Doctoral Program

Message from the Department Chair


Working with world-class faculty, our doctoral students explore fundamental Earth processes and contemporary environmental problems. Students conduct highly interdisciplinary research across fields that include geophysics, geomorphology, geochemistry, paleobiology, microbiology, soil science, ocean and atmospheric science, and environmental health. Students also take advantage of our faculty’s research connections to departments of Biology, Physics and Chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics and the Department of Materials Science in the School of Engineering, and the Center for Excellence in Environmental Toxicology in the Perelman School of Medicine, as well as other departments. Our research employs a wide range of modern to cutting-edge research instrumentation housed in our department, in the Singh Nanotech Center at Penn, and in other locations on campus. We offer generous graduate fellowship packages that provide students ample time to focus on research as well as gain valuable teaching experience. Our graduates find rewarding careers in academia, consulting, private industry, and government.

Penn and our Department are committed to supporting a diverse, equitable and inclusive academic community. We invite applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and learning experiences. Our own graduate students actively collaborate with the standing committee on departmental climate, diversity, equity, and inclusion to help broaden diversity in our Department and in the geosciences more generally.

To learn more about our graduate program I encourage you to contact individual faculty members.

Brenda Casper 
Chair of Earth and Environmental Science

Erynn Johnson