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Earth Science/Planetary Science Grad School Thread

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Simfish
#1
Apr30-11, 08:29 PM
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Hello everyone,

Is anyone else here planning on applying to grad schools soon? If so, please holler out! Maybe we can share resources with each other (in a place where there aren't many resources).

I'm actually really into astronomy, but my area, modelling planetary atmospheres, is one where most of the work is done in geoscience departments rather than astronomy departments. So that's why I'm really into planetary science grad schools (the other factor is that I'm also extremely interdisciplinary by nature, and geoscience is more interdisciplinary than astronomy). So the schools I'm especially interested in are MIT EAPS, Chicago (both astro and geoscience), Penn State, Harvard, Washington Atmos (and/or ESS), and maybe a few others.

Note: I would prefer that this thread not be moved to academic guidance, simply because most earth science/planetary science people know that the forum is better catered towards those of pure physics backgrounds.
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battagl1
#2
May18-11, 10:43 PM
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Hello Simfish,

I was just researching for planetary science graduate programs when I came about your post. It seems we are practically in the same boat.

I am currently getting my undergraduate degree in Atmospheric Sciences and Geology at the University of Illinois; Urbana-Champaign. I, too, will be applying to graduate schools in the planetary sciences, due to the fact that I will have a broad knowledge and strong interest towards this interdisciplinary field of work.

Right now, I have been considering applying to the following 5 grad schools: Brown Univ., Univ. of Arizona, Arizona St. Univ., Univ. of Michigan, and Washington Univ. in St. Louis. I am still continuing to research more schools, including the ones you posted, that would seem to suit me better. The difficulty with searching for particular graduate schools, as you have said, is that most will fall within geology, geoscience programs that may not fully be within a field of study we would like to research (like, the atmosphere!).

I would love to be in a planetary science program that takes a little bit of everything (astronomy, atmospheric sciences, geology, chemistry, physics, math, environmental sciences) and teaches you the fundamental aspects of planetary bodies...
Simfish
#3
May18-11, 10:48 PM
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Wow interesting. :) These are all definitely good points. :)

Hm, I'm not sure if Brown's program takes a little bit of everything? They're good on planetary crusts, but they don't seem to have much on planetary atmospheres. Their department is also really small

The Arizona's are strong in planetary science, although I wouldn't go there for the heat. Michigan is interesting - though it seems to be more oceanography-based?

UCLA also has a top atmospheric science department, which has strong connections with math and other fields. As does University of Washington.

What do you know about the program at Washington U in St. Louis?

Ah yes, I also like environmental science a lot.

http://graduate-school.phds.org/rank..._____________U also has a good list of programs, as does http://graduate-school.phds.org/rank..._____________U. I think most of the geoscience programs are a lot more than just geology (geoscience is another word for earth science, which is inclusive of atmospheric and environmental processes)

==

What type of research have you done so far? I'm just curious.

battagl1
#4
May18-11, 10:57 PM
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Earth Science/Planetary Science Grad School Thread

Brown Univ. is small, very true point. But I really haven't considered Harvard. What is good about Harvard?

Michigan seems to be more Atmos/Ocean school with a touch of space physics, agreed.

Washington Univ. in St. Louis is way more geology based (Earth & Planetary Sciences)...

http://eps.wustl.edu/graduate/requirements

...but it has little bits of atmos/planetary courses as well.

>> I find myself leaning more towards the geology aspect of my degree, even though I am equally interested in both fields. I think you would like to find a program that deals with the atmospheric sciences combined with an astronomical aspect to it, which is going to be very difficult to find. My best advice/comment is to find a Professor/Scientist who is researching planetary atmospheres, find the school he/she teaches at, and start a conversation with them to find the best possible school for you.

Right now, I am pretty much open to any planetary science program, as long as I get accepted into one...
Simfish
#5
May18-11, 11:01 PM
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Harvard EPS has everything. Along with a very strong astrophysics department. Harvard's science departments seem to be really large (and strong) - contrast that with Princeton's, which are small (and strong)

Yeah, I've already made connections with profs who deal with both astrophysics and atmospheric sciences (there aren't very many in the nation, but I happen to be in a fortunate position right now).

Ah I see.
Simfish
#6
Nov28-11, 01:55 AM
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Bumping just in case there's anyone this season
jgarst
#7
Feb23-12, 01:57 PM
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I'm interested in finding out more about this as well. I'm about to finish up a Masters and I've been doing solar physics research but I'm not sure I want to stick with it. I've been looking into doing planetary atmospheric science because it piques my interest quite a bit. I'm just starting to research graduate institutions, and so far the only one I've really looked into is Michigan. I'm looking to start in Fall 2013. I'd be interested in hearing any more that you have learned in your research.


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