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Earth and Planetary Sciences

Our Programs and Curriculum

Undergraduate field trip

Undergraduate Major & Minor

The 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. The minor offers students in any major outside the department a flexible path to improved knowledge of earth and planetary sciences.

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Who is Recruiting?

PhD Graduate Recruitment

Interested in studying Earth and Planetary Sciences at Northwestern University? Check out who is recruiting to find your potential advisor. Reach out with your research interests, and learn more about how to apply for our fully-funded Ph.D. program. The application deadline for Fall 2023 WAS December 12, 2022.
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Graduate student in a lab

PhD Graduate Program

We welcome students with backgrounds that span the range of STEM disciplines, including physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, computer science, and mathematics, in addition to those whose undergraduate preparation was in geology or earth sciences. The department is recognized for a supportive and collaborative atmosphere where research and teaching are pursued at the forefront of earth and planetary sciences.

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Our Research and Facilities


Research Areas

Externally funded projects within the department span a wide range of research areas. Many of these projects are collaborative both within and outside the department, with notable ties to Argonne National Labs, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), the Field Museum, and the Chicago Botanic Gardens.
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Research Facilities

Northwestern University invested significant resources in the renovation of a lab facility for the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.  The result, the Integrated Laboratories for Earth and Planetary Sciences, occupies over 5,000 square feet of space and is designed to foster interdisciplinary research.
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2022 Nemmers Prize


Professor Emily Brodsky

Emily Brodsky

Earth and Planetary Sciences awards our third Nemmers Prize in Earth Sciences to Professor Emily Brodsky for her "fundamental, transdisciplinary contributions to understanding the physics of earthquake networks at all scales."

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Our Highlights


Congratulations Seth Stein!

Seth and Carol Stein
Professor Seth Stein is honored by the American Geophysical Union with the Bucher Medal

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Go To Events


Assistant Professor Daniel Horton Receives Prestigious NSF CAREER Award
Underwater Achievements: Environmental-Earth scientist Patricia Beddows continues shaping the future of underwater science
Studies Confirming What Caused Ocean Acidification by Ph.D. Graduate Gabriella Kitch, Ph.D. Graduate Matt Jones, Professor Brad Sageman, and Professor Andrew Jacobson Featured in Northwestern Now
Research by Ph.D. Graduate Jamie Neely, Ph.D. Graduate Leah Salditch, and Professor Seth Stein from Study titled "A More Realistic Earthquake Probability Model Using Long-Term Fault Memory," Featured in Northwestern Now
Professor Patricia Beddows inducted into Women Divers Hall of Fame

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