Formally, all Ph.D. students in our program select both a major and a minor subject. For most, both are astronomy. However, it is possible for the minor to be in one of the other science or engineering disciplines. The course requirement is set by the minor department, but usually, at least three of the required elective courses are graduate courses in the minor department.
The astronomy department allows graduate students whose Ph.D. major is in another department to minor in astronomy. We require that they pass nine units of coursework that the department considers acceptable for this purpose, preferably "core" courses, and that one astronomy faculty member participates in the preliminary and final oral exams (thesis defense).
The Graduate Program of the University of Arizona Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory trains students to become independent scientists with the knowledge and skills to conduct and communicate world-class astronomical research. A Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Arizona signifies a student’s excellence in research, which is demonstrated through a significant, original, and scholarly contribution to astrophysical knowledge. We admit graduate students who have met high standards of achievement and shown potential for conducting original research, with the expectation that they will succeed in attaining a doctoral degree in astronomy and astrophysics. The academic program is structured in support of this goal, emphasizing research throughout the graduate career; providing mentoring from individual advisors and our interactive community of students, postdocs, scientists, and faculty. Students will gain firsthand experience with the tools and facilities that define the state of the art in our field.
College of Science
University of Arizona - Main - Tucson
NOTE: We do not admit applicants into the minor. A minor in astronomy can only be obtained on route to the Ph.D. program if admitted to our Ph.D. program in Astronomy and Astrophysics and intended to complete the Ph.D. The astronomy department also allows graduate students whose Ph.D. major is in another department to minor in astronomy.
A passing grade in nine (9) units of graduate-level astronomy coursework, including five or more units from the core astronomy graduate curriculum listed below.
ASTR 502. Data Mining and Machine Learning in Astronomy (2 units)
ASTR 503. Physics of the Solar System (3 units)
ASTR 516. Modern Astronomical Optics (3 units)
ASTR 520. Seminar on Advanced Extragalactic Astronomy (2 units)
ASTR 545. Seminar on Star and Planet Formation (2 units)
ASTR 553. Solar System Dynamics (3 units)
ASTR 560. Seminar with a Focus on Stellar Evolution from an Observational Perspective (2 units)
ASTR 569. Introduction to General Relativity (3 units)
ASTR 582. Seminar on High Energy Astrophysics (2 units)
ASTR 585. Radio Astronomy (3 units)
ASTR 588. Astrochemistry (3 units)
ASTR 596B. Methods in Computational Astrophysics (3 units)
PTYS 558. Plasma Physics with Astrophysical and Solar System Applications (3 units)
One astronomy faculty member must participate in the student's preliminary and final oral exams within their respective Ph.D. program.
Please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for students who are pursuing this program of study.