Which Well-Known Colleges Offer Astronomy Degree Programs?

Many well-known U.S. colleges offer undergraduate and graduate programs in astronomy, astrophysics or planetary sciences. Among these are the University of Chicago, Boston University and the University of Texas at Austin. Schools offering Science, Technology, and International Security degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Well-Known Colleges Offering Astronomy Programs

There are a variety of programs available at well-known schools for those seeking degrees in astronomy. Most of these schools offer research opportunities and access to well-known laboratories. Some schools offer graduate and Ph.D. programs to students who have a science or physics background. Other schools have programs available at all levels.

Important Facts about the Study of Astronomy

Common Courses Stellar Astronomy, Solar System Astronomy, Origin and Evolution of the Universe, Interstellar Matter, and Theoretical Astrophysics
Degree/Certificate Levels Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science, Ph.D.
Possible Careers Physicists and astronomers, usually working in laboratories, observatories, or research positions
Median Salary (2018)$119,580 for physicists and astronomers
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 14% growth anticipated for physicists and astronomers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

University of Chicago

Tied 3rd among U.S. News & World Report's National Universities in 2019, the University of Chicago's offers courses and degrees for astronomy at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics has partnerships with several research facilities, including the Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab, and students have access to telescopes and other research instruments through Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, WI. Degree options include:

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Physics with Specialization in Astrophysics
  • Master of Science in the Physical Science Division (MSPSD)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Boston University

U.S. News & World Report ranked Boston University (BU) as one of the nation's top 60 colleges in 2019. Astronomy students at BU begin participating in research during their undergraduate years and, through the astronomy department's partnership with the Lowell Observatory, have an opportunity to work with the 72-inch Perkins Telescope. Astronomy students at BU also can join the student-run Boston University Astronomical Society. Within its astronomy department, BU offers several undergraduate and graduate degrees, including:

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Astronomy
  • B.A. in Astronomy and Physics
  • B.A. in Geophysics and Planetary Sciences
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Astronomy
  • Ph.D. in Astronomy

University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas (UT) has received top rankings from the National Research Council for many of its programs and departments, and the school's Department of Astronomy offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. The undergraduate program allows students to choose from a single or double major, and the research facilities available to graduate students include the Otto Struve Telescope and the Harlan J. Smith Telescope (2.1 and 2.7 meters, respectively). Degree options include:

  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Astronomy
  • B.A. in Astronomy
  • B.S in Physics/B.S. in Astronomy
  • BSA in Astronomy
  • Master of Arts in Astronomy
  • Ph.D. in Astronomy

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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