Image of the Tempietto in Kogan Plaza during cherry blossom season

Astronomy

Housed in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Physics, the astronomy and astrophysics  program includes coursework on the origins of the cosmos, life in the universe and space astrophysics.

Related Majors, Minors, and Concentrations

Students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Astronomy and Astrophysics or a minor in astronomy and astrophysics. These programs include courses in mathematics, physics, programming, astronomy and astrophysics. In addition to programmatic coursework, astronomy and astrophysics majors conduct research projects in a chosen area of interest. At the graduate level, students can earn an MS or PhD in physics with a concentration in astronomy and astrophysics.

What can I expect to learn in the Astronomy program at GW?

Students are exposed to a variety of subjects within the field, including the properties  of various cosmic objects (such as neutron stars and black holes), hands-on experience with astronomical data analysis and observations, galactic and stellar structure, high-energy phenomena, big bang cosmology and the physical processes of celestial phenomena.

What is the Astronomy community like at GW?

Students work with faculty mentors Kalvir Dhuga, Sylvain Guiriec, Oleg Kargaltsev, Chryssa Kouveliotou and Alexander van der Horst. They also benefit extensively from summer research internship opportunities and collaborations with the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center as well as other research institutions and universities in the D.C. area and beyond.

What can I do in the Astronomy field?

Careers include professional astronomer and astrophysicist, researcher and educator.

Astronomy at GW


Astronomy students often immerse themselves in the sciences, taking engineering, biology, chemistry as well as physics courses.