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Study Plans

The Master’s Degree in Exploration and Applied Geophysics is a multidisciplinary course, which combines physical, geological and technological skills. It is therefore addressed to students with different disciplinary backgrounds (physicists; geologists; civil, environmental, telecommunications or electronic engineers; graduates in environmental sciences), enhancing the skills they have achieved in the 1st-level Degree Courses and integrating them appropriately. The University Didactic Regulations allow the students to personalize their study plans on the basis of previous experiences and interests, in compliance with the regulatory framework of the University. The interview scheduled for each student before admission to the course (i.e. Admission Test) is aimed at clarifying the different perspectives and at recommending a suitable learning path and training schedule.

The study programme provides that the students follow:

- 2 courses in physics disciplines, to be chosen among the following:

Complements of Mathematics and Physics (6 ECTS, Prof. Roddaro)
Instrumentation for geophysics and potential geophysics (6 ECTS, Prof. Carelli)
Rock Physics (6 ECTS, Prof. Capaccioli)

The first of these is a preparatory course, addressed to students who need to deepen the basic notions of Physics and Mathematics (typically students with a geological background).

- 2 courses in geological disciplines,
for students coming from the fields of Physics or Engineering, with no basic geological notions:

Fundamentals of Geology (6 ECTS, Prof. Frassi)
Radar Geomorphology (6 ECTS, Prof. Ribolini)

for other students who already possess basic geological notions (typically, with a degree in geological sciences):

Radar Geomorphology (6 ECTS, Prof. Ribolini)
Basin Analysis (6 ECTS, Prof. Pandolfi)

The following courses are compulsory for all students:

Laboratory of seismic acquisition and processing (6 ECTS, Prof. Tognarelli)
Laboratory of digital data processing (6 ECTS, Prof. Stucchi)
Exploration seismology and geophysical logs (9 ECTS, Prof. Mazzotti)
Signal Processing for Physics (6 ECTS, Prof. Ferrante)

Another course in geophysics-related disciplines, chosen among the following:

Fundamentals of Geophysics (6 ECTS, Prof. Mazzotti)
Applied Geophysics (6 ECTS, Profs. Costantini/Stucchi)
Inverse Problems in Geophysics (6 ECTS, Prof. Aleardi)
Seismic Imaging (6 ECTS, Prof. Bienati)

The first of these is an easy basic course, suitable only for those students who have no prior knowledge of geophysics.

An additional 18 credits will also have to be achieved. Students with geological background knowledge are strongly recommended to attend the course on:

Complements of Electromagnetism and Optics (3 ECTS, Prof. Roddaro):

Additional courses available.
Students can choose from the following courses:

Geoarchaeology and Geophysical techniques (3 ECTS, Prof. Bini)
Economic Geology (6 ECTS, Prof. Gioncada) (in Italian)
Methods and technologies for remote sensing (6 ECTS, Prof. Corsini from the Institute of Engineering, University of Pisa) (in Italian)
Underwater systems (6 ECTS, Profs. Costanzi/Caiti from the Institute of Engineering, University of Pisa)
Environmental remote sensing systems (6 ECTS, Prof. Diani from the Institute of Engineering, University of Pisa) (in Italian)

or from other courses held at the Polytechnic of Milan. These courses include:

Geophysical Data Processing (10 ECTS, Prof. Zanzi), Non-destructive Tests (6 ECTS, Prof. Lualdi) (in Italian), Geophysical Surveys (8 credits, Prof. Zanzi) (in Italian), Geophysical and Radar Imaging (10 ECTS, Profs. Bernasconi and Monti Guarnieri), Geophysical Assessment and Monitoring (6 credits, Prof. Hojat).

Finally, a further 5 credits can be achieved through the so-called "Other Activities", which include participation in seminars, workshops, conferences, internships, scholarships, campaign activities, etc., distributed over the 2 years of the degree course.

The final thesis, of central importance to the course, is worth 40 credits.

The courses incorporate a number of basic tutorials aimed at narrowing the cognitive gap among students from different backgrounds. There are courses in Mathematics and Physics for Geologists, basic courses in Geological Sciences for Physicists and Engineers. Finally, basic courses in Signals Processing are addressed to graduates from the three-year Degree in Geological Sciences, Physics, and Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Particular importance is given to the acquisition of practical skills for laboratory and field work. Students are encouraged to take part in different educational and training events and, for this reason, specific obligatory laboratory activities and field campaigns are planned for students from different backgrounds.
Broad flexible criteria will be adopted for students with disabilities, for working students and for those involved in the responsibilities and tasks of corporate bodies.
Students are encouraged to attend internship and fellowship programmes at affiliated companies and institutions to conduct practical activities consistent with the objectives of the course, to be agreed upon between trainee and tutor.

Of the total 120 credits, 40 are obtained with the final degree exam, or thesis. In their dissertation essay, the students put into practice what they have achieved during their course of study, and must demonstrate their professional, operational and scientific skills. The thesis and the curricular qualifications represent the presentation card of the graduates in the world of labour and/or research. Students are thus advised to organize a study plan in which the free training initiatives are complementary to the work of the thesis and need to be agreed upon with the supervisor.


  • Webinar: "Petrolio dalle andesiti, Neuquén Basin, Argentina" by Sergio Rocchi
    This webinar is intended as a story of the field trip of the LASI 6 Conference (The physical geology of subvolcanic systems: laccoliths, sills and dykes, Malargüe, Mendoza Province, Argentina, 24-29 November 2019 - The webinar is not a report on a scientific study of a specific topic, but is structured as a presentation of the geological peculiarities of the Neuquén Basin, such as the enormous yet little known Quaternary volcanic province, the superb exposures of the Miocene sub-volcanic bodies, and the oil field with unconventional reservoirs, fundamental support of the economy of Argentina.
    The webinar is in Italian, with slides in English. Questions can be asked in English.
    Rivedi il Webinar su YouTube
  • Seminar about Ground-Penetrating radar and Glaciology

    The course of Radar Geomorphology organizes a seminar delivered by Prof. Emanuele Forte (University of Trieste): "GPR in Glaciology: potential and challenge"

    The seminar is planned for January 27th and will insight the possibility of GPR to image the interior of glaciers, to infer ice density distribution, locate brines and determine warm and cold domains. All are invited.




  • Discovering the subsurface of Mars


    Roberto Orosei will deliver a seminar inside the course of Radar Geomorphology: "Radar detection of subglacial water under the South polar cap of Mars"

    The seminar is scheduled for January 27th (Room C, 14 PM, Earth Sciences Department) and will illustrate the capability of GPRs mounted aboard ESA Mars Express and NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to explore the subsurface of Mars. All are invited, see you there.

    Seminario OROSEI




    The web portal for non-EU and EU-students application to the next Academic Year (2020-21) is operative. Please visit the site:

    and follow carefully the instructions required for registration and documents uploading. After a positive evaluation, applicants will be informed about enrolment procedure at the University of Pisa.

    Applications will be evaluated in three rounds; students positively evaluated in the first round will be considered for a scholarship granted by the University of Pisa.




    Dr. Gianluca Catanzariti (3D GEOIMAGING) will deliver a seminar inside the course of Radar Geomorphology

    "Non-conventional use of Ground Penetrating Radar: the example of the Italian research at Tutankhamon's tomb (KV62)"

    The seminar's abstract cna be find here.

    Students and researchers are invited on Thursday, the 12nd of December (09:15 am), Room E of the Department of Earth Sciences


    PISA TALK 2019 def