Major in Earth and Planetary Sciences

Yucatan Field WorkThe academic program covers traditional geologic topics and the latest advances in earth science. Courses may include theory, descriptive studies, data analysis, computer modeling, laboratory exercises, and field training. Course concentrations provide depth in the subdisciplines of geophysics, earth materials, geochemistry, earth history, climate science, or planetary science. Students may also pursue broad, traditional geoscience training via the general geoscience concentration. Concentrations do not constitute rigid programs of study. Students may design their own programs with approval from the director of undergraduate studies. Students planning to attend graduate school are strongly 82 Arts and Sciences • Earth and Planetary Sciences encouraged to conduct independent study (399). All students are encouraged to take the 200-level foundation courses as early as possible, but they need not be taken in sequence.

Examples of concentrations include the following:

  • General geoscience: EARTH 300, 310, 320, 330, 340
  • Geophysics: Four courses from EARTH 320, 321, 323, 324, 326, 327, 328, 351
  • Earth materials: EARTH 300, 301, 302, and 2 courses from EARTH 310, 312, 313, 320, 323, 326
  • Geochemistry: EARTH 310, 312, 313, 314, 317
  • Earth history and paleobiology: EARTH 320, 330, 331, 340, 351
  • Climate science: EARTH 326, 340, 341, 351
  • Planetary science: EARTH 300, 324, 351, ASTRON 220

Major requirements

Department courses (8 or 9 units, depending on concentration)

  • Three 200-level EARTH courses: 201, 202, 203
  • Four or five 300-level EARTH courses, depending on concentration
  • One of the following: An additional 300-level course, independent study (399), or preapproved field course outside Northwestern.

Related courses (units depend on chemistry and mathematics sequences taken and concentration chosen)

  • CHEM 101, 102, and 103 with lab courses 121, 122, and 123, or 171 and 172 with lab courses 181 and 182.
  • MATH 220, 224, and 230 (the sequence 212, 213, and 214 can substitute for 220 and 224). For the geophysics concentration, MATH 234, 240, and 250 are also required.
  • PHYSICS 135-1,2,3, with lab courses 136-1,2,3.

2 additional courses at the 200 level or higher in math, science, or social science (1 of which may be 326) in all concentrations, except geophysics.

Earth and Planetary Sciences Second Major for ISP Students

The Integrated Science Program (ISP) is a highly selective program within Weinberg College. Students majoring in ISP who wish also to complete a major in Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) must take EARTH 201 and three 300-level courses in addition to EARTH 350. These requirements replace the usual major requirements noted above.

See our advising page for more information about declaring a major in Earth and Planetary Sciences.

News

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Postdoctoral Research Associate Positions Available

EPS Grad Gabby Kitch is Recognized by NSF and Awarded a GRFP Fellowship

Photos

April 13, 2017