Planetary Geosciences Undergraduate Major

Welcome to the new Planetary Geoscience major, being jointly offered by the top-ranked departments of Geosciences and Planetary Sciences.  The University of Arizona has long been a leader in the field of planetary geoscience, and now you can be a part of the action! This program is for you, whether you aspire to lead the next big NASA mission to another planet, to be one of the next generation of astronauts to explore the Moon or Mars, or to work in one of the many fields that intersect with planetary science including space resources, space policy, science journalism, education, and more.  The Planetary Geoscience major builds on a foundation of math, physics, and chemistry; establishes core knowledge and skills through a set of geoscience courses; advances through upper-level planetary science classes; and culminates in a capstone research or field experience.

Major Program Requirements

  • Foundation:
    • MATH 122, 129, and one of 223/254/263;
    • CHEM 151
    • PHYS 141, 142
  • Stepping stones:
    • GEOS 251 and PTYS 270
    • one of GEOS 280/285
  • Geoscience core:
    • choose four of GEOS 300, 302, 304, 306, 356, 322
  • Tutorial: PTYS 395
  • Upper level planetary science:
    • PTYS 403, 407, 411
  • Advanced emphasis:
    • 9 units of 400-level PTYS or GEOS courses
  • Capstone research or field experience: 6 units

Interested in the PTGS Major?

If you are interested in pursuing the undergraduate major in Planetary Geoscience please contact us for more information:

PTGS Co-directors:

Pete Decelles (PG4gdWVycz0iem52eWdiOnFycHJ5eXJmQG5ldm1iYW4ucnFoIj5xcnByeXlyZkBuZXZtYmFuLnJxaDwvbj4=)
Jeff Andrews-Hanna (PG4gdWVycz0iem52eWdiOndwbnVuYWFuQG5ldm1iYW4ucnFoIj53cG51bmFhbkBuZXZtYmFuLnJxaDwvbj4=)

PTGS Academic Advisor:

Uphaar Dooling (PG4gdWVycz0iem52eWdiOmhxYmJ5dmF0QG5ldm1iYW4ucnFoIj5ocWJieXZhdEBuZXZtYmFuLnJxaDwvbj4=)

Amy Brenton (PG4gdWVycz0iem52eWdiOm5jb2VyYWdiYUBuZXZtYmFuLnJxaCI+bmNvZXJhZ2JhQG5ldm1iYW4ucnFoPC9uPg==)

You may also consult the College of Science policies on changing majors.

What can I do with a Planetary Geoscience major?

A Planetary geoscience degree opens up a wide array of potential career paths including:

  • Planetary scientist at a NASA center or other research institute
  • Academic careers in colleges and universities
  • Careers in the rapidly growing private space sector
  • Science policy
  • Science education and journalism
  • Traditional geoscience career paths in industry and academia
  • Any career relying on quantitative skills and problem solving