Applied Geophysics Bachelor's Degree

Make a significant impact on our planet's future.

Explore structures and processes below the Earth's surface. Apply your understanding in a wide array of fields. Predict and mitigate natural hazards, like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Engage in resource exploration, water management, and urban planning. Geophysics extends its reach to planetary exploration and environmental conservation. Pursue a career in glaciology, archaeology, and even forensic investigation.

We face many global challenges. Among them are climate change and the growing demand for renewable energy sources. Contributions of applied geophysicists are essential. They are active in developing and implementing innovative solutions. Applied geophysicists address carbon storage, renewable energy projects, and efficient water resource management.

Specialty areas in geophysics include the following:

  • Natural hazards detection, prevention, and mitigation
  • Environmental protection and renewable energy
  • Infrastructure planning and safety assessment
  • Contamination monitoring and assessment
  • Natural resource exploration and extraction
  • Volcanology
  • Seismology
  • Oceanography
  • Planetary exploration
  • 12
    out of 20 universities with the greatest salary impact
  • 2
    out of 38 best colleges in Michigan
  • A
    for value and professors
  • 2x2
    double wage, double growth for STEM occupations

Tomorrow Needs Geoscientists with Applied Critical Thinking

Unravel the mysteries of our natural world. Daily tasks of geophysicists involve venturing into the field to collect valuable data. The data are meticulously analyzed in the laboratory to derive meaningful insights. Stand at the foot of a volcano. Harness the power of computer modeling and satellite data. Survey the vast ocean or explore oil-rich terrain. The geoscientist's journey is a diverse and ever-evolving one.

In this dynamic field, adaptability is key. Geoscientists thrive in a variety of settings and working conditions. They are able to piece together a comprehensive understanding of a field site. Often they have only limited data. It's a discipline that demands robust critical-thinking skills.

Prepare to be part of this exciting journey. We can empower you with applied critical thinking skills. Your skills are essential for shaping the future of geoscience.

Brendan Harville at the Space Grant Consortium Annual Conference

I met, connected, and collaborated with many admirable and inspiring peers and mentors for which I am truly grateful for. Special experiences like these are what invigorate and propel students like me toward future goals and aspirations.

Brendan Harville doing field research.
Brendan Harville
applied geophysics

Be Career-Ready

Discover a world of opportunity. Graduate with a bachelor’s degree in applied geophysics. It will prepare you for a career in industry or graduate study. Geoscientists often spend part of their working time outdoors and enjoying nature. They may travel the world.

Interested in oil exploration or a career in academia? Explore graduate education options. An advanced degree provides greater specialization.

Explore career opportunities for applied geophysicists.

  • Groundwater and surface water monitoring and cleaning
  • Natural-hazards mitigation
  • Satellite remote sensing of environmental processes
  • GIS mapping of environmental data
  • Site investigations of underground hazards
  • Slope failure investigations
  • Oil or gas exploration and recovery
  • Subsurface visualization
  • Natural and induced seismicity evaluation

$63,144 mean entry-level salary 
Figures from, accessed May 2024.

Ready to take the next step?

Learn more about studying applied geophysics at Michigan's flagship technological university.


Connected, innovative.

Build real skills at Michigan Tech. Become an engineer.

Gain diverse experience.

Engage in design and research.

Leap forward in your program.

Connect with students and industry.

"Only at Michigan Tech: Spend the week learning the workings of the earth from geomagnetism to seismology and the weekend surrounded by 300-year-old pine trees. Explore all the wonders geophysics and the Keweenaw have to offer."Tomorrow Needs Michigan Tech

Be an MTUengineer

Join the LEAP leaders, wow the elementary students, and attend the AIPG National Conference.

Teach coding and circuitry. Research combustion and nanotechnology. Do a co-op with Kimberly-Clark. Show us how to slurry sand and complete miners training.

Tell us how important wetland mitigation is to you.

This is what we're all about.

Read our student stories.


A Professional Start

Applied geophysics majors have great peers.

  • American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG)
  • MTU Society of Women Engineers
  • Geology Club
  • Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration
  • Sigma Rho

Compete in Enterprise. Attend the national SME meeting.

Begin your networking journey here.

Join clubs and groups.


Beyond Engineering

Engineering majors cultivate their interests and talents at Michigan Tech. Join Superior Wind Symphony, follow military service, and be active in local politics.

Dive into Yucatan Culture.

Attend GeekU.P., become a lifeguard, and do a Canal Run. Be a musher. Set a Guinness World Record. Take part in Parade of Nations.

Let yourself shine.

Go beyond.

The GMES Department

We provide advanced technology for your hands-on learning.

Our locale is Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, with its geological riches, rocky Lake Superior shoreline, and acres of forestland.

We offer field studies to classic and novel sites in Michigan and beyond.

Travel with our faculty to do research locally or abroad.

Practice communication and community involvement through geophysics, social geology, and mitigation of natural hazards.

Learn from faculty who understand the value of our Earth.

MTU engineering

Real Engineering. Meaningful Work.

We are committed to inspiring students, advancing knowledge, and innovating technological solutions to create a sustainable, just, and prosperous world. With an entering engineering class of about 1,000 students, 17 degrees to choose from, and 160 faculty in the College of Engineering alone, we provide a world-class education with the trusted reputation of Michigan Tech.

As a student at Michigan Tech you’ll work closely with faculty mentors, immerse yourself in experience-powered learning, and gain a thorough understanding of engineering practice. Collaborate and innovate in laboratories, coursework, Enterprise, and Senior Design—you'll work with industry partners on real engineering projects and develop strong skill sets for your future.

You could study abroad, with engineering opportunities ranging from a few weeks to one full year. Or focus on problems facing disadvantaged communities in countries around the world. Michigan Tech’s Global and Community Engagement program offers you a range of options.

More than 400 employers regularly recruit our students for internships, co-ops, and full-time employment. Engineering students average seven interviews, and 98 percent are employed within their field of study, enlist in the military, or enroll in a graduate school within six months of graduation. A degree in engineering from Michigan Tech can take you anywhere.

Tomorrow Needs You

Engineers do a lot of things, but there's one thing we do first and foremost: we help people. We use creative ideas and technologies to solve problems in health care, energy, transportation, hunger, space exploration, climate change, and more—much more. Become an engineer who is ready for what tomorrow needs.

Student Stories

"Field Geophysics was where I learned that I wanted to continue my education on near surface geophysics in graduate school! I was so intrigued by each of the methods and the equipment that we used and the broad applications that they have to Earth science."Olivia Salvagio, applied geophysics senior