Dear Prospective Graduate Student:

Thank you for your interest in our graduate program in Astronomy & Astrophysics.  We have an exciting and productive program; our online Department Brochure   includes information about the graduate program, including research highlights, faculty profiles, the graduate curriculum, financial aid, and details about the University community and its environs.

Penn State offers both Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Astronomy and Astrophysics. The graduate program typically has an enrollment of about 25 students, and an average yearly intake of 3-4 students. Graduate students at Penn State have remarkable opportunities to do research on a broad range of topics in theoretical and observational astronomy, as well as in our extensive instrumentation programs.

After fulfillment of the Department and University requirements for being granted a Ph.D., our graduates go on to a wide range of employment opportunities, such as postdoctoral and faculty appointments at major academic institutions and national laboratories, research positions in computational environments associated with space missions, and faculty appointments at teaching colleges.

Admission to the graduate program is quite competitive. All students must have a Bachelor's degree in Physics, Astronomy, or an allied area upon their arrival, and a minimum Junior-Senior GPA of 3.0 is expected. A complete application consists of

NOTE: The Penn State Dept. of Astronomy & Astrophysics does NOT charge an application fee.  There IS a fee to apply to the University, but the department pays that fee for our applicants.  In order for us to pay your fee, you MUST send all your application materials directly to the Astronomy & Astrophysics Department.  If you send any information directly to the Graduate School, you will be charged a fee so please send all information to the department.

In order for an application to be given fullest consideration, all application materials must arrive by January 20. Late applications may also be considered, but first consideration for admission and financial aid will be given to those which arrive by the deadline. Typically, first year students are awarded teaching assistantships and full tuition is waived. Exceptional applicants can merit additional fellowship awards.

To request hardcopies of our brochure and application materials, contact the following persons:

Robin Ciardullo, Director, Graduate Admissions
SherryDawn Jackson, Staff Assistant

Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
The Pennsylvania State University
525 Davey Lab
University Park, PA 16802

phone: (814) 865-0419
fax: (814) 863-2842

We hope sincerely that you will apply to our program!

Larry Ramsey              Robin Ciardullo
Department Head        Director, Graduate Admissions