CIP Code

Earth and Planetary Science

Earth and Planetary Science is a highly interdisciplinary concentration employing principles from physics, chemistry, and biology to understand processes on and in the Earth and other planetary bodies.

Concentrators can study Earth and planetary interiors, including the formation of rocks and minerals, movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates, and mountain building and volcanism. Other areas emphasize surface processes, such as coastal erosion, formation of water resources, and desertification. This concentration is a good choice for students who seek a broad scientific understanding of the processes that shape the physical world around us.

Both A.B. and Sc.B. degrees are offered, requiring 12 and 19 courses, respectively.  These degrees build skills in critical thinking, data analysis and modeling, finding solutions to complex problems, and written and oral communication.   DEEPS provides a highly collaborative learning environment that emphasizes process-oriented, hands-on approaches in the classroom, in labs and on field trips. There are many opportunities for students to do paid research during the summer or academic year.

Students interested in this concentration may also wish to consider related concentrations: Earth, Climate and Biology, Geophysics and Climate Physics, and Geochemistry and Environmental Chemistry.