If you have a passion for studying earth sciences such as geophysics and seismology, consider attending a university that offers a high quality program in these areas. Using a ranking system based on factors, including academic reputation, student retention rate, faculty and financial resources, "U.S. News & World Report" has identified the top schools for geophysics and seismology.

California Institute of Technology

The seismic activity in southern California makes the California Institute of Technology a great place to study geophysics and seismology. The Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at Caltech offers undergraduate and grad programs in geophysics. Geophysics students receive comprehensive training in the geological and planetary sciences that build upon their math, physics, chemistry and biology skills. Caltech also offers students opportunities to conduct research with expert faculty members in areas including theoretical and computational seismology, geodynamics and marine geophysics.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology allows undergrad students in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences to develop an individualized course of study focusing on a range of areas in the geophysical sciences, including geophysics. The small classes in the EAPS Department give geophysics students a chance to develop mentoring relationships with professors as they engage in theoretical work, field work and lab research. Graduate students at MIT gain experience using innovative techniques to collect and analyze data in attempts to better understand processes in areas such as climatology and seismology.

Stanford University

Geophysics students at Stanford University benefit from small class sizes, diverse faculty and flexible curriculum tailored to meet student needs and interests. Stanford offers bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. programs in geophysics through its School of Earth Sciences. Along with being engaged in a comprehensive course of study, geophysics students at Stanford have numerous research opportunities that involve fieldwork, internships and international partnerships. Stanford also features the Center for Computational Earth and Environmental Science, where students and faculty in the geophysics department study earthquakes and volcanoes extensively.

University of California Berkeley

Students interested in seismology and geophysics can study at the University of California, Berkeley. UC Berkeley's Earth and Planetary Sciences department features the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, which is largely involved in operating seismic and other geophysical networks in northern and central California. Geophysics undergrad and graduate students also participate in research with the Active Tectonics Research Group at UC Berkeley, a team that focuses on seismological issues including fault zone processes and crustal deformation.