Planetary Science Admission criteria

 

Ph.D. candidate Marianne Mader giving a presentation about the Sudbury Impact structure while on a field trip as part of the impact cratering course. Image credit: Elizabeth Silber.

The Planetary Science program welcomes applications from all potential students, but those with a demonstrated interest in Planetary Science as indicated by prior course work, research or involvement in Space-related student groups will be given preferential consideration by the Planetary Science Program Committee. In all cases the normal admission criteria appropriate to each home department program will apply.

To apply to graduate studies in planetary science, prospective students must apply to the graduate program in their department of interest and then specify planetary science. The application process and requirements to different departments vary, so you are encouraged to explore the graduate pages of their department of interest (some are listed below), and Western’s School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Please note that graduate studies in Planetary Science are not restricted to earth sciences and physics and astronomy students, but these are the most common.

Earth Sciences Graduate Program

Physics & Astronomy Graduate Program

M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Planetary Sciences awarded by Western are distinguished by the discipline of the candidate’s host Program, i.e. Ph.D. in Geophysics (Planetary Science).

 

Program requirements- M.Sc.

 

In addition to the thesis and additional courses that may be required by the graduate program of the home department, all Masters students in the Collaborative Graduate Program in Planetary Science are required to participate in the following courses and activities:

  1. Planetary Science Short Course. This intensive, week-long course provides incoming students with the background they need to place their specific research project in the wider Planetary Science field.
  2. One half-course in Planetary Science at the 9000-level or higher. This 9000-level course may be taken in addition to the requirements in the home department OR as a single substitution of the requirements of the home department at the discretion of the advisory committee and the departmental graduate program (e.g., in the Department of Earth Sciences, this planetary science course can count towards the 2 Full Course Equivalent graduate courses).
  3. Participation in the weekly Seminar Course, Planetary Science 9500. Note that attendance at this course is required for the duration of the student’s enrollment period.
  4. Presentation of research, either orally or as a poster, at the Annual Graduate Planetary Science Research Day. This will be attended by members of the student’s advisory committee and will constitute one part of an advisory committee meeting.

 

Program requirements- Ph.D.

 

In addition to the thesis and additional courses that may be required by the graduate program of the home department, all Doctoral students in the Collaborative Graduate Program in Planetary Science will be required to participate in the following courses and activities:

  1. Planetary Science Short Course (if not taken previously). This intensive, week-long course provides incoming students with the background they need to place their specific research project in the wider Planetary Science field.
  2. Two half-courses in Planetary Science at the 9000-level or higher. This may be taken in addition to the requirements in the home department OR as a single substitution of the requirements of the home department at the discretion of the advisory committee and the departmental graduate program.
  3. Participation in the weekly Seminar Course, Planetary Science 9600 . Note that attendance at this course is required for the duration of the study.
  4. Presentation of research, either orally or as a poster, at the Annual Graduate Planetary Science Research Day. This will be attended by members of the student’s advisory committee and will constitute one part of an advisory committee meeting.

The 2010 impact cratering class on a field trip to the Sudbury Impact Structure led by Dr Gordon Osinski. Image Credit: Elizabeth Silber.

Anna Chanou (MSc student):
"I joined the CPSX to be part of a diverse group of planetary scientists (enthusiasts), for the opportunities that being a member offers, and for the vibrant educational outreach program."