Planetary Physics

Planetary Physics image of the starry sky

Combine your interest in planetary exploration, the solar system and earth sciences with physics, the most fundamental of sciences. Study the basics of rocket propulsion and spacecraft design that enable us to guide satellites and robotic vehicles to explore the atmospheres and surfaces of distant planets, moons and asteroids.

In this interdisciplinary field of study, you apply simple physical laws to understand how planetary systems are formed and evolve, investigate the technologies we use to explore our own and distant solar systems and discover why it is that Earth can support life while its neighbours Mars and Venus are barren.



Planetary Physics can be used to fulfill minor requirements in:

Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Science


Specific minor requirements (18 credits)

18 senior-level credits are required to complete a minor in planetary physics. You are responsible for ensuring you have the prerequisites for the required courses.



     EASC 206 - Geology of the Solar System
     PHYS 226 - Optics and Sound Waves
     PHYS 242 - Physics of Planetary Exploration
     PHYS 252 - Physics of the Earth




Complete a minimum of 6 credits at the 300- or 400-level. Choose 6 credits from:

     EASC 334 - Planetary Surface Imaging
     EASC 406 - Planetary Materials
     PHYS 324 - Origins of Planetary Systems




If the topic is relevant to planetary physics, EASC 398, EASC 495, EASC 498, PHYS 398, PHYS 495, PHYS 498 can be used to fulfill the requirement for 6 credits at the 300- or 400-level.

     EASC 398 - Independent Study
     EASC 495 - Special Topics
     EASC 498 - Advanced Independent Study
     PHYS 398 - Independent Study
     PHYS 495 - Special Topics in Physics and Astrophysics
     PHYS 498 - Advanced Independent Study

The program of study may change from year to year. The authoritative source for course descriptions and the rules and regulations that apply to students is the Academic Calendar.


Program planning

Minor in planetary physics

Planning sheets help you keep track of the courses you must take to fulfill the breadth, major(s), minor(s), and option requirements of your degree. Check for additional degree planning materials on your program website.

Department of Physical Sciences


5-132, City Centre Campus
10700 – 104 Avenue
Edmonton, AB

Office hours

Monday – Friday
8:30 a.m. – noon and 1 – 4:30 p.m.