As a graduate student at Michigan State, you will be part of a vibrant group of astronomers with a diversity of research interests. Our degree program is designed to move graduate students quickly into research projects.

Our weekly seminars offer students a chance to meet leading researchers across the spectrum of astronomy. In addition, MSU astronomy graduate students learn how to present scientific results to a broad range of audiences, from colleagues to the general public. Whether it is leading a star party at the campus observatory or learning to employ active learning techniques as an instructor, MSU astronomy graduate students learn valuable professional skills. Check out our alumni profiles to see what some of our graduates are doing.

MSU astronomy graduate students have access to world-class faciliities, including the 4.1-m SOAR telescope in Cerro Pachón, Chile and the Blue Waters supercomputer. In addition, there are many opportunities for interdisciplinary work: MSU is the lead institution of the  NSF frontier center JINA (Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics) and has recently established a new department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering.

How to apply

Consult this handy checklist for a full description.  In brief, you will:

  1. Complete the MSU Graduate Application. List your major preference as 3924 (PhD in astronomy).
  2. Go to the admissions site to upload your references and other documentation.

Questions? Contact Kim Crosslan.

How we review applications

Shortly after the deadline for receipt of applications, we begin a holistic review of each application. Our goal is to assess the ability of the applicant to do research and the readiness of the applicant for graduate-level coursework, and we use all the information in the applicant's dossier to make that determination. We do not apply any cuts based on test scores or grades. For example, our current students received a wide range of physics GRE scores.