Planetary Science is the study of the nature, formation and evolution of planets and other nonstellar celestial bodies, including dwarf planets, satellites, asteroids and comets. The Apollo lunar landings and robotic planetary missions have revolutionized the field by enabling comparative planetology, in which researchers compare and contrast the geological, physical, and chemical processes observed on Earth with those observed on the other terrestrial planets and moons.

About the Major

The interdisciplinary Planetary Science Major is rooted in courses that cover central geoscience processes and techniques, and encompasses a broad scientific approach including astronomy, physics and chemistry. Students undertake focused, in-depth study of planets and other small celestial bodies through directed readings and independent research.

The major requires 13 units, including classes in: Geology, Geography, Astronomy, Chemistry, and Physics.

Related Minors


Graduate Outcomes

Karen Stockstill Cahill, Ph.D.

Karen is an Associate Research Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tuscon, AZ. She majored in Geology and Physics at OWU.

Program Contact Info


Schimmel/Conrades Science Center
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015

Program Contact

Faculty Committee:
Bart Martin (Geology & Geography)
Barbara Andereck (Physics & Astronomy)
Robert Harmon (Physics & Astronomy)

Academic Assistant: Judy Arlington
Schimmel/Conrades Science Center 201