International Master of Science in Applied and Exploration Geophysics

The primary goal of Applied Geophysics is the acquisition of knowledge about the subsurface. Such knowledge is crucial to the exploration of resources, to subsurface and civil engineering, but also to understand the risks involved in activities such as geothermal stimulation, or resource extraction.

While studying at two top universities for resource exploration and earth sciences in Italy and Austria, you can develop intercultural competences and get in touch with potential employers. The demand for scientists in the field of geophysical exploration is high and the job prospects are good.


The International Master of Science in Applied and Exploration Geophysics is a joint study programme of Montanuniversität Leoben (Austria) and Università di Pisa (Italy). Students completing the programme earn a double Master of Science degree, from Montanuniversität Leoben and from Università di Pisa.

The programme duration is two years, corresponding to a total of 120 ECTS. The language of instruction is English. Students can apply for admission at either university.

The first year is spent at the university, where the application was submitted. The third semester is spent at the partner university. The fourth semester is for the work related to the master thesis and can be spent at either university, depending on the supervisor. The programme starts in October (Montanuniversität Leoben), or at the end of September (Università di Pisa).

The study programme consists of lectures, labs, computer labs, and field courses. The lectures cover the physics of seismic and electromagnetic waves, and the theory of magnetic and gravity fields. Field courses and computer labs cover the acquisition and the processing of data to produce images of the subsurface. Rock properties are measured in our petrophysics labs, and integrated with other data to produce subsurface models. For detailed information on the programme's content and requirements, please refer to the Curriculum.

The scientific profile of this master's programme focuses on geophysical methods for imaging spatial and temporal distributions of physical subsurface properties. Such methods are important tools in resource exploration, civil engineering, and environmental research. Professional geophysicists often work as consultants in the field of civil engineering. Typical tasks include the evaluation, or the monitoring, of aquifers, the investigation of the subsurface stability for road or railway construction projects, or the prediction of the geology ahead for tunnel constructions. Others pursue international careers in oil and exploration companies. Both universities have close ties to the industry through guest lecturers and research projects.

  • Bachelor's degree in Geophysics, Physics, Applied Geosciences, Engineering, or a similar discipline
  • Proof of English language proficiency by means of a recognized language test (TOEFL or IELTS)
  • Application Form
  • Proof of academic degree (BSc certificate) and university transcripts. Diplomas and transcripts have to be in English, German, or Italian language, and have to be certified in compliance with Austrian law. For the application, however, submit only a plain copy of those documents.
  • Proof of English language proficiency by means of a recognised language test (TOEFL, IELTS) TOEFL with an internet based score of at least 80 points (minimum: Listening 20, Reading 18, Speaking 17, Writing 16) or a paper based score of 550. IELTS with an overall band score of at least 6.0 (minimum: Reading and Listening 6.0, Writing and Speaking 5.5). Applicants who are English native speakers or graduated from a degree programme with English as the language or instruction are exempt from this regulation!
  • Letter of Application
    Description of the specific motives for the application for the master programme. One page maximum.
  • CV
    Include any subject-relevant work experience and extracurricular activities (two pages maximum).
  • Chinese, Mongolian and Vietnamese applicants need to submit an APS certificate (Akademische Prüfstelle) along with the application for admission.

    Applications have to be sent by postal mail to

    Montanuniversität Leoben
    Chair of Applied Geophysics
    Franz Josef-Straße 18 
    8700 Leoben

    They must arrive not later than March, 31st.

Students will be screened for eligibility by a local committee. The final decision will be made by an international committee consisting of two representatives from each partner university. The committee will award the maximum number of programme places available for the respective academic year to applicants who meet the admission requirements:

  • Type of previous studies: students with a focus in the field of geophysics are given priority 
  • Specific motives for the application
  • Subject-relevant work experience and extracurricular activities

The applicants are informed about the result of the admission procedure at the latest by April 30.

Living costs (per month)
Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Austria: € 860,-
Università di Pisa: € 700,-

Fees (Tuition, Misc. Fees)

Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria:

  • Student Union Fee (obligatory for all 4 semesters): € 20,20/semester
  • Tuition (only for non-EU citizens; EU citizens and students from Università di Pisa are exempt): € 727,-

Università di Pisa; Italy:

  • Enrollment Fee (Italian students): € 2,452 for each academic yearFee for non-Italian students depends on the country of origin and varies from € 356 to € 2,452 for each academic year (students from Montanuniversitaet are exempt)

After you have been selected for the master's programme, a staff member of Montanuniversität Leoben will contact you to assist you in preparing your stay in Austria.
Contact the Austrian representative authority (embassy, consulate-general) in your home country and apply for a D-Visa. The application will be sent to Austria and the decision has to be awaited on in one’s home country (therefore the application should be submitted about 3 months before the intended arrival in Austria).

Make sure that your application is complete; if the Austrian authority needs to get back to you for further information, the application process might be delayed. Please provide contact details (phone number, e-mail address) to guarantee that communication from Austrian authorities will get through to you.

You may have to apply for a respective Italian visa for your semester at the Università di Pisa in Austria. The International Relations Office (MIRO) at Montanuniversität Leoben will provide all the necessary information and assist you in that matter.

I have not yet finished my bachelor studies. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can. In your application, to complement your incomplete university transcripts, you should include a list of the courses you currently attend and a statement when you will obtain your academic degree.

Do I have to include the certified translations in my application?
No. Please submit plain copies of the certified translations. If you are accepted to the study program, you will have to submit the originals of the certified translations in person at the admission office.

Can I send my application by e-mail?
No, we need the original application form with your signature. If you suspect that your postal application might arrive after the deadline you can send an e-mail with the identical application documents to inform us in advance of the arrival of your postal mail.

I have a Bachelor degree in Geology. Does that meet the requirements?
Some mathematically oriented geophysics courses such as Inverse Problems, or Signal Analysis, require fundamentals of math and physics as well as computational skills. Your Bachelor curriculum should reflect that.