The Department of Geophysics offers graduate education in a wide range of geophysical disciplines. We study the surface and interiors of the Earth, Moon, and planets through laboratory experiments, computational and theoretical modeling, remote imaging, and direct observation. Our research has both fundamental and applied elements. Students benefit from this breadth of exposure and are sought after for careers in academia, industry, and government.
Our teaching and research focus on understanding systems critical to the future of civilization. The Stanford Geophysics department offers the intellectual scientific foundation for addressing these challenges, with our expertise in theoretical, numerical, and experimental methods applied to problems that span earthquake, volcano and tsunami hazard, climate change, ice and rock mechanics, hydrologic geophysical fluid dynamics, remote sensing, and energy resource development.
Bringing together diverse opinions, experiences, backgrounds, and skills is an essential aspect of our interdisciplinary, solutions-based education, and research. The department encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups, individuals with non-traditional academic training, international students, and others whose backgrounds and experiences would make significant contributions to a more diverse community.
Our department admits graduate students on the basis of their academic achievements, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, fit to the research scope of the department, research potential, and work/life experience. There are no minimum grade point averages. The admissions committee evaluates all applications holistically with respect to the potential for completing a successful doctoral program of study in Geophysics.
The graduate admissions process takes place through the Department of Geophysics. Applicants interested in undergraduate admission should apply through the Stanford Admissions Office.
Preparing to Apply
Before beginning your application, familiarize yourself with the Geophysics department and its students, faculty, degree requirements and policies on the web site. Be sure to explore other Stanford sites relevant to graduate education.
Admission is to the department, not individual faculty or research groups. All applicants are reviewed by the admissions committee who strongly consider input from individual faculty members. New students are paired with a likely faculty advisor upon admission, though there is the possibility of switching advisors after starting graduate school.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact one or more members of the Geophysics faculty to inquire about the faculty members research directions and if the faculty member is considering accepting students for the upcoming admissions cycle. You can find the list of Geophysics faculty and descriptions of their research areas at https://earth.stanford.edu/geophysics/people and https://earth.stanford.edu/geophysics/research-groups.
We recognize that there are students who may elect to complete an M.S. degree as a first step towards a Ph.D. Students interested in first completing an M.S. in our department should contact potential faculty advisors. If a student has completed either a B.S. or an M.S. in our department or elsewhere, they are welcome to apply for the Ph.D. program in Geophysics.
Stanford’s Geophysics Department has always benefited from a culture that nurtures basic science and its application to the Earth and societal systems. Applicants are encouraged to discuss in their application how factors such as background, life and work experiences, overcoming obstacles, advanced studies, extracurricular or community activities, culture, socio-economic status, sex, gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation would advance our mission to train the next generation of geophysical leaders and scholars.
As part of advancing Stanford University’s IDEAL vision and commitment to diversity (broadly defined), the School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences has established the Dean’s Graduate Scholars program. This award supports outstanding incoming graduate students who have demonstrated leadership and commitment in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and show the potential to continue their engagement in DEI service at Stanford Earth. More information can be found on the program’s website: Stanford Earth Dean’s Scholar Graduate award
Geophysics faculty that are considering new admits:
The Geophysics department typically provides a list of faculty in Geophysics who have indicated they are considering new students to join their group in the upcoming admissions cycle. Please check back in August 2022 for information about the 2023-2024 admissions cycle. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Geophysics faculty to inquire about the faculty members research directions. Any questions can be sent to email@example.com.