IASBS Program
Department of Earth Sciencess
Earth Department

The geophysics curriculum is designed so as to give students at M.Sc level a broad knowledge of the major branches of the science. Students from a geology background are asked to take a course or two in math and physics to improve their base. Likewise, students from non-geology backgrounds are required to take an introductory level geology course. Because computational skills are an essential part of a geophysicist’s work, all students must have a sufficient knowledge base in computational and numerical techniques and must be fluent in at least one programming language. A list of the core courses of the M.Sc. program and a summary of the course contents are given below:


  • Tectonophysics:

    The topics of this course are; an overview of the plate tectonics, stress and strain in the earth, rheology of the earth, heat transfer and convection in the earth, and mechanics of faulting.

  • Gravity and geomagnetism:

    This is a beginner’s course that covers gravity field of the earth, density distribution inside the earth, the geomagnetic field, rock magnetism, and interpretation of gravity and geomagnetic fields.

  • Geo-electric methods:

    This is an introductory course on various electrical and electromagnetic prospecting methods. Course covers the self-potential method, the resistivity and induced polarization methods, and gives a brief survey of various electromagnetic methods.

  • Time series analysis and digital filters:

    This course covers the basics of digital signal processing. Material includes signals and system, the Fourier analysis, the z transform, and design of digital filters.

  • Theory of seismic wave propagation:

    This course serves as a prerequisite to seismology and seismic exploration courses. Topics include; equations of seismic waves, body waves, ray theory, surface waves, seismic attenuation and anisotropy.

  • Seismology I:

    This is an introductory course on seismology covering seismometry, seismic phases and structure of the earth, seismograms interpretation, earthquake location, magnitude scales, and seismic tomography.

  • Seismic exploration methods:

    The material covered by this course is; seismic arrays and sources, the seismic reflection and refraction methods, data processing and interpretation.

  • Seismotectonics:

    The topics covered by this course are; interplay between seismicity and plate tectonics, earthquake statistics, active faulting, and seismotectonics of Iran.

  • Geophysical laboratory:

    This is a lab course in which students get to put the knowledge they have acquired in the class into practical use. Students are expected to go in to the field and gather data from a geophysical prospecting campaign. Then return to the lab and apply processing to the data and interpret results.

In addition to the above list, students take a seminar course and 1 or 2 elective courses such as Introduction to Geodesy, Inverse Theory in Geophysics, Seismology II, or advanced courses on exploration Geophysics.
The research part of the curriculum consists of a thesis that is expected to take one year of work. The thesis work normally starts from the second year when students have finished their course work. At the end of the program, the students defend their thesis in front of an examining board.

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