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Highlights of Curriculum Philosophy

The program emphasizes research training and developing the student’s self-reliance and self-confidence for independent work.
Entering students without an identified thesis advisor are invited to rotate through the mentorship of several faculty members until an advisor can be identified. This process should take place preferably within the first two semesters of the enrollment of a student in the program.
Whenever pedagogically advantageous, the program adopts a team-teaching system, whereby each faculty member teaches the subsection in a course in his or her area of primary expertise.
In keeping up with the international stature of the program, all courses will be offered in English.


Course Distribution

The typical course distribution is as follows:

  1. Required course for all students –
    Introductory Earth System Science.

  2. Core courses in declared area of concentration –
    2 courses out of the listed 5 courses in the declared area of concentration of the student.

  3. Elective courses –
    Any number of the remaining courses offered by the ESS program.If elective courses are not offered by the ESS program, the credits cannot be included in the credits required for graduation

  4. Seminar and discussion –
    to be taken for at least four times. It is the responsibility of the advisor to assist each student in formulating a program of study that will best satisfy his or her personal needs and fulfill the graduation requirements. Depending on the background of the incoming student, a prescribed program of additional courses for making up background deficiencies might be required as part of the degree requirements. Students are expected to complete at least 18 credit units within the first two years of enrollment. Students are also required to take a one-credit course on “Seminar and Research Discussion” in each semester, for a total of four credit hours, during the first two years of their enrollments in the program.


Course Offering

Four types of courses are being offered:

  1. Introductory Earth System Science (3 credit units)
  2. Seminar and Research Discussion (1 credit unit)
  1. Atmospheric Sciences
  2. Global Hydrological Cycles
  3. Environmental Ecology and Biodiversity
  4. The Solid Earth
  5. Anthroposphere and Sustainability
  1. Human Activities and Land Use/Land Cover Changes
  2. Isotope geochemistry
  3. Seismic Data Analysis
  4. Scientific Programming
  5. Fundamentals of Active and Passive Remote Sensing
  6. High frequency seismology
  7. Observation and Modeling of Cloud Physics
  8. Digital Image and Social Change
  9. Introduction to Volcanic Processes
  10. Earthquake Forecasting
  11. Advanced Electromagnetic Exploration
  12. Geology and Tectonics
  13. Seismic Studies on Atmospheric, Hydrospheric and Lithospheric Processes
  14. Environmental Isotope Geochemistry
  15. General Geophysics
  16. Practical Science Writing
  17. Special Topic on Atmospheric Remote Sensing
  18. Low frequency seismology
  19. Exploration Seismology Using Active and Passive Sources
  20. Seismic Hazard Assessment
  21. Paleolimnology
  22. Marine Biogeochemistry
  23. Geochronology
  24. Special Topics on Synthetic Aperture Radar (I)
  25. Special Topics on Synthetic Aperture Radar (II)
  26. Marine Geophysics
  27. Marine Biogeochemistry Lab
  28. Aerosols and Air Pollution
  1. 1-yr Elementary Chinese (required for overseas students only)