12 months
40812 USD/year
24586 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The graduate program in Astronomy and Astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University prepares students for careers in astronomy, space science and education. Graduate instruction and research opportunities are available in theoretical, observational, and instrumental astronomy and astrophysics. 


Currently active areas of theoretical research for the Astronomy and Astrophysics program at Pennsylvania State University include high-energy astrophysics (including theory of neutron stars, black holes, and gamma ray bursts), relativity and cosmology, stellar dynamics and planet formation, and computational methodology.

Observational areas include spectroscopic and photometric observations of high-redshift quasars, galaxies and the intergalactic medium; gamma-ray bursts; X-ray and visible light studies of quasars, starburst and other active galaxies; visible light studies of nearby galaxies and their stellar populations; infrared study of brown dwarfs and protoplanetary disks; spectroscopy and modeling of binary, magnetically active, pre- and post-main sequence stars; spectroscopic searches for planetary systems.

Instrumental areas include: development of X-ray telescopes and detectors; and high-precision visible and near-infrared light spectrographs. 

Learning outcomes

  • Know/Think/Apply: Graduates will have demonstrated command of basic observational astronomy and astrophysics, including observing techniques, methods of data analysis, and common theoretical frameworks and techniques. This will include the ability to apply physics and mathematics knowledge to standard problems in astrophysics, as well as application of statistical principles to data analysis.
  • Communicate: Graduates will be able to clearly and cogently describe the background and motivation of their work, describe their methodology, and present and defend their arguments and conclusions in oral presentations, written papers and reports.
  • Ethical Professional Conduct: Graduates will demonstrate working knowledge of the standards for ethical conduct in research through their professional behavior and work.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Extragalactic Astronomy
  • Observational Techniques in Astronomy
  • Astrostatistics
  • Computational Physics and Astrophysics
  • High-Performance Scientific Computing for Astrophysics
  • Stellar Atmospheres
  • Interstellar Medium and Star Formation
  • Cosmology
  • High Energy Astrophysics
  • Particle Astrophysics
  • The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
  • Exoplanets

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines


34 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
GRE admission requirements GRE®

Other requirements

General requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in physics and/or astronomy with a grade-point average of at least 3.0 in their junior/senior courses in physics, astronomy, math, and related subjects. 
  • A grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Students must submit scores from the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • All international applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS 

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    40812 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 40812 USD per year during 12 months.
  • National

    24586 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 24586 USD per year during 12 months.

Living costs for University Park

1000 - 1500 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Astronomy and Astrophysics
Pennsylvania State University


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