Undergraduate Students

The Institute encourages undergraduate students with a broad range of interests, skills and career aspirations to become acquainted with the space discipline by enrolling in a Minor in Planetary Science & Space Exploration.  Offered through the Department of Earth Sciences, this interdisciplinary program offers a wide variety of courses and opportunities for hands-on minds-on learning. It is the ideal way to combine various fields of interest and consider new and inspiring contexts for the application of knowledge acquired through discipline-specific study in the student’s home department.


Prospective Students

What is Planetary Science?

Planetary science is a multidisciplinary field concerned with studying the formation and evolution of planetary and star systems. The field includes the study of materials that make up planets and asteroids, comets and dust, their dynamic interactions, the processes which allow life in our solar system, the search for life in extreme environments on and beyond Earth, and more. It seeks to explain the origin of the solar system and life, and the processes that shape Earth and other planets. It demonstrates how simple laws in chemistry and physics lead to complex natural systems. 

Why choose a Minor in Planetary Science & Space Exploration at Western?

The Minor in Planetary Science & Space Exploration offers a wide variety of exciting core and interdisciplinary courses to choose from; opportunities for summer and term research work at Western or in the field; extra-curricular and social activities such as the Western Space Research Forum, the Space Society of London (SSoL), and Planetary Science field trips.

Be part of the largest Planetary Science and Space Exploration community in Canada!

Degree Requirements


Admission Requirements 

Completion of 5.0 first-year courses.


Modules 4.0 courses:

0.5 course: Earth Sciences 2001F/G

0.5 course: Geography 2090A/B

3.0 courses from: Earth Sciences 2200A/B, 2206A/B, 2231A/B, 2240F/G, 2250Y,3001A/B, 3312A/B, 4001Y, 4002A/B, Astronomy 2021A/B, Physics 2070A/B,Geography 2220A/B, 2230A/B.

Note: Some courses listed in this module have prerequisites not included in the module. Students in the Faculty of Science cannot take Astronomy 2021A/B and Physics 2070A/B for credit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I apply for the Minor in Planetary Science and Space Exploration?

A. First, know that this Minor must be taken in conjunction with a Major or Specialization in another program. Check the Academic Calendar to make sure a Minor will fit in your degree structure* (e.g., you can’t take a double major AND a minor). You can register online, or meet with an Academic Advisor if you have any questions about registration.

*Note that Engineering and Ivey Business students cannot take a Minor, but they may instead take a second Major in Geology and choose Planetary Science & Space Exploration courses as optional courses

Q. What are the prerequisites?

A. You need to have taken 5.0 Full Course Equivalents at the 1000-level. There are no specific course requirements; however some of the optional courses in the Minor have prerequisites.

Q. I’m Majoring in Music/History/Law/etc… Can I consider this Minor?

A. Yes! Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this module we welcome students from all faculties* and departments.

*Note that Engineering and Ivey Business students cannot take a Minor, but they may instead take a second Major in Geology and choose Planetary Science & Space Exploration courses as optional courses

Q. I’m planning on going to Medical School, but I’m interested in space-related studies. Can this program help me?

A. Yes! Through our courses you can learn about life in extreme environments, the human body in space, psychology of groups in isolation, and more. This could help to prepare you for a career in operational space medicine, astrobiology, psychology or physiology of space exploration.

Q. Which department is responsible for the Minor in Planetary Science and Space Exploration?

A. The Planetary Science & Space Exploration Minor is housed in the Department of Earth Sciences. Individual courses are taught by the Departments of Earth Sciences, Geography, and Physics and Astronomy. Courses from additional departments will be added in the future.