABETaccredited geophysical engineering programs in the country, students have access to numerous PC’s and Linux-configured workstations, ground penetrating radar, resistivity and electromagnetic systems, seismic recording instruments, gravimeters, magnetometers, and numerous high-tech software packages.

Measure, map and image the physical properties of the Earth’s crust just as the medical profession uses a variety of techniques to measure and image the human body’s interior. Prepare maps, cross sections and images of physical properties of the Earth for economic, engineering, safety and environmental reasons.

World-class Geophysics Lab

You have plenty of hands-on learning opportunities at Montana Tech. You’ll have access to state-of-the-art and fully equipped laboratories.

Geophysics Internships

Obtain even more hands-on experience through geophysics internships. Each year, through Career Services events, you’ll have access to more than 100 companies that come to campus to recruit Montana Tech students for geophysics summer internships for continuing students and full time employment for our graduates.

Fantastic Location

By choosing Montana Tech for your geophysics degree, you’ll benefit from our location in Butte, Montana. You can and tour local operations and pursue internships in Butte as well as in nearby cities such as Bozeman and Missoula. You’ll also have unparalleled opportunities to enjoy Montana’s great outdoors.

2 Specializations: Engineering Geophysics & Exploration Geophysics
2 Specializations: Engineering Geophysics & Exploration Geophysics
$20M Donated Industry Software
$20M Donated Industry Software

What Types of Skills Do You Need?

  • Interest in geology, physics, and electronics
  • Affinity for programming
  • Skilled in mathematics
  • Curiosity - you want to know about the unknown
  • Fascinated by cutting-edge technology

What Can You Do With Your Degree?

The scope and importance of geophysics cannot be overstated. The oil and gas and mining industries employ geophysicists for their ability to locate deeply-hidden resources beneath Earth’s surface. Geophysicists are also employed in the engineering and environmental fields to locate groundwater, track pollution, locate utilities, and search for buried artifacts. Geophysics professionals are employed worldwide.

After receiving their bachelor’s degree in geophysics, students can also obtain their master’s with one extra year of study.

Degrees, Options, and Specializations

geophysical engineering at Montana Tech

Bachelor of Science, Geophysics

Students may choose to specialize in either of the following.

  • Engineering Geophysics: Study subsurface information that may also be required for the placement of large engineered structures, such as dams and bridges or the characterization of sites affected by environmental degradation.
  • Exploration Geophysics: Conduct geophysical measurements which are essential for the detection, delineation and development of oil, gas, and mineral deposits as well as groundwater resources.
natural resources university Montana

Master of Science, Geoscience
with an option in Geophysical Engineering

Graduate students pursuing an MS in Geoscience with the Geophysics option currently have three choices: thesis, publishable paper in lieu of thesis, and non-thesis. All graduate students, regardless of choice, are encouraged to begin participation in a variety of research and field exploration projects early in the program.

Career outlook for the geophysics degree

100% career outcome rate »

How much does a Geophysicist I make in the United States?

According to, the average Geophysicist I salary in the United States is $75,609 as of May 28, 2020, but the range typically falls between $69,488 and $90,624. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including ducation, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

speak with a geophyhsics advisor

Speak with an Advisor

Contact the geophysics department head Marvin Speece.


transfer to Montana Tech

Transfer to Montana Tech

To transfer to Montana Tech, you must be a high school graduate and have earned more than 12 college credits.

apply now or request more information about study geophysics

Apply Now and Request More Information

We invite you to start your application or request more information about the geophysics degree at Montana Tech.

Catalog Information

Bachelor's Degree Programs Related to Geophysics