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In addition to completing a liberal arts core, Planetary Science majors prepare for careers in science and for graduate school by completing a rigorous course load that blends advanced studies with plenty of lab experience.
Requirements for a major in Planetary Science.
Student Success
of Marietta graduates are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation.
of students have the opportunity to conduct research with a faculty member.
Brown Petroleum Building at Marietta College
A Marietta College student holding a Marietta College pennant
A model rocket in a classroom
Geology Professor Andrew Beck shows a rock to planetary science majors during class

What You’ll Learn as a Planetary Science Major

Planetary Science is the study of the formation and evolution of celestial bodies across the universe, with a strong focus on our solar system.

Interdisciplinary Learning

While historically, Planetary Science fell within the realm of Physics/Astronomy, advancements in planetary exploration, such as the NASA Apollo and Mars rover programs, have brought these bodies to our labs and to our robotic fingertips, ushering in the importance of geological sciences to the field. Thus, Planetary Science is inherently interdisciplinary, involving studies in both Physics and Geology. This makes Marietta College, where interdisciplinary education is a core value and strongly supported, an ideal location to pursue a Planetary Science degree

Experiential Learning

Students take a comparable number of in-depth courses and labs in Physics and Geology, and gain experiential learning through laboratory analyses, planetarium use, geology field trips, geology field camp — a five-week expedition to the Rocky Mountains — and other opportunities. Students who want to earn advanced degrees in Planetary Science will possess a background in both Physics and Geology that will best prepare them for graduate-level success.

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There are many internship opportunities for students in the major. Marietta’s involvement with the Ohio Space Grant Consortium provides opportunities at many of the NASA institutions throughout the country — including the Johnson Space Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Marietta College also has connections with other NASA-affiliated laboratories (e.g. Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory) and NASA space exploration missions to Mars, asteroids,, and other planetary bodies.


Where do planetary scientists work?
  • NASA
  • U.S. Geological Society
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Applied Physics Laboratory
  • European Space Agency
  • Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency
  • Universities
  • SpaceX
  • Private space exploration institutions
Honor Societies and Student Organizations

Because Planetary Science is an interdisciplinary field, majors are at home interacting within various academic clubs and organizations, such as MC(2), which is Marietta’s Math and Physics student organization, the Geology Club, the Chemistry Club, and other science-related student groups. Majors are also encouraged to volunteer during special STEAM camps for local school children to help foster their love of science and mathematics.

Rise to the Challenge

Are you ready to become a Pioneer? 

It's time to Blaze a New Trail!

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