Founded in 1888, the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences—the academic unit of the Jackson School of Geosciences—is one of the oldest, largest, and most prestigious geoscience programs in the world. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Jackson School graduate program in the top ten nationally for Earth Sciences—the only program in Texas with this distinction—as well as No. 2 in Geology and No. 5 in Geophysics and Seismology.

With a research program that seeks to address the most pressing issues of the 21st century—climate change, water resources, natural disasters, natural resources, and the energy transition—while also exploring fundamental questions in Earth and planetary sciences including planetary exploration, seismology, mineral physics, tectonics, paleontology and resource geophysics, the Department is among the largest and most academically diverse in the world. Over 45 faculty as well as hundreds of scientists at the Jackson School’s two world-renowned research institutes, the Bureau of Economic Geology and the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, are a part of the program.

The Department is home to one of the largest combined graduate and undergraduate enrollments of any major geoscience program and has over 5,000 alumni. Research is integral to the educational experience, from undergraduate field courses to the global, laboratory, and computational research conducted by both graduate and undergraduate students.