General Information

Applied Geophysics is concerned with the development and application of exploration techniques suitable for investigating from a few meters to several kilometers of the Earth’s subsurface, which is a region of vital interest for a broad range of issues that have a critical relevance to the human society and environment.

The Joint Master’s degree programme in Applied Geophysics offers a unique international and multifaceted education including theoretical as well as practical aspects of Applied Geophysics. The curriculum covers methodological aspects in the physical, mathematical, computational as well as data analysis and signal processing foundations of Applied Geophysics. Furthermore, theoretical and methodological aspects are put into practice in hands-on exercises and field work.

The Joint Master’s in Applied Geophysics is run in close collaboration with industry. Companies support the programme by providing funding, grants for scholarships and opportunities for research projects. Experts from industry and governmental agencies deliver special lectures and are involved in the co-supervision of master thesis projects.

The Joint Master’s in Applied Geophysics offers students a combination of study and research, leading to an outstanding qualification in Applied Geophysics, relevant for careers in the areas of Earth resource exploration and management as well as environmental and engineering investigations. Graduates from the programme are likewise attractive for positions in industry as well as doctoral studies in Earth Sciences.

Why Applied Geophysics?

Our mission is to educate students in geophysical methodologies for exploring and monitoring the subsurface of the Earth. This education entails obtaining knowledge of the fundamental theory behind these methodologies, their application and their link to societally highly relevant fields such as natural resources, geo-energies (e.g., geothermal-power, hydro-power, hydrocarbons), subsurface storage, geo-hazards, underground management and the environment. The graduates are internationally oriented and attractive for positions in industry and government/public organisations but also well prepared for doctoral studies in Earth sciences around the world.


The students study and move together between universities as a group to complete the 120 EC (European Credits) Joint Masters programme. A complete overview of the courses for 2019-2021 can be found here. An overview of the courses for 2020-2022 can be found here.

Pre-study online courses

To fully benefit from the Joint Masters programme, it may be necessary for you to review some appropriate convergence courses that are available online. More information about these courses will be sent to all students accepted to the programme.

First term at TU Delft

You start your education on September 1 at TU Delft. The first term will be focused on signal analysis, seismic and electromagnetic theory and exploration geophysics.

Second term at ETH Zurich

You have two weeks to move to Zürich where your education continues at ETH Zurich with courses on modelling, processing and inversion of geophysical data. It is during this period that you design and execute geophysical field work during a practical summer course. The course work at ETH Zurich ceases at the end of June.

Third term at the RWTH Aachen University

After the summer break, you continue your programme at RWTH Aachen University in October. The Aachen term centred around specialised applied and numerical methods (like machine learning in Geosciences), hydrogeophysics, engineering geophysics and borehole logging.

Fourth Term: Master’s thesis

In the last semester, students will write their Master’s Thesis at one of the three universities, other approved universities or industry laboratories.

Language of instruction

The language of instruction is English. All teaching, exercise and practical material are provided in English.

Most students originating from EU/EFTA countries as well as students from English-speaking countries can assume that they have sufficient proficiency in English to register and participate in the Joint Masters Programme. Other students need to submit English language test results as evidence of their proficiency. On a case-by-case basis, as determined by the respective student advisor, students whose first language is not English may be required to attend remedial English-language classes before or during the first study period.

Degree Certificate

Students who have successfully completed the Joint Masters in Applied Geophysics Programme will receive three cross-referenced degree certificates, one from each of the participating universities.

TU Delft awards a degree certificate “Master of Applied Earth Sciences” with the remark that the student has specialized in Applied Geophysics. ETH Zurich gives a degree certificate “Master of Science in Applied Geophysics”. RWTH Aachen gives a degree certificate “Master of Science in Applied Geophysics”.

In addition, the three universities issue a single Diploma Supplement in which all courses taken during the programme are listed with the grades obtained and in which it is indicated that these courses together constitute the IDEA League Joint Masters in Applied Geophysics.


For an overview download our brochure here

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