May 18, 2021  
2019-2020 University Catalog 
2019-2020 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Planetary Sciences, BS

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About the Program

Planetary sciences is a multidisciplinary study of planetary dynamics and includes course work in planetary geology, planetary atmospheres, planetary physics, spacecraft design and operation, and astronomy with elective options in astrobiology, impact cratering, and related topics with which to focus their study.  All students receive a strong background in math, chemistry, physics, computer science, geophysics, and remote sensing and are encouraged to get involved in undergraduate research in this unique program.

Planetary Sciences Website

Degree Requirements

120 Credits Required

Curriculum and Degree Requirements for College of Science

A College of Science degree is conferred when a student successfully completes all requirements in their degree program.  Students will complete coursework or approved experiential learning activities to meet the following three degree components:

  1. Major
  2. Science Core Curriculum
  3. Electives

Students may use any of the following options to meet College of Science degree requirements:

  • Purdue Coursework
  • Ap, IB, and CLEP credit.  The use of AP and IB coursework varies between College of Science degree plans.
  • Transfer Credit. Students should consult the Admissions Transfer Credit Resource page for all available transfer options.

College of Science degree programs vary widely in their approval and use of the proceeding options and thus students are strongly encouraged to work closely with their academic advisors and to regularly consult their MyPurduePlan to view the use of each option in their degree plan. 

Most College of Science degree programs contain elective credits students may use to pursue courses that relate to their interests or which support their major area of study. The elective area of a degree plan may also be used to complete minors, second majors and certificates such as the Entrepreneurial Certificate. With the exception of courses on the No Count List, any Purdue course may be used to meet the elective area of a student’s degree plan.

College of Science Core Requirements

All Students starting Purdue University Fall semester, 2007 or later are required to pursue the 2007 Science Core curriculum.

The College of Science Core Curriculum requires the completion of approved coursework and/or experiential learning opportunities in the following academic areas:

Earning Core Curricular Requirements through Experience

Students may meet selected core curriculum requirements through approved experiential learning opportunities. Interested students should contact their academic advisor for more information on this option and incorporating experiential learning into their four-year program of study. For more information on earning requirements through experience, please click here.

Departmental/Program Major Courses (40 credits)

Required Major Courses (40 credits)

Other Departmental/Program Course Requirements (66-75 credits)

Electives (5-14 credits)

University Core Requirements

  • Human Cultures Humanities
  • Human Cultures Behavioral/Social Science
  • Information Literacy
  • Science #1
  • Science #2
  • Science, Technology, and Society
  • Written Communication
  • Oral Communication
  • Quantitative Reasoning

For a complete listing of course selectives, visit the Provost’s Website.

Prerequisite Information:

For current pre-requisites for courses, click here.


^Science/Engineering Selectives (6 credits)

Please choose from the following:

AAE   10000:59999 BME  10000:59999 EAPS 10000:59999 ME   10000:59999
ABE  10000:59999 CE   10000:59999 EEE  10000:59999 MSE  10000:59999
AGRY 10000:59999 CHE  10000:59999 FNR  10000:59999 NUCL 10000:59999
ASTR 10000:59999 CHM  10000:59999 IDE  10000:59999 PHYS 20000:59999
BIOL 10000:59999 CS   10000:59999 MA   30000:59999 STAT 30000:59999



ASTR 36300 CHM 11600 EAPS 55600 PHYS 24100
BIOL 20300 CHM 13600 PHYS 21400 PHYS 25200
BIOL 20400 CS 15800 PHYS 21800 PHYS 27200
CHM 111000 CS 17700 PHYS 21900 STAT 30100
CHM 11200 EAPS 10500 PHYS 22000 STAT 35000
CHM 11500 EAPS 39100 PHYS 22100 STAT 50300
      STAT 51100

Program Requirements

15-17 Credits

15-16 Credits

Fall 2nd Year

14 Credits

Spring 2nd Year

17 Credits

Fall 3rd Year

16 Credits

Spring 3rd Year

15 Credits

Fall 4th Year

  • Planetary Science Elective^
  • Multidisciplinary Experience Selective*
  • General Education III Selective*
  • Elective (Credit Hours: 3.00)

15 Credits

Spring 4th Year

13 Credits


  • *Satisfies a University Core Requirement
  • ^Planetary Science Selectives for advanced courses and specializations
  • 2.0 Graduation GPA required for Bachelor of Science degree
  • 2.0 average in EAPS major courses required to graduate

Critical Course

The ♦ course is considered critical.

In alignment with the Degree Map Guidance for Indiana’s Public Colleges and Universities, published by the Commission for Higher Education (pursuant to HEA 1348-2013), a Critical Course is identified as “one that a student must be able to pass to persist and succeed in a particular major.  Students who want to be nurses, for example, should know that they are expected to be proficient in courses like biology in order to be successful.  These would be identified by the institutions for each degree program”. 

Foreign Language Courses

Foreign Language proficiency requirements vary by program. 

For acceptable languages and proficiency levels, see your advisor: American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, (ancient) Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish


The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements.

The myPurduePlan powered by DegreeWorks is the knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.

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