Astronomy Graduate Program

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Graduate Overview

The UC Berkeley Department of Astronomy has a long history of excellence in the field of Astronomy; with our award-winning, renown faculty and access to numerous state-of-the-art observing and research facilities, our department consistently produces graduates who are positioned to become leaders and pioneers in their chosen fields. As one of the most consistently top-ranked graduate and PhD programs in the nation, we seek to maintain our reputation and continue our tradition of providing high-quality education by investing in our students and providing numerous opportunities for success.

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Program and Teaching

Our graduate program offers numerous specialized courses that examine topics that include interstellar matter, high-performance computing, Astrophysical fluid dynamics, and extragalactic cosmology and astronomy, in addition to access to numerous weekly lectures hosted by our in-house research units. Graduate students work alongside faculty and researchers oversee work across a wealth of Astronomy-related topics. In addition to extensive research experience, our students take on instructor positions to obtain valuable teaching experience by working with aspiring undergraduates. 

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Research and Facilities

Research is a large component of the program and our students find themselves at the forefront of ongoing projects by obtaining research positions and conducting work to explore topics that include star, planet, and galaxy formation, supernovas, protoplanetary disks, galaxy clusters, and reionization history of the universe as a whole. Students have made significant scientific contributions that have garnered world-wide attention, including discovering entire new solar-systems, locating the largest black holes to date, storms on other planets, and finding habitable planets

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Student Outreach and Collaborations

Outreach is a large part of student life; between science fairs, field trips, managing websites,  summer courses, and other department-hosted events, students are able to share their love and knowledge of Astronomy with all generations of space enthusiasts. UC Berkeley also offers a number of student groups that allow for collaborations and networking opportunities. 

Graduate Perspectives


Jason Wang, Fifth Year

“I really enjoy the balance and flexibility of the grad program; I was able to go observing in Chile twice while taking classes in my first two years!”


Tom Zick, Third Year

“I really enjoy the ‘open door’ environment at Berkeley Astrophysics. Collaboration among different professors, postdocs and graduate students is engrained in the department, which gives me the support to push my research in creative new directions.”