Overview The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences offers a PhD degree in Earth and Planetary Science. The central objective of the graduate program is to encourage creative thinking and develop the capacity for independent and original research. A strong undergraduate background in the physical sciences is especially helpful, and a significant number of our graduate students have their training in physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, or astronomy. Graduate students are formally accepted into the Earth and Planetary Science program, and they normally work directly toward a PhD. The department offers a one-year MA program; however, admission to the program is available only to graduates of our bachelor's degree program in Earth and Planetary Science. We do not accept applications to the MA program from other majors or universities.