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Degree Requirements

PhD Program

Our PhD program is generally 5 to 6 years. The first two years include research and classes. The remainder is devoted to thesis research.

Requirements include:

  • Seven (7) core courses in astronomy (21 credits) plus two approved cognate courses from other natural science departments (6 credits)  - Years 1 and 2
  • Precandidate research projects - Years 1 and 2 
  • Doctoral preliminary oral examination - End of Year 1
  • Dissertation and oral defense - Years 3-5/6

Core Courses

Astronomy 501: Modern Astronomical Techniques

Astronomy 530: Stellar Astrophysics I

Astronomy 531: Stellar Astrophysics II

Astronomy 532: The High Energy Universe

Astronomy 533: The Structure and Content of Galaxies

Astronomy 534: The Extragalactic Universe

Astronomy 535: Astrophysics of the Interstella Medium

Students must also take two additional cognate courses. These courses must be approved by the Astronomy Graduate Chair.

All students must complete the RCRS requirement (Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship training) by taking the one credit UC 415 course prior to advancing to candidacy

Advancing to Candidacy

The advancement to candidacy exam is given after the end of the Winter semester, Year 2. This exam is composed of a written research requirement and an oral preliminary exam. Students who have completed the course work (core+cognate classes) and are in good academic standing are eligible for a master's degree.