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geophysical engineering

Geophysical Engineering

What is Geophysical Engineering?

The study of Geophysical Engineering 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.

Geophysical engineers 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.

2 Specializations: Engineering Geophysics & Exploration Geophysics
2 Specializations: Engineering Geophysics & Exploration Geophysics
100% Career Outcome Rate
100% Career Outcome Rate
10:1 Faculty to Student Ratio
10:1 Faculty to Student Ratio
$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. Geophysical engineers are employed worldwide.

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

Engaged Vaculty with Experience & Expertise
Engaged Faculty with Experience & Expertise
Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET
Hands-On Learning Environment
Hands-On Learning Environment
Bachelors & Masters of Science
Bachelors & Masters of Science

Degrees, Options, and Specializations

Geophysics is offered as an undergraduate Bachelor of Science and is also offered in a Master's Degree in Geoscience with an option in Geophysical Engineering.

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.

Catalog Information


The bachelor of science in Geophysical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

The mission of the of the Geophysical Engineering program at Montana Tech is "to provide graduates of the program with a sound understanding of the theory and practice of geophysical methods based in geology and prepare them for successful careers at the professional level.

Program Educational Objectives

Graduates of the Geophysical Engineering program are expected to:

  1. Demonstrate an ability to apply engineering and scientific principles and techniques towards the practical application of geophysical methods.
  2. Demonstrate the skills necessary to enter industry or academia, contribute at the professional level and be successful throughout their careers.

Student Outcomes

Graduates of the Geophysical Engineering Program will have demonstrated:

  1. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
  2. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  3. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within health and safety, manufacture, and sustainability.
  4. An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.
  5. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
  6. An understanding of professional ethical responsibility.
  7. An ability to communicate effectively.
  8. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.
  9. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
  10. A knowledge of contemporary issues.
  11. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Career Outcomes


Montana Tech's Geophysical Engineering program consistently boasts a 100% placement rate with high starting salaries.

Visit The Outcomes Survey (TOS)® »

Enrollment and Graduate Data by Program

Geophysical Engineering students have the opportunity to join one or more of the following professional societies, all of which can help them in their careers both as students and as professionals:

  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)
  • Billings Geophysical Society
  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
  • Montana Geological Society