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Earth and Planetary Sciences, Bachelor

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #24 (WUR) Evanston, IL, United States
The Earth and Planetary Sciences program of Northwestern University study the past, present, and future of the Earth and other planets. Our scientists address fundamental scientific questions important for understanding the Earth and society’s connection to it.
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The Earth and Planetary Sciences program of Northwestern University offer courses in the degree program focus on physical, chemical, and biological processes affecting the Earth system spanning vast spatial and temporal scales, from the atomic to the interplanetary and from the origin of the solar system to the modern day.

The Earth major prepares students for a range of future career trajectories including: graduate study, environmental consulting, energy exploration and production, natural resources management, law, and medicine. It is ideal for the undergraduate who is interested in the big picture of science and the world around them.

Earth majors are involved in the full spectrum of departmental activities beyond coursework, including research, seminars, field trips, and social functions. Many do research projects with faculty and graduate students that lead to honors theses and scientific publications.

Career paths

The majority of industry jobs are found in the energy or mineral resources sectors, with environmental consulting following closely. Many earth scientists are employed in government labs such as Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge, or Los Alamos or in academic institutions as faculty or science support staff. Because the scope of earth science research has expanded significantly in recent decades to include ocean science, atmospheric science, polar and high elevation science, and space science (in addition to the more traditional paths in geological science), there are myriad opportunities. Many undergraduates at Northwestern have pursued dual or multiple majors (EPS plus Physics, Chemistry or Biology, Environmental Science, Environmental Policy and Culture, various engineering disciplines, and others) and these approaches are well suited to the interdisciplinary nature of earth science. A subset of students trained in earth science as undergraduates also go on to careers in law, medicine, or politics.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    120 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Sustainability & Social Justice
  • Climate Change: The Scientific Evidence
  • Earth Science for the 21st Century
  • The Ocean, The Atmosphere and Our Climate
  • Exploration of the Solar System
  • Communication for Geoscientists

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

General Requirements

  • Common Application or Coalition Application*
  • Official secondary school transcript and school report
  • Counselor recommendation
  • At least one teacher recommendation
  • SAT or ACT scores†
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores‡ (ONLY required for international applicants whose first language is not English or whose schooling has not been in English)
  • Nonrefundable application fee of $75 or application fee waiver
  • Early Decision Agreement (ONLY Early Decision applicants)
  • Midyear transcript
  • Music audition (ONLY School of Music applicants)
  • Required for homeschooled applicants ONLY: 3 SAT subject tests 

Tuition Fee

  • International

    56232 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 56232 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    56232 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 56232 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Evanston

  • 1100 - 1500 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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