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About Geophysics, MSc - at Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra

The specific objective of the Laurea magistrale (MS degree) in Geophysics is to train master's doctors who have the ability to:

a) develop and apply mathematical and numerical models of geophysical and environmental systems and processes involving atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere and interior of the Earth;
b) design and carry out geophysical observation and exploration of the planet Earth at different scales, with particular reference to geophysical surveys applied to the environment, cultural heritage, civil and infrastructural engineering, research and exploitation of natural resources;
c) analyze and design activities for the mitigation of natural and environmental risks, also aimed at intervention in the prevention and emergency phases, independently or in working groups together with professionals with other specializations.

In this context, the MS program aims to provide an in-depth broad-spectrum preparation in geophysics, based on a solid knowledge of physics and geological sciences. This is guaranteed through characterizing activities, which are divided into two exams in the physical disciplines (12 credits), two exams in the geological disciplines (12 credits, with extensive field activity) and four exams in the geophysical disciplines (24 credits), in order to provide a common in-depth knowledge. These activities provide the student with an adequate mastery of the scientific method of investigation, strengthening the knowledge acquired in the first level degree courses. The teaching activities in the physical and geological disciplines play a fundamental role to align the preparation of students. In fact, the MS in Geophysics can be attended by students with a very diversified background: students with a bachelor or first-level academic degree in different courses of the scientific area; students from different universities and from different countries, not only European, but also from other continents. To facilitate the alignment of students' preparation, the more traditional teaching activities in the physical and geological disciplines are accompanied by supplementary tutorial activities, dedicated to sub-groups of students, and almost "personalized".

Akin and integrative activities (3 exams, 18 credits) include exams in the engineering area (geomatics), environmental physics and legal and/or economic/managerial issues. They also include exams of geophysical disciplines, but with a specific focus on the development and use of mathematical models of geophysical processes and methods of geophysical data analysis, also with the use of the most modern techniques of data mining and machine learning. These activities can provide graduates in Geophysics with adequate digital and general skills in STEM disciplines (development and application of data analysis and interpretation techniques), but also with transversal skills very useful for the employability of the graduates and for their ability to adapt to a rapidly evolving world of work.

Through the elective activities (12 credits), the student can acquire more specific skills, in one or more of the following aspects: solid Earth geophysics (dynamics of the lithosphere and the Earth's mantle; seismology); geophysics of the fluid Earth (physics of the atmosphere; transport of contaminants; water circulation in the subsoil and in the seas); applied geophysics (exploration and monitoring of the subsoil, for the characterization of energy, water, mineral resources, cultural and environmental heritage and seismic and hydrogeological risk). Among the elective activities, it is also possible to find course units that are taught, within the framework of specific agreements, by high-quality technical and scientific personnel of institutions and companies outside the university environment and who provide more operational training in the professional field.

All course units include laboratory or field exercises, to complement "theoretical" training with practical activities, especially for the physical-mathematical modelling of phenomena and the geophysical processing and interpretation of data, also through the development of dedicated software. These activities provide the student with advanced operational skills both in laboratory work and in the collection of geophysical data in the field and in physical-mathematical modelling and its applications. These activities are also aimed at encouraging the acquisition of transversal skills, such as critical and innovative thinking, presentation and communication skills, organizational and teamwork skills, self-discipline.

The student completes his/her preparation by carrying out an internship (internal, i.e. at the University laboratories, or external, at external bodies), also aimed at improving transversal skills, and with the preparation of a MS thesis that will commit the student to work for at least one semester on an argument of basic or applied research.

The student can carry out part of the teaching activities, including the MS thesis, at foreign universities and research centers, as part of the international mobility programs for students and teachers.

For more information about this course, please see the program leaflet.

Learn more about Geophysics, MSc - at Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra

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Entry requirements

The admittance to the MS in Geophysics requires the possession of curricular requirements relating to the first-level degree, the skills and knowledge acquired in specific scientific-disciplinary sectors, as well as the possession of adequate personal preparation.
The mathematical, physical and computer disciplines constitute the methodological substrate used in the geophysical field. Adequate knowledge of these disciplines is provided by many first-level university courses in science and engineering. Therefore, to be admitted to the MS in Geophysics, the student must hold a scientific or engineering degree (Laurea), according to the system governed by DM 270/04 or DM 509/99, or other qualification obtained abroad recognized as suitable based on current legislation, which satisfies the following minimum curricular requirements:
at least 60 credits in total, in the following scientific-disciplinary sectors (SSD): physics (FIS/01-08); mathematics (MAT/01-09); statistics (SECS-S/01-02); computer science (INF/01); information engineering (ING-INF/01-05, 07); chemistry (CHIM/01-07, 12); geosciences (GEO/01-12); civil engineering (ICAR/01-03, 06-09); industrial engineering (ING-IND/01-07, 09-12, 18-20, 28-30);
of which at least
- 15 credits in scientific-disciplinary sectors of physics and geosciences (FIS/01-08; GEO/01-12);
- 15 credits in scientific disciplinary fields of mathematics and computer science (MAT/01-09 and SECS-S/01-02; INF/01 and ING-INF/05).
The above criteria are met by graduates in Laurea (bachelor) degree courses of the class L-30 - Physical sciences and technologies and in many degree courses of the class L-34 - Geological sciences, including the Laurea in Scienze geologiche of the Università degli Studi di Milano.
The applicant must also have an adequate level of knowledge of the English language, comparable with the B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for the knowledge of languages (CEFR).
For all categories of candidates, the adequate personal preparation of applicants and the ability to communicate effectively in English are crucial elements for admission and are verified by the admission commission as specified below.
A syllabus illustrating the knowledge of physics, mathematics and computer science required for admission can be downloaded from the following link:

The admission commission is entrusted with the following tasks:
a. Verification of the minimum curricular requirements, which have been indicated above, for candidates holding an Italian qualification;
b. Verification of the correspondence between course units, in terms of credits and educational content, and of the minimum curricular requirements for students holding a qualification issued by a foreign university;
c. Evaluation of the previous study curriculum of the individual applicant and decision on the need for an in-depth interview;
d. Evaluation of the student's personal preparation and adequate knowledge of the English language, through the interview, when deemed necessary;
e. Evaluation of the possible recognition of credits for students who have already obtained a MS degree or a first or second level university master's degree, for which it is therefore possible to plan a short study course;
f. Conclusion of the verification of the adequacy of the student's initial preparation with admission or non-admission; any non-admission must be adequately motivated.
Knowledge of the English language is not assessed if the student holds an official certification, dating back no more than three years before the application, which certifies a knowledge of at least B2 level of the CEFR or if he/she holds a bachelor's degree, or equivalent qualification issued abroad, referring to a study course taught in English.

Fees, Funding and Scholarships at Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra

Università degli Studi di Milano offers different opportunities for financial support to Italian and foreign students, as described at the financial support web page.

In particular scholarships and exemptions from tuition fee are provided to the best new students who got a degree from a foreign university and are enrolled in the first year of a Master's degree programme. See the web page on International scholarships for further details.

Other courses at Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra

There are 8 other courses listed from Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra. A selection of these are displayed below:

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