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Ph.D. in Geophysics

Program Coordinator: Dr. Jeffrey Johnson | | (208) 426-4604

General Information

Boise State University offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics through the Department of Geosciences. The degree requires completion of a prescribed course of study in geophysics and an area of emphasis outside of geophysics, satisfactory performance on a comprehensive examination, and independent completion of original research that results in a publicly defended dissertation that contributes significantly to geophysical knowledge.

Graduate Teaching and Research Fellowships

Graduate fellowships including tuition and fee waivers are funded from three sources: appropriated state funds, endowments, and research grants and contracts. Information on graduate fellowships funded by research grants and contracts may be obtained from individual faculty, or from the coordinator of the doctoral program in geosciences.

Graduate Program Committee

The Graduate Program Committee of the Department of Geosciences consists of the graduate program coordinators for geophysics, geology, and earth science education, plus the chair of the Department. The duties of the Graduate Program Committee are defined by the Department and are consistent with policies set by the University. These duties include development of recommendations for admission of prospective graduate students, decisions on transfer credits and required background courses, decisions on the award of departmental graduate fellowships and assistantships, and appointment of Supervisory Committees for graduate students.

Supervisory Committee

The Supervisory Committee is charged with general guidance of the doctoral student, including design and approval of the program of study, administration of the comprehensive examination, supervision of the dissertation research, and participation in the dissertation defense. The Supervisory Committee consists of a principal advisor who acts as chair, one member from the student ‘ s chosen area of emphasis outside of geophysics (see Credit Requirements below), and at least two additional members, all of whom must be members of the University regular or research faculty and must also be members of the Graduate Faculty. One or more additional members may be appointed when such appointments enhance the function of the Committee. In all cases, regular or research faculty members of the Department of Geosciences must constitute a majority of the Supervisory Committee.

Application and Admission Requirements

Applicants are required to have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a physical science, engineering, computer science, or mathematics from an accredited college or university. Admission will be competitive and will be based on transcripts, professional references, scores on the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and evaluation of a technical manuscript provided by the applicant as evidence of technical writing skills. Students whose native language is not English must submit a TOEFL score of 587 or higher for the written exam and 80 or higher for the computer-based examination. Application materials are available online.


Further questions may be directed the Coordinator, Geophysics Doctoral Program, Boise State University, 1910 University Drive, Boise, ID 83725, telephone (208) 426-1416 or email:

For more information and degree requirements, please refer to the university catalogs.