Jul 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Earth and Planetary Sciences

Major Requirements   Minor Requirements  


Edmund Perfect, Interim Department Head

Broadhead, T.A. (Director, UT Undergraduate Academic Advancement), PhD – Iowa
Dunne, W.M. (Associate Dean), PhD – Bristol (UK)
Hatcher, R.D., Jr., (UT Distinguished Scientist, Emeritus), PhD – Tennessee
Hazen, T. (Governor’s Chair), PhD – Wake Forest
Kah, L.C. (Walker Professor), PhD – Harvard
McKay, L.D. (Jones Professor), PhD – Waterloo
McKinney, M.L., PhD – Yale
McSween, H.Y. (Distinguished Professor of Science), PhD – Harvard
Moersch, J.E., PhD – Cornell
Perfect, E., PhD – Cornell

Associate Professors
Jessup, M.J., PhD – Virginia Tech
McCanta, M.C., PhD – Brown
Sumrall, C.D., PhD – Texas
Romaniello, S.J., PhD – Arizona State
Szynkiewicz, A.A., PhD – Wroclaw

Assistant Professors
Dygert, N.J., PhD – Brown
Steen, A., PhD – UNC (Chapel Hill)
Thomson, B.J., PhD – Brown

The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences emphasizes study of the Earth and other planetary systems at all scales of observation, in order to understand physical, chemical, and biological processes operating over a range of geologic time scales, from hours to billions of years, and to interpret the future evolution of the Earth and other terrestrial bodies within our solar system.

The Department offers concentrations in Geology and Environmental Studies. An honors concentration is also available in Geology. In addition to disciplinary coursework, each concentration is supplemented by required coursework in chemistry, mathematics, physics, and biology that will help students develop critical skills valued in today’s job market.

Students graduating with a degree from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences will be highly marketable in traditional fields of environmental consulting and oil and gas exploration, as well as employable in private industry or by such governmental agencies as EPA, NASA, or the United States Geological Survey. The breadth and flexibility of a degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences also provide superb training for students interested in entering into other careers, such as science education, environmental law, science/journalism, or public policy.


Students in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences who are pursuing a concentration in Geology, a concentration in Environmental Studies with a math or science emphasis, or an Honors concentration equivalent are eligible to participate in the University’s VolsTeach program (https://volsteach.utk.edu/), which permits students to simultaneously complete a major in mathematics or science and receive secondary education teaching licensure within the 4-year undergraduate degree program through completion of a VolsTeach minor. For more information about VolsTeach, including advising associated with teaching licensure requirements, contact the Center for Enhancing Education in Mathematics and Science (101 Greve Hall).