Guide to the Graduate Program in Earth and Planetary Sciences

Version of 2 July 2020 approved by Graduate Faculty

Graduate Program Director (GPD): Kenneth Miller

Graduate Advisory Committee (GAC)

Ken Miller (GPD)
Ben Black
Ying Fan Reinfelder
James Wright (ex officio)

The recent name change of our Graduate Program from Geological Sciences to Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) reflects a renewed and expanded planetary component, in addition to our traditional strengths in fundamental Earth and planetary sciences.  Our graduate program is designed to provide a challenging yet fostering educational atmosphere that encourages independent and critical thinking, the development of communicative and teaching skills, and the performance of creative and original research. Our goal is to teach students to formulate testable hypotheses, collect data to test them, and publish their results. It is the intent of the Program to educate and train competent and technically adept geoscientists for careers in research, teaching, and service in higher education, government, industry, and non-governmental organizations. We strongly encourage interdisciplinary research with other physical, biological, chemical, anthropological, mathematical, and engineering sciences to provide the student with the broadest possible means to explore the limits of knowledge about the Earth and planetary sciences.

Program Description

Graduate students Xiaoran Chen and Yiran Li explore complex faulting patterns associated with the development of the Fundy Basin at the Five Islands Park in New Brunswick, Canada (June, 2017)

Students admitted to the EPS Graduate Program join an active department that offers challenging instruction in an unusually diverse research environment. The Program grants both Ph.D. and M.S. degrees to full- and part-time students. Nearly all full-time Ph.D. students are supported by fellowships, teaching assistantships (TAs), and/or research grants (GAs). Extramural grants provide students with additional support for study and research during the school year and summer; grants, department funds, and Rutgers School of Graduate Studies (SGS) resources help support participation at regional, national, and international conferences.

The Graduate Program provides a wide array of potential areas of study. We offer a broad range of research projects with a diverse and world-renowned faculty. Graduate student research projects can take full advantage of the region's diverse geology as well as be part of numerous ongoing research projects worldwide. Shared faculty, research, and facilities with Rutgers' Departments of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Anthropology, and Environmental Sciences, the Rutgers Energy Institute, and the Rutgers Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences offer additional means of study and research possibilities, along with ties to the Departments of Geography, Chemistry, Physics, Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources. Facilities at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Princeton University, and the American Museum of Natural History are a few of the many nearby northeast US research resources. In addition to course work at Rutgers, students can take advantage of listings at nearby Princeton and LDEO/Columbia universities.

The Graduate Program is overseen by the Graduate Advisory Committee (GAC) chaired by the Graduate Program Director (GPD) under the bylaws of the Graduate Program in EPS, reporting to the School of Graduate Studies (SGS).  Graduate students are encouraged to discuss questions with the GPD, other members of the GAC, and staff support (currently Katanya Meyers is staff person assisting with the graduate program).  We are here to help.

Please visit Our graduate program's catalog

EPS Graduate Student Organization Constitution

Learning goals and assessment criteria for the Ph.D. program are posted here.

Learning goals and assessment criteria for the Masters program are posted here.

Bylaws of the Graduate Program in Earth and Planetary Sciences are posted here.