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Astrophysics is the study of the physics of the universe.

Astrophysics programs include topics such as:


Several colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in astrophysics. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Several universities offer graduate degrees in astrophysics. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor’s degree in physics, astrophysics, astronomy, or a related science, good grades, and good test scores. If your degree is in an area other than physics, you may be required to complete certain prerequisite undergraduate physics courses.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

No matter where you go to school, you're likely to take a set of "core" courses similar to the list above. Once you've completed those courses, you can take advanced courses in astrophysics. Courses may include:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate students usually focus on a particular area of research interest or application of astrophysics. Typical courses vary by specialty. All require original research and extensive use of computer modeling. A list of common graduate requirements is below:

Things to Know

A bachelor's degree may qualify you to work as a research assistant or technician in an astrophysics lab. A master's degree can lead to a job in a planetarium or as technical support at an observatory or planetary institute.

A postdoctoral research assignment can help you get experience before finding a permanent research position.


East Side Area

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

University of Washington - Seattle