Academic offerings in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics feature classes that prepare students for a program of research, followed by seminars that explore specific research topics. There are six Core Graduate Courses that are completed in the first two years of graduate study, during the pre-candidacy period. Courses are offered in the Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters only. Students enroll in full-time research during the Summer Quarter. Following advancement to candidacy, students enroll in full-time research and may take additional elective courses. 

Core Graduate Courses

  • ASTR 30100 Stars
  • ASTR 30300 Interstellar Matter
  • ASTR 30400 Galaxies
  • ASTR 31000 Cosmology I
  • ASTR 31100 High Energy Astrophysics
  • ASTR 30600 Detection of Radiation

In addition, ASTR 49900 Graduate Research Seminar is taken every quarter in the first two years to complement the Core courses with topics drawn from a wide range of topics in astrophysics. Typically students enroll in one Core course, the Graduate Research Seminar, an elective and/or ASTR 37100 Pre-Candidacy Research; however there is flexibility in how students select courses during the first two years in order to maintain full-time residency. 

Placing out of Core Graduate Courses

A student entering the graduate program in Astronomy and Astrophysics with a Master’s Degree may place out of one or more of the Core courses by demonstrating that a similar level course was taken previously and by passing the Core course exam. Please refer to the graduate course outlines to help determine whether a previous course may qualify for a waiver. Students must meet with the course instructor before petitioning the Assistant Chair of Academic Affairs for approval of a course waiver. Students who complete Core courses while Master’s students at UChicago will receive transfer credit.