3170 Astronomy

Programs Offered:

  • Master of Science
    • Physics Master of Science with a Concentration in Astronomy (see section 3340)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Room 605, 25 Park Place
Atlanta, Georgia 30302-4106
Email (Administrative Coordinator): kwright14@gsu.edu
Email (Director of Graduate Studies): slepine@astro.gsu.edu

D. Michael Crenshaw, Chair
Sebastien Lepine, Director of Graduate Studies, Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy works closely with the graduate students on theoretical and experimental research in the following areas: atomic physics, biophysics, molecular physics, nuclear physics, condensed matter physics, astronomy, and astrophysics. See the Physics degree section for studies in the first five subjects.

Applicants may obtain additional information about the Department of Physics and Astronomy by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies at the address above. Applications should be submitted online through the Graduate Admissions system of the College of Arts and Sciences (cas.gsu.edu/graduate-studies/admissions/).

Degree Requirements

Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy (71 hours beyond the baccalaureate degree)

  1. Students must either complete or exempt PHYS 6510, PHYS 6520, 6810], PHYS 7600, and PHYS 7700 (0-17 credit-hours). Exemption from these courses may be granted on the basis of testing or of having successfully completed similar courses elsewhere. Students not exempting at least two courses must take more than the 71 minimum hours required for the degree.
  2. Students must have competence in the following areas of mathematics: matrix algebra, vector and tensor analysis, partial differential equations, Fourier series and boundary value problems, and complex variables.
  3. Students seeking a Ph.D. degree in astronomy must complete the following six core courses (20):
    • ASTR 6200 Applications in Modern Astronomy (3)
    • ASTR 6100 Astronomical Techniques and Instrumentation (3)
    • ASTR 8000 Stellar Atmospheres and Spectroscopy (4 credit-hours)
    • ASTR 8100 Stellar Structure and Evolution (4)
    • ASTR 8300 Interstellar Medium (3)
    • ASTR 8400 Extragalactic Astronomy (3)
    • Students seeking a Ph.D. degree in Astronomy must complete at least 15 additional hours of 8000-level astronomy courses, including at least two (but no more than three) hours of ASTR 8900 Seminar. No more than three hours of either ASTR 8710 Research Topics in Astronomy or ASTR 8910 Directed Study can count towards the degree. Alternatively, up to 12 hours of 8000-level physics (PHYS) or computer science (CSC) courses may be counted against the minimum of 15 additional hours
  4. Satisfactory completion of one hour of ASTR 6300 Teaching Astronomy and two hours of ASTR 6310 Teaching Astronomy Lab Practicum.
  5. A minimum of 30 hours of ASTR 9999 Doctoral Dissertation Research must be completed; only 34 hours of these count towards the 71 hours for the Ph.D.
  6. Proficiency in an approved language or research skill. Contact the graduate director for details.
  7. General Examinations:
    • Students seeking a Ph.D. degree in Astronomy must take the first astronomy general examination, administered as a written examination covering the fundamentals of astronomy, within a year of entering the program.
    • Students seeking a Ph.D. degree in Astronomy must also take the second general examination, administered as a written and oral examination, after passing at least twelve hours of 8000-level astronomy courses.
  8. Students pursuing the Ph.D. degree are strongly urged to satisfy the requirements for the Physics M.S. with a Concentration in Astronomy (non-thesis option) as soon as possible after entering the program. See the director of graduate studies for details.
  9. An oral presentation and discussion of the student’s proposed dissertation research, by the end of the third year after admission to the  program.
  10. A dissertation.
  11. A final oral presentation and defense of the dissertation.

Prior to registration each semester, students should be advised by either the chair of the department or the director of graduate studies.