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Admissions

Geophysics is a field that integrates geology, mathematics, and physics in order to understand how the Earth works. Geophysicists study Earth processes through a combination of laboratory experiments, computational and theoretical modeling, remote imaging, and direct observation.

Research in the Geophysics Department at Stanford has both fundamental and strategic elements. Our students benefit from this breadth of exposure and are highly sought after for rewarding careers in academia, industry, and government.
 We offer a variety of research programs and educational opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students.

Our research is central to addressing challenges humanity faces in hazards, energy, and the environment, and ranges from the purely theoretical to the deeply practical, and from planetary-scale to the pore-scale.

For detailed descriptions of our research programs, please explore our website, but keep in mind that our research is constantly evolving as new discoveries are made and new research challenges are uncovered.

Application Deadline

The application period for the 2017-2018 Academic Year has closed

Applications for the 2017-2019 Academic Year will be open in late September 2017

To Apply

The following items must be received by the application deadline:

  • Please submit an online Stanford Graduate Application and find general information on applying
  • Statement of purpose
  • Application fee ($125 for all applicants)
  • Academic Transcripts***
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE General Test scores*
  • TOEFL scores (if applicable)**

Two Official transcripts should be mailed to:

Geophysics Department Admissions
397 Panama Mall, Mitchell Building, 3rd floor
Stanford, CA 94305-2215

GRE

*The GRE General Test is required. Scores must be from tests taken within five years. Scores must be reported directly to Stanford from ETS. The Stanford score recipient number is 4704 (no department code is needed for Geophysics). To facilitate preliminary review of your application, please note your scores in the electronic form. If you have previously applied to Stanford (within the past five years), we have your prior test scores.

TOEFL

**Applicants whose first language is not English must submit TOEFL scores from a test taken within the last eighteen months. The TOEFL is waived for individuals who have earned a U.S. bachelor's or master's degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association in the United States or the equivalent of either degree from a non-U.S. college or university of recognized standing where all instructions is provided in English. This exception does not apply if the courses were completed in a country where English is spoken but not all instruction is provided in English. Scores must be reported directly to Stanford from ETS. Please see the Graduate Admissions Office website for additional information about required exams.

University information about Graduate Admissions and online applications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a Master’s degree to apply to the Geophysics doctoral program?

No. Applicants who have a bachelor’s degree may apply directly to our doctoral program.

What is the minimum GRE score required in order to be considered for admission?

We do not have a cutoff GRE score requirement. The evaluation of each applicant is based on all the materials in the file and is not exclusively based on GRE test scores. 

What is the minimum GPA score required in order to be considered for admission?

We do not have a minimum GPA requirement. The evaluation of each applicant is based on all the materials in the file and is not exclusively based on GRE test scores or GPA. 

What is an ‘official’ transcript?

The PDF version of the transcripts you upload on line are considered "unofficial." The university requires "official" transcripts that are produced and sent directly by your university in a sealed envelope. You may also send official transcripts yourself as long as the envelope has not been opened, as indicated by an unbroken seal with a signature or stamp across it. You can also request your school to send an official electronic transcript to rmadison@stanford.edu  

What if my official transcripts are not received by the deadline?

Your file will not be considered complete until all required application materials are received. We may do a preliminary review of your file with unofficial transcripts, but we will not make a final decision until we have official transcripts.

For more helpful ‘Frequently Asked Questions’, please visit the Office of Graduate Admissions FAQ page or contact Rachael Madison