The UC Berkeley Astronomy Undergraduate program is comprised of individuals who embody the need to better understand the world beyond our own; the Department of Astronomy seeks to satiate that need by providing our students access to state-of-the-art facilities, courses taught by prize-winning, active scientists and researchers, and offering unique opportunities to conduct research projects as a means to contribute to the very subjects they are studying. Our students graduate with research and lab experience, computational and analytic skills, and an education that will equip them to continue on as leaders in their chosen fields and educational endeavours.
The department course catalog offers an array of topics ranging from general, comprehensive overviews (including introductions to Modern Cosmology, Astronomy, and Astrophysics) to a variety of special-topics courses and labs (Infrared, Optical, and Radio Astronomy, Theoretical Astrophysics, and Spectroscopy, to name a few). Our program also offers Python coding and other data-oriented bootcamps and private lectures for our students; all courses are taught by faculty specializing and conducting on-going research in the subjects they teach, ensuring a more enlightened and thorough educational experience.
Research and Resources
There are numerous opportunities to conduct research with our department members; students assist with observing, data-analysis, and additional research-related responsibilities for a wide variety of projects. Students can also utilize our extensive list of department facilities, libraries, telescopes, and labs, both on campus and around the country (the department offers funding for research and educational endeavours). Due to these accessible research opportunities and resources, many of our Astrophysics majors have their work published in scientific journals before graduating the program.
Astronomy majors receive access to the David D Cudaback Undergraduate Lab, a 1600 square foot facility equipped with various resources to aid research and coursework. Majors are also equipped with research software and department accounts, access to the Astronomy networks, and a department-hosted website.
Students participate in a number of groups, including the Space Exploration Society at Berkeley (UC Berkeley's premiere space-interest club, which works in tandem with the Planetary Society and SETI), Society of Women in the Physical Sciences, and Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
The Department of Astronomy is fueled by a passion for knowledge we look to share with both current and future generations of Astronomers; We invite you to learn more about the Astrophysics major and the many opportunities made available to our students!