University & Program

National Central University

Department of Earth Sciences-Master/PhD program of Geophysics

Program Level
Master / Doctoral
Language of instruction
50% taught in English

1968, National Central University established a department to enroll four years students and moved to present site in Chungli City, Taoyuan County, Taiwan. In the beginning, Geophysical Group was incorporated into the Department of Physics. Such arrangement induced solid physical foundation for the future development of this department. 1976, Geophysical Group was independent as the Department of Geophysics.

In the 1970s, Earthquake Group of Academia Sinica (later became the Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica) was established. This is a positive influence for this department. The Institute of Earth Sciences set a basis in seismic studies in Taiwan, brought many superior faculties to this department, and created positions for graduate students of this department. So that seismic studies gradually became popular in this department, until today.

1987, the Ministry of Education promoted interdisciplinary policy, National Central University also tried to incorporate the Department of Physics, the Department of Geophysics and the Department of atmospheric Physics into the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences. Since the greatly various properties of original three departments caused great confusion in execution, in 1990, the students and faculties of these three departments fought to the Ministry of Education for restoration original three departments, finally succeeded. For establishing a sound foundation of the development of Earth Science, this department was renamed as the Department of Earth Science, the Department of Atmospheric Physics also renamed as the Department of Atmospheric Science. At the same while, the Executive Yuan agreed to the establishment of the Institute of Applied Geology in National Central University, and prepared by the relevant faculties of this department. Along with the Institute of Geophysics and the Institute of Applied Geology, the Department of Earth Science closely combines geology and geophysics to expand the field with the diversified courses and researches.

1998, based on the full support of principal Chao-Han Liu, two departments and five institutes related to earth sciences transferred from the College of Science to the newly established College of Earth Sciences, which is the first college correlate with earth sciences in Taiwan, and hired the former director of Academia Sinica’s Institute of Earth Sciences Yi-Ben Tsai as the first dean of the College of Earth Sciences. 1999, the destructive Chi-Chi Earthquake happened in Central Taiwan. Based on 40 years earth sciences foundation and under Yi-Ben Tsai’s leadership, faculties and students of this department elaborated in many research topics related to seismology, Tectonics, disaster prevention of earthquakes. Many published papers in Nature, Science, and many influenced journals connected this department with the globe.

2000, the College of Earth Sciences established the Institute of Hydrological Science. This department also increased faculties and courses correlated with environment and hydrology. In the future, this department will become the unique department integrating all fields with respect to earth system.

In 1962, the Graduate Institute of Geophysics was founded in Miaoli, Taiwan as the re-establishment of the University. Because the department of exploration, CPC Corporation is located at Miaoli, Institute of Geophysics could cooperative with CPC to explore gas in Miaoli. In these years, the research of Institute of Geophysics was focus on petro exploration, but also a little of atmospheric sciences. The institute of Atmospheric physics was independent at 1978.

During the 1970s, an earthquake group had been set in the Academia Sinica. (Institute of Earth Sciences, Sinica now) This group built a foundation of the research of seismicity in Taiwan and also provided us lots of adjunct professors. Because of their help, seismicity is the mainstream research in our institute. In 1980, to respond to the heavy demand of senior personnel in industry, Ph. D. program was forms.

In 1998, principal Zou-Han, Liu supported to set the college of earth sciences which is the first one in Taiwan. As a result, earth sciences related departments (2 departments and 5 institutes) were separated from the college of sciences. Yi- Ben Tsai, the director of IES, had been the first dean. Because of independent college, our institute got more resources. 21st Sep, 1999, the disaster earthquake shacked in Chichi, Taiwan, dean Tsai led all members applied the experience in 40 years to engage in the research of Chichi earthquake and help our research accords with international norms.


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