The Master of Science program in astronomy requires a minimum of 30 s.h. of graduate credit. Students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 2.75 to earn the degree.

Up to one-third of the program of study may be taken in related scientific fields (e.g., meteorology, geology, electrical engineering); selection of such courses is encouraged.

The degree is offered either with or without thesis. The M.S. may be a terminal degree or a step toward a Ph.D. in physics with subprogram and a dissertation in astronomy or astrophysics. In either case the final examination is oral, conducted by a committee of three faculty members.

Students in the thesis program earn the required 30 s.h. in courses numbered 4000 or above, with at least 15 s.h. at the 5000 or above level.

Listed below are the general categories of coursework required to earn the degree; for more specific information on courses, curriculum, and requirements of the Master of Science in astronomy, visit the UI General Catalog.

Degree Requirements
Title Hours
Upper-Level Astronomy Courses 12
Additional Upper-Level Electives for Non-Thesis Option or Thesis Work 18
Total Hours 30

Important Deadlines

Application Deadline: January 15th (for Fall semester enrollment)


Admission decisions are based on prior academic performance, letters of reference, and the applicant's statement about background and purpose. Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College on the Graduate College website. For more information, see the Graduate Admissions Process page.