Dec 05, 2023  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Earth Sciences - Geophysics Concentration, (MS)

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MS Degree Program

Program objectives are: (1) competence in a common core of material in geophysics that provides the basis for original research; (2) experience in data acquisition and analysis methods, and oral and written presentation of research results; (3) preparation for professional employment in geophysics or for entering a doctoral program.

Program Admission and Prerequisites

Applicants must apply to both The University of Memphis Graduate School ( and CERI ( Prospective students, in addition to meeting the requirements for admission to the Graduate School, are required to present as a prerequisite for admission, a satisfactory record of undergraduate work in geophysics or a related field such as physics, engineering, mathematics, geology, or computer science. Normally, mathematics through differential equations will be required. Please see the CERI website for specific admission instructions.

Program Requirements

Course Work Requirements

Thirty two credit hours of graduate credit are required and subject to the following restrictions:

  1. No more than 9 credit hours at the 6000 level may be counted toward the degree.
  2. A minimum of 12 credit hours must be in courses numbered CERI 7102  - CERI 7405  
  3. A minimum of one seminar selected from CERI 7701 CERI 7702   or CERI 7703  
  4. 6 credit hours of CERI 7996 - Thesis  also the maximum that can be applied to the 32 hour total
  5. No more than 6 credit hours of Independent Study (CERI 7621 ) can be counted toward the degree

Comprehensive Examination

A written comprehensive examination will be administered by the student’s graduate committee covering course work taken within the program just before the start of the third semester of residence. If the examination is not passed, it may be taken again after one additional semester of residence.

Thesis Option

A thesis must be submitted that is acceptable to the student’s graduate committee. The Thesis can be based upon work done for CERI 7996 - Thesis , for which a maximum of 6 credit hours can be applied to the degree requirement.

Non-Thesis Option

If a non-thesis program is selected, a student must replace the 6 credit hours of CERI 7996 - Thesis  with two additional CERI 7000 level courses. The Thesis is replaced by submission of a paper for publication in a refereed journal, earning 3 credit hours in Independent Study ( CERI 7621 ). Thesis credits CERI 7996 - Thesis  do not count toward the non-thesis degree.

The Advisory Committee

Upon admission, the student will be assigned a temporary committee consisting of three faculty members based upon research interests expressed in the application documents. A permanent advisor and committee must be selected at the start of the first Spring Break for students entering in the fall semester and the start of the first fall semester for students entering in the spring semester.

Final Oral Examination for the Thesis Option

The student’s graduate committee will administer a final oral examination based upon the student’s thesis after completion of all other requirements. This examination will be held two weeks after the student has distributed the thesis to the graduate committee and must occur at least one week before the deadline for submission of material to the Graduate School for review. If the oral examination is unsatisfactory, it must be repeated within one year and may not be repeated more than once.


A student pursuing the Master’s degree may be terminated for any of the following reasons:

  1. Failure to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or above. A student who has a cumulative grade point average below 3.0 will be placed on probation. The Dean of the Graduate School must approve continuation in graduate school. Any person whose continuation is denied may appeal the decision to the University Council for Graduate Studies.
  2. Failure to complete the degree requirements within six years of initial enrollment in the graduate program.
  3. Failure to pass the Comprehensive Examination.
  4. Failure to satisfy the graduate committee on the final oral examination.

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