About

Explore the Universe from College Park

The University of Maryland at College Park is a dynamic research university with highly ranked programs in astronomy, physics, computer science and aerospace engineering, among many others. It is a university of more than 35,000 students, in a classic campus setting of tall trees and Georgian brick buildings, just 10 miles from the bustle of Washington, D.C.

The Department of Astronomy is large, with 16 professorial faculty, 37 graduate students, and approximately 70 research scientists. We are also one of the country's foremost astronomy departments, and we provide our student with unique research opportunities. Our students work hard, but the payoff -- in the form of new discoveries and the launching of their careers -- is very real and exciting. As a Maryland graduate student you will have the opportunity to conduct research using some of the world's most sophisticated observational satellites and ground-based observatories, or to use powerful supercomputers to attack theoretical problems. Observational and theoretical research are partnered to produce surprising insights into the formation of planets and stars, to advance the study of our own and other galaxies, and to produce ground-breaking work in areas as diverse as high-energy astrophysics and space weather.

Program Requirements

Bachelor's degree requirements:
An undergraduate degree in a related field (normally Astronomy or Physics) is required.

Minimum undergraduate GPA: 3.0
GRE Requirements: Not Required
Physics GRE Requirements: Not Required
TOEFL Requirements: Required

Description of your department culture

Department life offers many well-attended social activities, such as daily espresso/tea/hot chocolate breaks in the afternoon, "Payday Pizza Fridays," intramural sports, and the annual astronomy picnic. Faculty and students mingle at all of these events, and the culture is very friendly and collegial. The department strongly supports equity and inclusion, with invited speakers, a standing committee, and the GRAD-MAP and AGN organizations which are led by graduate students. A good source of information about everyday student life is the GradLife wiki, maintained by the graduate students at http://www.astro.umd.edu/twiki/bin/view/GradLife/WebHome.

The University of Maryland at College Park is a dynamic research university in a classic setting of tall trees and Georgian brick buildings. An eclectic mix of speakers, cultural activities, films, and concerts cater to different interests. International students will find the College Park campus to be a place of great diversity. Students come from 115 countries around the world, and minorities make up a third of the student population.

The university is just 10 miles from the bustle of downtown Washington, D.C. (a convenient 20 minute Metro ride from College Park). In addition to being a vibrant hub of mathematics, science, technology, medicine, and environmental research and policy, the D.C. area's rich and diverse culture make it an especially lively, friendly, accessible community for students to thrive professionally and personally. The city has hundreds of restaurants, dozens of museums, and thousands of opportunities for shopping. The Kennedy Center hosts world-renowned ballet companies, theater productions, and symphonies. The National Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn, and Phillips galleries offer art in a variety of forms. Sports fans cheer for professional sports teams in baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and soccer. Visitors can also tour a variety of attractions around the city's scenic Inner Harbor. Annapolis, site of Maryland's capital, features maritime charm and provides a great place for Sunday strolls.