Programs by Campus


College of Arts and Sciences

Departmental E-Mail: astdept [at] indiana [dot] edu

Departmental URL:

(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin.)



Degree Offered

Doctor of Philosophy

The astrophysics program is administered jointly by the Depart­ment of Astronomy and the Department of Physics through the interdepartmental committee named below. Interested students must first gain admission to one of these departments and then petition the committee for entrance into the program after establishing departmental residency. Students may qualify for a master’s degree in astronomy or physics while in this pro­gram. Doctoral dissertations in astrophysics may be directed by any qualified member of the Department of Astronomy or Physics graduate faculty.

Special Program Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Admission Requirements

A student should have the combined admission requirements of doctoral students in astronomy and physics; i.e., a thor­ough undergraduate training in physics and mathematics plus familiarity with general astronomy at the level of A221-A222 or, preferably, A450-A452. Deficiencies must be removed early, usually without graduate credit.

Course Requirements

A total of 90 credit hours, including the following courses or their equivalents: Physics P506, P511, P521, and P556; four courses from among Astronomy A505, A520, A530, A540, A550, A570, A575, and A580; one course from among P507, P512, P637, G630, and G650 or a fifth astronomy core course; and dissertation.


By meeting the course requirements for this degree, a student from the Department of Astronomy will automatically fulfill the requirements for a minor in physics, and a student from the De­partment of Physics will automatically fulfill the requirements for a minor in astronomy.

Foreign Language/Research-Skill Requirement

A student in the astrophysics program must meet the foreign language/research-skill requirements (if any) of the depart­ment of residence.


Grades below B (3.0) in astronomy and physics courses may be counted toward degree requirements only with the consent of the astrophysics committee.

Qualifying Examination

A student must pass specially designated parts of the qualify­ing examinations of both departments—specifically, half of the physics qualifying examination, which emphasizes classical mechanics, electromagnetism, and statistical physics—plus part of the astronomy qualifying examination. For the astronomy qualifier, the student is required to answer one of two general astronomy questions and 4 of the remaining 8 questions. The examination requirements must be satisfied by the end of the student’s sixth semester in residence. The department of residence may also specify its own deadline for passage of the examination it administers.

Final Examination

Oral defense of the dissertation.

Academic Bulletins

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