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The Department of Astronomy offers a rich and varied program of theoretical, observational, and experimental graduate work. You will conduct research in your first year in the program, accessing such impressive resources as the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. You will also have the opportunity to travel to the twin 6.5 meter Magellan Telescope in Chile and the 6.5 meter MMT telescope in Arizona.

Your funding is guaranteed for six years, regardless of your chosen faculty advisor. The average length of time to graduate is five and a half years.

You can attend our weekly colloquia, regular seminars, clubs, and meets and interact with world leaders in astronomy to generate new ideas and initiate potential collaborations.

Examples of student theses and dissertations include “Applications of High-Resolution Observations of Millimeter Wavelengths,” “The Bright Side of Black Holes: Radiation from Black Hole Accretion Disks,” “Charting our Uncharted Milky Way.”

Graduates have secured faculty positions at institutions such as University of California, Berkeley; Dartmouth College, and the University of Bath. Others have begun their career with leading organizations such as Boston Consulting Group, Google, and Netflix.

Additional information on the graduate program is available from the Department of Astronomy and requirements for the degree are detailed in Policies.

Admissions Requirements

Please review admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program-specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Department of Astronomy.

Academic Background

In the Advanced Coursework section of the application for admission, applicants must list their four most advanced courses in astronomy and two most advanced courses in mathematics, including textbooks and authors used in each course.

Standardized Tests

GRE General: Not accepted
GRE Subject (Physics): Optional 

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for Astronomy


See list of Astronomy faculty


Degrees Offered


Questions about the Program?

Peggy Herlihy
Department Administrator