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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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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


Congrats Suzan van der Lee!

Suzan van der Lee
Suzan van der Lee investitured as the Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor by the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences
This investiture is reserved for exemplary members of the faculty who have distinguished themselves as leaders in research and in teaching, named professorships signify academic excellence and career achievement.

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Congrats Daniel Horton!

Dan Horton
Daniel Horton Receives Prestigious NSF CAREER Award

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award is designed to support promising young faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through the combination of outstanding research and education.

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News and Events


There are no upcoming events at this time

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