Astrophysics and Astronomy, MS

The astrophysics and astronomy MS program prepares you for discovering new planets, exploring cosmology, and building space-flight hardware and instruments for telescopes and satellites. You work with world-class faculty on NASA- and NSF-funded space missions, seeking answers to questions about how our universe began and how it continues to evolve.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: Astrophysics and Astronomy, MS

The MS program in astrophysics and astronomy provides fundamental graduate training in both astrophysics and astronomy.

Students take graduate-level courses in stars and interstellar media, galaxies, and cosmology; obtain quantitative skills through analysis and modelling, and they may have observation opportunities through regional and international telescope observatories.

At a Glance: program details

Degree Requirements

Required Core (1 credit hour)
SES 502 Exploring SESE Research (1)

Electives or Research (5 credit hours)

Other Requirements: Astrophysics Sequence (9 credit hours)
AST 521 Stars and Interstellar Medium I (3)
AST 522 Stars and Interstellar Medium II (3)
AST 591 Seminar: Astrophysics (2)
SES 501 SESE Colloquium (1)

Other Requirements: Galaxies and Cosmology Sequence, pick one (3 credit hours)
AST 531 Galaxies and Cosmology I (3)
AST 532 Galaxies and Cosmology II (3)
AST 533 Galaxies and Cosmology III (3)

Other Requirements: Exoplanets and Planetary Science Sequence, pick one (3 credit hours)
AST 598 Topic: Origins of Solar Systems (3)
AST 598 Topic: Exploring Exoplanets (3)
SES 598 Topic: Water in the Solar System (3)

Other Requirements: Instrumentation and Techniques Sequence, pick one (3 credit hours)
AST 540 Astronomical Instrumentation and Data Analysis (3)
SES 598 Topic: Astrostatistics (3)
SES 598 Topic: Spectroscopy for Astrophysics (3)
SES 598 Topic: Introductory Radio Astronomy (3)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
SES 599 Thesis (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
Substitutions for other requirements courses may be made per department approval.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or they must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admissions application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. statement of purpose
  4. three letters of recommendation
  5. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

Career Opportunities

Professionals with expertise in astrophysics and astronomy are in high demand across all sectors and industries, including remote sensing, data science, building instruments, and scientific research. Coding and numerical modeling skills translate across many domains, even beyond astrophysics. Skills in the measurement and analysis of data related to the physics, chemistry, and structure of the universe and exoplanetary systems are valuable to businesses and institutions relying on data-driven strategies to explore beyond the Earth and solar system.

This degree program prepares candidates for further graduate study or for careers in related fields such as scientific staff positions at government laboratories, teaching at the community college level and technical positions in industry. Career examples include:

  • data scientist
  • research astronomer
  • telescope operator

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Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs.

Program Contact Information

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