Planetary Sciences
@ the University of Colorado

The Academic Program at CU Boulder

Graduate students examining an exposure of the K-T Boundary in Colorado.

Planetary graduate students choose a participating department depending upon their background and the set of curriculum that matches their interests. Coursework is typically completed after four semesters, and a preliminary examination on individual research is required prior to a Ph.D. defense.

Additionally, some departments require a written comprehensive examination as part of the preliminary examination. All planetary students are encouraged to take our four-course core sequence in planetary science, which includes:

  1. Planetary Atmospheres
  2. Planetary Surfaces and Interiors
  3. Origin and Evolution of Planetary Systems
  4. Special Topics in Planetary Science
Planetary Geology class field trip to Meteor Crater, Arizona.

The planetary curriculum is not limited to the core sequence, though. Examples of electives offered are Planetary Magnetospheres, Radiative Transfer in Planetary Atmospheres, Astrobiology, Mars, and Planetary Astronomy, as well as courses from neighboring departments on topics such as planetary geophysics, computational techniques, and remote sensing. There are also Graduate Certificate Programs in Astrobiology and Geophysics to augment your experience with additional training in these fields.



Graduate Student, Hanna Sizemore preparing soil samples for Mars analog experiments.

Admissions Procedures

Admissions requirements for each participating department and program can be found by clicking on the name in the blue table below. For further information, contact the appropriate department representative.

Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences
Physics
Geological Sciences
Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Aerospace Engineering
Geophysics Program

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

One of the greatest strengths of the Planetary Program is its interdisciplinary nature and students typically work with faculty in multiple departments. Students have a chance to tailor their courses and research pathway in a manner most beneficial to their interests. Curriculum and degree requirements for each participating department can be found by clicking on the name below.

 

Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences
Graduate Feild trip to study planetary analogs on the Big Island, Hawaii.
Physics
Geological Sciences
Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Aerospace Engineering
Geophysics Program

Planetary Images accredited to Nasa.gov
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