How to Apply

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics offers a doctoral program for students pursuing a PhD. Applications for the 2023-2024 academic year should be submitted online between mid-to-late September and December 18, 2023Click here to apply.

Students seeking a master’s degree are encouraged to consult the Physical Sciences Division Master of Science program.

Notice regarding 2023-2024 application cycle

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago recognizes the significant impact of COVID-19, not just on academic coursework and grading systems, but also on research, travel, internships, employment, and many other activities. The admissions committee will take these circumstances into account when reviewing students’ transcripts and other admissions materials as part of the holistic application review process. In particular, the admissions committee will assume that any decision to take a course with "pass/no pass" grading during academic terms affected by the pandemic was made for reasons unrelated to the student's academic ability (regardless of whether grading decisions were made by institutions or individual students).

GRE scores are not required but may be submitted optionally.

Required Materials

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

  • personal statement
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • college transcript(s)
  • A curriculum vitae (CV) or resume of past accomplishments.

Additional Materials

  • Applicants who do not meet the waiver criteria here must submit proof of English language proficiency. Only the TOEFL iBT or IELTS Academic tests are accepted as proof of proficiency. The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics requires a minimum TOEFL score of 90 overall, and a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 overall. TOEFL or IELTS score reports are valid for two years.  For the TOEFL, our institution code is 1832 and the department code is 61. Please visit the UChicagoGRAD website for more about proof of English language proficiency.
  • An application fee of $90 is required but may be waived if the applicant meets any of the application fee waiver criteria specified by the Physical Sciences Division. Applicants may also contact the Physical Sciences Division Dean of Students with any questions about fee waivers.

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 Fausto Cattaneo, Assistant Chair of Academic Affairs,

More information about UChicago graduate admissions can be found on the UChicago Grad Admissions FAQ.