University at California, Berkeley ( Planetary Science )

Planetary Science

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Planetary science encompasses the study of the physical and chemical nature of planetary bodies both in the Solar System and in extrasolar systems. The formation of planets, the forces that sculpted their orbits, the processes that shaped their interiors, surfaces, and atmospheres and the development of life all fall under its rubric. Understanding these complex phenomena requires knowledge of astronomy and astrophysics, earth science, meteorology, atmospheric science, space science, plasma physics, chemistry, and biology. The Planetary Science major has been developed to study the remarkable interface among these disciplines.

Declaring the Major

Students are strongly encouraged to see the student services adviser as early as possible. Students are accepted into the major with a C average or better. There are a number of scholarships and research opportunities as well as other benefits available to declared majors.

Honors Program

Students in the honors program must fulfill the following additional requirements: 1) maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.3 in all courses in the major and an overall GPA of at least 3.3 in the University and 2) carry out an individual research or study project involving at least three units of EPS H195. The project is chosen in consultation with a departmental adviser, and the written report is judged by the student’s research supervisor and a departmental adviser.

Minor Program

For information regarding the requirements, please see the Minor Requirements tab. Program planning and confirmation should be done with the undergraduate major adviser and the planetary science faculty adviser.

Other Majors and Minors Offered by the Department of Earth and Planetary Science

Atmospheric Science (Major and Minor)
Environmental Earth Science (Major and Minor)
Geology (Major and Minor)
Geophysics (Major and Minor)
Marine Science (Major and Minor)