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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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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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Nemmers Prize


Nominee to be Announced for the 2020/21 Nemmers Prize in Earth Sciences

photograph of Francis Albarede at the Nemmers Public Talk
photo by Jim Ziv

The application process is currently closed for the 2020/21 Nemmers Prize in Earth Sciences, and the nominee will be announced this summer.

The 2018/19 Nemmers Prize in Earth Sciences was awarded to Francis Albarède, an Emeritus Professor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon and Adjunct Faculty at Rice University in Houston. He is a geochemist with a broad range of interests who contributed to high-temperature geodynamic processes, planetary sciences, and marine geochemistry.  

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News & Events


News Highlight


photograph of Brad Sageman

Join us in congratulating Professor Brad Sageman on receiving a Fulbright Scholar Award.

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News & Upcoming Events

PhD Candidate Laura Larocca Awarded Northwestern University's Presidential Fellowship

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