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The department of Earth Sciences, formerly the Department of Geology and Geophysical Technology, have remained mostly incognito in the minds of general public, almost like those secret vigilante superheroes. But much like these vigilantes, they have been offering so much to the nation and its economy. And do not be mistaken, it has been here for a long time, holding its place for more than past six decades!

This department is widespread over all of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), each of them diverse in the courses they offer and their prospects too. This article will specifically discuss about the department of Earth Sciences of IIT Roorkee, but prior to that, here’s a list of all the courses IITs offer in Earth Sciences, most of which are fulfilled through JEE:

Programme Degree Institute
Geophysical Technology Integrated M.Tech IIT Roorkee
Geological Technology
Applied Geology M.Sc.
Geology and Geophysics PhD.
IIT Kharagpur
Geological Sciences M.Sc.
Applied Geophysics Integrated M.Sc.
Exploration Geophysics
Applied Geology M.Sc.(Tech) ISM Dhanbad
Integrated M.Sc.(Tech)
Engineering Geology M.Tech
Petroleum Engineering B.Tech
Environmental Engineering
Atmospheric Sciences B.Tech and M.Tech IIT Kanpur
Engineering Geosciences M.Tech

Now that you are familiar with all the programmes offered, we shall now indulge in the institute which has wears the cap for oldest and most prestigious department of Earth Science, IIT Roorkee.

Geophysical Technology : A brief history

The geological studies in the university date back to the middle of the last century when Colonel Sir Proby Cautley (who was responsible for establishing the Thomason Engineering College) was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, London, for his pioneering work on the vertebrate fossils of the Shivalik Ranges. Later Henry Benedict Medlicot, who was also admitted as the Fellow of the Royal Society in 1877, occupied the Chair in Geology and Experimental Sciences at Thomason College.

The Department of Earth Sciences, formerly the Department of Geology and Geophysical Technology, was established in 1960. During the span of six decades the department has become one of the foremost centres of research, post graduate training and consultancy in the field of Earth Sciences. The department has been recipient of financial aid under the prestigious Special Assistance and COSIST programmes of UGC (Ministry of Human Resources and development, Govt. of India).

The faculty is engaged in a number of research projects sponsored by the Govt. of India agencies like Min. of Earth Sciences, CSIR, DST, ONGC etc, and the consultancy projects sponsored by various industries and government agencies.

Courses offered

The courses Integrated M.Tech. in Geophysical Technology and Geological Technology are both 5 year programmes and admission to these courses are solely through JEE. A general doubt which engulfs the crowd is how different are the two branches, especially while filling choices during counselling procedure.

Both these branches share a fare number of courses every semester for they are both interlinked in their prospects, like two wheels of the same bicycle; one can’t function without the other. However, they are quite different at the elementary level. While Geological Technology deals solely with geology of earth and its elements, Geophysical Technology uses this information along with technical data obtained from various exploration techniques. On simpler terms, while a geologist tells you which location and geology is apt for finding oil, a geophysicist uses complex exploration techniques to provide petroleum engineers the exact location of oil.

Over the due course of 5 years, the branch Geophysical Technology takes you from elementary geology and basic exploration techniques to complex and more industry-relevant courses such as well logging and seismic methods of surveying.

Campus provisions

The institute, IIT Roorkee, provides ample facilities to its students for the development of their knowledge of the subject. To start with, a petrological museum, which has the biggest assemblages of rocks of all kinds along with fossils from oldest of times. Research labs range from a Sedimentology lab to petrological microscope labs for examination of rocks under thin sections. All of these are made available to students during various courses.

The department provides ample instruments for enriching students with surveying techniques right in the department, those used by professionals all over the globe. Apart from these, the department sponsors regular field trips for its students across India to familiarize them with the much required proceedings that take place in the field by companies.

Prospects and Placements

Since the branch is specifically focused on geophysical techniques, the prospects are firstly a wide range of research in this field. This branch of earth sciences is evergreen and largely established in foreign countries, but here in India, the research has only just begun to grow in the past few decades. Due to this large prospect, many students pursue research in Earth sciences, even after receiving an engineering degree.

As far as companies and placements are concerned, there are several companies core that involve in campus placements. The branch  specializes in oil exploration and hence relevant companies follow. To name a few, Schlumburger Asia Services Ltd., Shell, HPCL, Coal India, Essar Group. There are only high paying jobs provided to this branch as this field requires lots of expertise and knowledge, and hence a higher average. However, only the best get taken!

Apart from core companies, there are several non-core companies too which offer jobs to the students and a significant number too.


All in all, the branch scores high numbers, especially in oil companies, both in Indian and abroad alike. Broaden your horizons and choose wisely.

You may also like to read about all you need to know about chemical engineering and computer science & engineering.

All the best 🙂


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