The Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences is one of the few programs that combines both astrophysics and planetary science, providing a unified view of space sciences; the solar system and comparative planetology; stellar and galactic astronomy; and cosmology. Students are given hands-on experience with telescopes, optics, instrumentation, and computer image processing and modeling. 

The department’s general astronomy track lends itself to a career in education, science journalism, science policy, information technology, science management, or technical work where a graduate degree is not required.
The more math-intensive astrophysics/physics track is intended for students who wish to do research and continue on to graduate work in astronomy or planetary sciences. This track also lends itself well to a career in technical work related to the field.
Our PhD program allows graduate students to practice teaching, assist in cutting-edge research, and begin to take part in the larger professional astrophysics community.