Skip to main content

Ph.D. Graduate Program

The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences is a small program within a large research university with opportunities for scholarship in many research areas that lead to a Ph.D. degree. These include geobiology (e.g. microbiology, paleolimnology), geophysics (e.g. mineral physics, seismology, tectonics), geochemistry (e.g. sedimentary chemistry, stable and radiogenic isotope chemistry, stratigraphy), and planetary science, to name a few.

As a Northwestern graduate student you will join a disciplinarily diverse 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,  computational, and observational 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 internationally renowned faculty, including your dissertation advisor. You will also have opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary programs, such as IDEAS 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 and the menus at the top. 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. Yarrow Axford or our Program Assistant at