How to Apply

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics offers a doctoral program for students pursuing a PhD. Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year should be submitted online between September 30 and December 15, 2019. Students seeking a master’s degree are encouraged to consult the Physical Sciences Division Master of Science program.

Required Materials

The application to the PhD program consists of the following required materials:

  • personal statement
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • college transcript(s)
  • GRE General Test score. We accept preliminary self-reporting of GRE scores, but require official ETS reporting before certifying final admission. We are aware that ETS score reports for examinations taken in November may arrive after the December 15 application deadline. This is acceptable.

Additional Materials

  • The GRE Physics Test is not required. Students have the option of including their GRE Physics Test score as an additional part of their application.
  • International students are required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores in addition to the required materials listed above. Applicants whose total score on the four-part TOEFL falls below 90 (or IELTS falls below 7) will not normally be admitted unless other demonstrable evidence of proficiency in English is available.
  • An application fee of $90 is required but may be waived if the applicant meets certain criteria. Students seeking a waiver may contact the Physical Sciences Division Dean of Students.

Applicants to our graduate program typically have strong backgrounds in the Physical Sciences and Mathematics. If an applicant does not hold a degree in these areas, it is important for the applicant to demonstrate the necessary background to succeed in the program. Evidence of a solid foundation in Physics and Mathematics can be obtained through coursework or other experiences such as presentations, posters, and published papers. Information about these can be provided in the Astronomy Supplement portion of the application to demonstrate preparedness for graduate-level work in Astronomy and Astrophysics.


Please send all inquiries about the admissions process to Laticia Rebeles, Graduate Student Affairs Administrator,, (773) 702-9808. Questions about academic matters may be directed to Professor Rich Kron, Assistant Chair of Academic Affairs,