Planetary Sciences

Programs under this Major:
Doctor of Philosophy Program (PhD)

Major Description

The department offers multidisciplinary programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in planetary sciences. Areas of specialization include, but are not restricted to, the experimental, observational, and theoretical study of planetary atmospheres; the interiors of planets and planetary... Show Full Description

Department: Planetary Sciences

(520) 621-2828
(520) 621-4933
Mailing Address:
Kuiper Space Sciences Building, Room 325

Planetary Sciences

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Department Faculty

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Doctor of Philosophy Program (PhD)

Application Information

Contact Information

Application Questions

Pam Streett
(520) 621-6954

Advising Questions

Mary Guerrieri
(520) 621-2828

Financial Aid

  • Teaching and Research Assistantships
  • Scholarships and fellowships as available

Application Requirements

Minimum GPA
Minimum TOEFL (Internet-based) Score
Minimum TOEFL (Paper-based) Score

Standardized Test Requirements

Required Standardized Test(s)

Other Application Requirements

  • General GRE score is required; subject GRE test score is recommended but not required.
  • University of Arizona/PTYS graduate application.
  • 3 letters of recommendation.
  • Official college transcript(s).

Application Deadline(s)

Domestic Applicants
December 6
No admissions
Summer I
No admissions
Summer II
No admissions
International Applicants
December 6
No admissions
Summer I
No admissions
Summer II
No admissions

Program Codes

GRE Institution Code (University of Arizona)
GRE Subject Code(s)
NRC Fields(s)
Astrophysics and Astronomy, Earth Sciences

Program Requirements

Minimum Credit Hours


Satisfactory Academic Progress Website

Core Courses

12 units of core courses, consisting of 2 courses from the Physics group, and one each from the Chemistry and Geology groups:

PHYSICS (PTYS 505A; PTYS 505B; PTYS 517; PTYS 553)



Exceptionally well prepared students may petition to waive the requirement to take a core course. Waiver requests are reviewed by the core course instructor in consultation with the GAAC. The student is required to demonstrate knowledge of the core course material. Waiving courses in this way does not change the number of questions that the student is required to answer in each section of the written comprehensive examination.

Language Requirement(s)


Other Requirements for Successful Completion of the Program

Nine units of coursework in the minor field of study (or as required by minor department).

Twelve units of elective coursework (graded ABCDE) numbered PTYS 500 or above

Fifteen additional units of elective courses numbered PTYS 500 or above (including research, field trips, and ABCDE graded courses) as approved by the Ph.D. committee

Eighteen units of dissertation credit (PTYS 920; PTYS 910 thesis units may not be substituted for 920).

At least one half the units used on the Doctoral Plan of Study must be in courses in which regular grades (ABC) have been earned. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better in the PTYS core courses to be considered in good academic standing. Failure to maintain this standing results in dismissal from the Ph.D. program.

Minor Requirements

Nine units of coursework (or as required by minor department), as approved by the Minor Advisor/Minor Committee.