Graduate Requirements: Planetary Science

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In addition to general Institute and basic division requirements, candidates for the Ph.D. degree in planetary science must satisfy the following course requirements: Ge 101, Ge 102, and courses in planetary formation and dynamics (Ge/Ay 133), planetary atmospheres (Ge/ESE 150), planetary interiors (Ge 131), and planetary surfaces (Ge 151). In addition, students shall successfully complete 45 units of 100-level or higher courses in a coherent field of specialization. This requirement may be satisfied by completion of a subject minor or through a set of courses chosen in consultation with and approved by the adviser and the option representative. All candidates are expected to possess knowledge of physics and mathematics at the level of Ge 108, and higher-level mathematics and physics courses are strongly encouraged. This requirement may be met by previous coursework or through successful completion of this class. All candidates are expected to attend the planetary sciences seminar regularly and register for six terms of Ge 109 (planetary sciences section of oral communication) for a total of 6 units, nominally in the first year and second year. Satisfaction of the oral presentation coursework requirement includes at least one 30-minute presentation by the student in the planetary sciences seminar. Typically, students will present on their research work each year after the first year.

Units at Caltech nominally reflect the total hours a typical student will spend per week in the classroom, the lab and with homework. Thus, a nine unit course may involve three hours in the classroom, two hours in a laboratory and four hours doing homework each week.

For more information

For more information, visit the planetary science program website or contact option representative Bethany Ehlmann.