Turn your love of stargazing into a challenging career. Explore the beauty and mysteries of the universe. Pursue a major in physics: astronomy & astrophysics and combine coursework with hands-on experience in the exciting field of astronomy & astrophysics. You'll acquire skills that can help you land careers in physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science and more.
Why This Program & What You'll Learn
As a physics: astronomy & astrophysics student you'll study thermal physics, quantum theory, astrophysics, observational astronomy, mathematical physics and more. And with a coveted student to faculty ratio of 3:1, you'll do so with individual and personalized attention. Plus, you'll demonstrate your extensive knowledge by completing a culminating project under the guidance of a faculty advisor. In short, you'll be prepared for many astronomy, astrophysics, and physics-related careers as well as competitive graduate programs.
You'll also gain hands-on research experience with access to our Brooks Astronomical Observatory and other state-of-the-art resources, including:
- The Brooks Hall research and reference area with computers, a darkroom and a library housing over 1,000 volumes of observatory publications, catalogs, charts and atlases.
- A 16-inch Newtonian/Cassegrain observatory telescope for viewing celestial bodies.
- Laboratories equipped for laser spectroscopy, magnetic resonance, rheology, thin films, polymer fluid dynamics and X-ray diffraction.
Share your love of science with fellow STEM students by living in our Science & Engineering Residential College. Form relationships with STEM faculty, professionals and alumni. And access personalized tutoring, academic advising and career-related programs — right where you live.
Gain significant physics experience for your future career or graduate program. Many students present their research at national venues. More than 50 percent of our students participate in summer research programs — and a significant portion of those continue as research assistants during the year. As a result of opportunities like these, nearly 100 percent of graduating students secure jobs or gain admittance into graduate programs.
As a physics: astronomy & astrophysics student here, you'll:
- Join a program in which nearly one hundred percent of graduating students secure jobs or gain admittance into graduate programs.
- Explore the stars with access to the Brooks Astronomical Observatory and its $100,000 computer-controlled Cassegrain reflector telescope.
- Study in a department in which physics faculty consistently secure more than $2 million dollars of annual research funding.
- Be eligible to receive the Kenneth Wright Physics, David H. Current, or Kenneth W. And Margaret Cuff Saunders scholarships.
- Meet other aspiring physicists, astronomers, astrophysicists, and STEM professionals as a member of the Society of Physics Students.
Careers & Outcomes
With a degree in physics: astronomy & astrophysics you’ll be prepared for a variety of careers related to physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science and more.
Opportunity for CMU students to help with new global research effort
Students have the opportunity to work with faculty from CMU and other universities in 17 countries to understand the origin of the elements and matter that make up our universe.