SESE Graduate Program Overview

The School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) is composed of a broad coalition of faculty and graduate students focused on top-shelf research. SESE is currently embracing a period of unprecedented growth through an Arizona State University initiative to increase the number of faculty and research space. We have made seven new hires over the past two years in areas such as stellar astrophysics, geomorphology, and systems engineering for scientific exploration. Expanded research space will largely occur through construction of a new Interdisciplinary Science Building. Perhaps the most important factor enabling this growth is a substantial increase in the number of outstanding graduate students admitted to our graduate program.

Learn more about the degrees offered and SESE courses. View our Grad Guidebook


Research Experience and Opportunities

A hallmark of SESE is a focus on multi-disciplinary research. At the broadest level, these include the origin and evolution of the universe; the co-evolution of biological, chemical, and physical processes that define Earth system behavior; the evolution of other planets and celestial bodies, with special emphasis on our Solar System; the emergence and evolution of life; best-practices for human and robotic exploration of space; and formal and informal science education. One recent example is our NASA Astrobiology Institute, where graduate students can combine astrophysics, biogeochemistry, planetary science, and systems engineering. Combined with powerful new programs in lunar exploration, high performance computing, geodynamics, and robotics, the research environment in SESE is contemporary, exciting, and rewarding.

We offer diverse research experiences for the MS and PhD degrees that are largely tailored to students’ individual interests and backgrounds. For example, students may work with a single faculty member or participate in a highly interdisciplinary and collaborative project. All graduate students are strongly encouraged to expand their research horizons and accept challenges in ways that help them grow into creative and independent researchers.

PhD students entering our graduate program receive a minimum of three years guaranteed funding through research and teaching fellowships and MS students receive a minimum of 2 years guaranteed funding. Our graduate students also enjoy the amenities of a contemporary urban environment, a very reasonable cost of living, and more than 300 days of sunshine annually. We invite you to explore the links describing our major areas of research, potential faculty mentors, degree requirements, financial support details, and admissions process for graduate students in the School of Earth and Space Exploration.


Other links

SESE student organizations

SESE Graduate Council Members


Scholarship information / Funding Support*

SESE Postdoctoral Program

Research opportunities

Grad Guidebook

Tech Review form

Annual Report Form (MS) (Word) | Annual Report Form (MS) (PDF)

Annual Report Form (PHD) (Word) | Annual Report Form (PHD) (PDF)

ASU is one of the fourteen teams that makes up the NASA Astrobiology Institute. We offer many interesting astrobiology research opportunities.

*Please keep in mind that many fellowships and funding programs require graduate students to apply for the funding at the same time as he/she applies to the university.