Department of Physics and Geosciences

The Department of Physics and Geosciences offers an M.S. degree in Petrophysics, as well as graduate courses in Geology and in Physics. Graduate courses in Geology and Physics provide a strong supporting field for a major in another science, mathematics or engineering.

Master of Science in Petrophysics

Petrophysics is the study of physical and chemical properties of reservoirs (rocks and fluids). It is the first such program in North America, and addresses properties of subsurface rock formations and the fluid within those strata with particular application to the petroleum exploration and production industry. The course work including graduate research project is a multidisciplinary program with Geology, Physics, and Natural Gas Engineering courses. 

Admissions Requirements

For the M.S. degree in Petrophysics, a bachelor's degree in Geoscience, Mathematics, Physics, or Chemistry (or related areas) is required. Students not having enough background may need to take additional undergraduate courses. 

Graduate Faculty

Al-Bataineh, Hisham Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Geosciences; B.S., Yarmouk University (Jordan); M.S., Aligrah Muslim University (India); M.S., New Mexico State University; Ph.D., New Mexico State University.

Su, Haibin Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Geosciences; B.S., Beijing University (China); M.S., Chinese Academy of Sciences (China); Ph.D., University of Cincinnati.

Associate Member

Sanchez Ramos, Veronica Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Geosciences; B.S., University of Houston; M.S., University of Houston; Ph.D., University of Houston.

Yelisetti, Subbarao Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Geosciences; B.S., Acharya Nagarjuna University (India); M.S., University of Hyderabad (India); Ph.D., University of Victoria (Canada).

Emeritus

Norwine, James Professor Physics and Geosciences, Department of Physics and Geosciences; Regents Professor; B.S., Southeast Missouri State College; M.S., Southeast Missouri State College; Ph.D., Indiana State University.

Subjects in this Department

Geology (GEOL)

GEOL 5305  Graduate Research Project  3 SCH  (0-0-3)  

Designed for project option students and requires completion of a research project. Prerequisite: departmental approval. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 semesters hours.

GEOL 5306  Thesis  3 SCH  (3)  

Designed for thesis option students. The course requires completion of thesis research. Prerequisite: departmental approval. May be repeated for maximum of 6 semester hours.

GEOL 5310  Advanced Topics in Geology  1-3 SCH  (1-3)  

Intensive study at a graduate level of selected advanced topics. May be repeated for credit under different topics.

GEOL 5311  Geochemistry  3 SCH  (2-3)  

Study of the occurrence, distribution and behavior of major and minor elements in the earth's atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. Prerequisites: GEOL 3409, GEOL 3411, CHEM 1312 and CHEM 1112

Fee: $30.00

GEOL 5312  Geographic Info Systems  3 SCH  (3-0)  

Principles and practice of geographic information systems (GIS) using vector-based GIS as the primary software package. Students will demonstrate the use of GIS through individual class projects oriented toward their area of interest.

GEOL 5313  Advanced GIS  3 SCH  (2-3)  

Research applications of advanced techniques of Geographic Information Systems. Vector-and raster-based GIS modeling: terrain modeling, hydrological modeling, 3-D modeling: hands-on research topics. GIS programming for problem solving in students research applications. Prerequisite: GEOL 5312 or permission of instructor.

GEOL 5352  Remote Sensing  3 SCH  (3-0)  

Principles and practice of remote sensing involving analysis and interpretation of aerial photos and digital images. Students will demonstrate the use of remote-sensed through individual class projects oriented toward their area of interest.

Physics (PHYS)

PHYS 5382  Exploration Geophysics  3 SCH  (3)  

Application of classical physics to the study of the Earth and the solution of problems in Earth sciences, including gravity, magnetic, seismic, heatflow, electrical, electromagnetic, and well log methods, instruments, data acquisition, processing and interpretation. Applications to petroleum exploration. Prerequisites: GEOL 3370 or permission of the instructor.

PHYS 5385  Seismology  3 SCH  (3-0)  

Basics of seismology: wave propagation, seismic reflection and refraction. Application of physics in the seismic velocity and anisotropy structure of the Earth. Earthquake generation, post-seismic deformation and creep events, relation to faulting and plate tectonics. Prerequisites: GEOL 3370 or permission of the instructor.

PHYS 5388  Borehole Geophysics  3 SCH  (3-0)  

Basic rock properties concepts; evaluating formations from geophysical well logging. Instrumentation, the physics of logging, and well log interpretation. Rock physics tools and well logs for petroleum and geothermal exploration, as well as water prospecting. Prerequisites: GEOL 1303/ GEOL 1103 and PHYS 2325/ PHYS 2125, PHYS 2326/ PHYS 2126.

Petrophysics, M.S.

The coursework for this multidisciplinary program involves courses in Physics (PHYS), Geology (GEOL), and Natural Gas Engineering (NGEN). The coursework for this program is as follows: 

Required Coursework

PHYS 5382Exploration Geophysics3
PHYS 5385Seismology3
PHYS 5388Borehole Geophysics3
GEOL 5305Graduate Research Project3
GEOL 5310Advanced Topics in Geology1-3
GEOL 5311Geochemistry3
GEOL 53193
NGEN 5303Advncd Topics in Nat Gas Engin1,3
NGEN 53103
NGEN 5312Pressure Transient Analysis3
NGEN 5363Advanced Reservoir Engineering3
NGEN 5387Quantitative Well Log Analysis3
Total Semester Credit Hours32-36

Degree Plans

For the M.S. in Petrophysics, both Plan I (thesis) and Plan II (non-thesis) are available. 

  • Plan I requires 24 credits of coursework plus completion of a research thesis (6 hours for research proposal and thesis).
  • Plan II requires 36 hours of course work including completion of a short research project.