Ph.D. Graduate Program


Grace Andrews - Upper Peninsula, MI field tripThe Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences is a small yet nationally ranked program with opportunities for scholarship in many research areas that lead to a Ph.D. degree. These include mineral physics, crystal chemistry, thermodynamics, seismology and tsunamis, tectonics, seismic tomography, geobiology, sedimentary and isotope geochemistry, radiogenic isotope geochemistry, and stratigraphy/sedimentology, to name a few.

As a Northwestern graduate student you will join a close-knit, collaborative community. You will have the opportunity to explore various subdisciplines through your course and fieldwork, and through conducting research in the department's state-of-the-art analytical facilities, including the Integrated Labs for Earth and Planetary Sciences (ILEPS). Due to the modest size of our department, you will have access to, and work with our internationally renowned faculty, and live in a vibrant community in close proximity to Chicago.

To learn more about our program and the application process, please read through this web page using the links to the left. We welcome your inquiries. Please contact directly any faculty members whose research activities are of interest to you, or write to either our Director of Graduate Admissions, Prof. Steve Jacobsen or our Program Assistant, Gina Allen. Please send your inquiries to

SPREE group

The last SPREE - (left to right) Prof. Suzan van der Lee, graduate student Emily Wolin, alumnus Simon Lloyd, and Ben Rice, went to northern WI to remove a seismometer, part of the Superior Province Rifting EarthScope Experiment.

Greg Lehn Triton thermal

Graduate student Greg Lehn loads samples into the Triton thermal ionization mass spectrometer in Prof. Andrew Jacobson's radiogenic isotope clean laboratory.


>> See all news

EPS PhD Student Gabby Kitch is Recognized with an NSF Gradute Research Fellowship

Associate Professor Yarrow Axford Discusses What it Means to Trust in Science Today


July 11, 2017