Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences

A collage of images overlapping a satellite picture of water currents and a coastline.

The department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences explores the the solid earth, fluid earth, the biosphere, and their interactions, as well as planetary science, solar system dynamics, and observational astronomy. (Images used with permission of: European Space Agency [background image], Tim Grove , Bob O'Connor, and Vicki McKenna [smaller images from right side, clockwise].)


The intellectual interests of EAPS encompass the earth, its fluid envelopes, and its diverse neighbors throughout the solar system.

We seek to understand the fundamental processes defining the origin, evolution, and current states of these systems and to use this understanding to predict the future. The scope of our research and teaching is immense, ranging from the inaccessible depths of the terrestrial interior outward to the orbit of Pluto, and beyond. The objects and systems we study are tangible or visible to the general public and, as exemplified by climate and natural resources, are sometimes central to societal goals.

The phenomena under investigation are often vexingly complex, and they engage a large array of scientific disciplines: Geology, Geophysics, Geochemistry, Geobiology, Physical and Chemical Oceanography, Meteorology, Atmospheric Chemistry, and Planetary Science. EAPS operates world-class research and graduate educational programs in all of these disciplines, which makes it unique among earth and planetary science departments both nationally and internationally. Our undergraduate program offers options to study environmental science, geoscience, physics of the atmospheres and oceans, and planetary science and astronomy. The department takes pride in the fact that EAPS undergraduate students become actively involved in our research projects.


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Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Courses

Archived Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Courses

Some prior versions of courses listed above have been archived in OCW's DSpace@MIT repository for long-term access and preservation. Links to archived prior versions of a course may be found on that course's "Other Versions" tab.

Additionally, the Archived Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Courses page has links to every archived course from this department.