M.S. Humanitarian Engineering and Science: Geophysics

Broadly defined, Humanitarian Geophysics focuses on applying the principles of geophysics to improve the lives of disadvantaged communities and the natural environments in which they live.

Humanitarian Geophysics spans a wide range of topics including

  • Locating new groundwater resources
  • Groundwater/aquifer management
  • Environmental remediation and monitoring
  • Natural hazards posed by earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides
  • Agriculture development, management and optimization
  • Securing cultural heritage

Practitioners work to develop sustainable socio-technical solutions to these challenges in collaboration with local scientists, communities and government stakeholders.

Application Requirements
  • Degree candidates should have an undergraduate degree in geophysics, physics, quantitative earth sciences and engineering, or equivalent coursework. In addition, candidates will need to complete necessary prerequisite courses for the graduate courses, also found in the Mines graduate catalog.
  • Statement of purpose, updated curriculum vitae or resume and transcripts for post-secondary degrees are required for all students.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required for students pursuing the MS thesis option.
  • Non-native English speakers must meet one of the following minimum requirements: TOEFL iBT score of 79; TOEFL paper-based test score of 550; TOEFL computer-based test score of 213; IELTS score of 6.5 or have received a prior degree from an English-speaking university.
  • Mines undergraduate students may count up to six credits from their undergraduate program toward a combined BS/MS degree. External applicants may substitute approved electives with courses brought from elsewhere with written permission from the HES program director.
Required Courses

Engineering, Design and Society courses

  • EDNS 577: Engineering and Sustainable Community Development (3 credits)
  • EDNS 479: Community-Based Research (3 credits)
  • EDNS 580: HES Capstone Practicum (3 credits) — only required for non-thesis/professional master’s degree
  • EDNS 590: Risks in Humanitarian Engineering and Science (3 credits)
  • One elective, such as Introduction to Engineering & Society.

Geophysics courses:

  • GPGN 577: Humanitarian Geoscience (3 credits)
  • GPGN 533: Geophysical Data Integration & Geostatistics (3 credits)
  • GPGN 570: Applications of Satellite Remote Sensing (3 credits)
  • GPGN 574: Groundwater Geophysics (3 credits)
  • Non-thesis/professional students also take one GPGN elective, and thesis students take independent research credit hours.

Check out the work and findings of an incoming HES geophysics student’s research with one of our Humanitarian Geophysics faculty members!

Bolivia Fieldwork