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Graduate Studies

The University of Florida Department of Astronomy offers Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Astronomy. The department currently includes approximately 50 individuals, including 12 faculty, 30 funded graduate students, and another dozen affiliate researchers. During their first two years, students take core courses providing a solid foundation in astronomy and astrophysics, as well as electives in astronomy, physics and/or closely related fields. Our graduate program is built to provide students with the skills and resources to carry out original research. During their first year, graduate students begin working with faculty, engineers, and/or postdocs on a research project in observational or theoretical astronomy or the development of astronomical instrumentation. Financial support for graduate studies is available through fellowships, research assistantships and teaching assistantships.

Graduate students in the department have access to a wide range of national and international ground and space-based observing facilities for research.

  • The University of Florida is a partner in the 10.4m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) on La Palma in the Spanish Canary Islands, providing our graduate students, faculty and researchers with guaranteed access to this premier facility for optical/IR astronomy.
  • Through our instrumentation program, the department has guaranteed access to the Kitt Peak 4m and 2m telescopes and the Gemini North and South 8m telescopes, as well as additional observing nights with the GTC.
  • Faculty are members of a number of external observational collaborations including DESI, MINERVA, EUClD, LIGO, TESS, and more.  Students and faculty also utilize a host of other ground-based and space facilities including HST, Chandra, Spitzer, Kepler, Magellan, Keck, the VLT, Kitt Peak, the Gemini telescopes, and CTIO.
  • Students and faculty can use the University of Florida’s Rosemary Hill Observatory, which houses 76 cm and 46 cm reflectors, and has in recent times been used for research on exoplanet transits.
  • Students have access to high-performance computing resources including  the University of Florida HPC machine HiPerGator and national facilities such as NASA and NSF (XSEDE) operated supercomputers.  Faculty members are members of several external simulation collaborations including the Illustris Collaboration and the FIRE collaboration.

Furthermore, former and current graduate students from the Graduate Student Association (GAO) have proudly collaborated in creating the Graduate Astronomy Treatise On Relocating (GATOR) to Gainesville and the University of Florida, a guide to provide new and prospective students with an insight to the daily endeavors of our family.

Research Areas

Students are welcome and encouraged to carry out research in any of the areas where our faculty are engaged.  For a list of research areas, see our Department’s Research Page or our Faculty Profiles.