Top 5 Universities In The World To Pursue Astronomy And Astrophysics.

Astronomy is one of the most popular branch of physics that has gained a lot of popularity with the advancement of technology. Students from all around the world seek admissions in top astronomy colleges worldwide for bachelor's degree, master's degree and the doctoral degree in the same. In the 28th Article of Basics of Astrophysics series, let us have a look at top 5 universities in the world that offer astronomy degree courses:

Also Read: All Articles of Basics of Astrophysics series

5. University of California, Berkeley (USA)

Astronomy Courses Top Colleges
The UCB offers great courses in astronomy

Berkeley is one of the 14 founding members of the Association of American Universities and is home to some world-renowned research institutes, including the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and the Space Sciences Laboratory. 

Berkeley alumni, faculty and researchers include 99 Nobel laureates, 23 Turing Award winners, and 14 Pulitzer Prize winners. Faculty member J. R. Oppenheimer led the Manhattan project to create the first atomic bomb, while Berkeley’s Nobel laureate Ernest Lawrence invented the cyclotron, through which UC Berkeley scientists and researchers discovered 16 chemical elements of the periodic table.

The Department of Astronomy offers undergraduate and graduate instruction in a wide variety of fields, including theoretical and observational astrophysics; infrared, optical, and radio astronomy; galactic structure and dynamics of stellar systems; high-energy astrophysics and cosmology; and spectroscopy.

4. University of Cambridge (UK)

Astronomy Courses Top Colleges
The University offers master's courses in astronomy and has a solid doctoral program in astrophysics.

Located in the center of the ancient city of Cambridge, 50 miles north of London, the University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research institution that serves more than 18,000 students from all corners of the globe. 

The Institute of Astronomy (IoA) is a department of the University of Cambridge and is engaged in teaching and research in the fields of theoretical and observational Astronomy. A wide class of theoretical problems are studied, ranging from models of quasars and of the evolution of the universe, through theories of the formation and evolution of galaxies and stars, X-ray sources and black holes.

The University offers master's courses in astronomy and has a solid doctoral program in astrophysics.

3. Standford University (USA)

Astronomy Courses Top Colleges
The Stanford University offers many courses in astronomy

Located 35 miles south of San Francisco and 20 miles north of San Jose, Stanford University is in the heart of Northern California’s dynamic Silicon Valley, home to Yahoo, Google, Hewlett-Packard, and many other cutting-edge tech companies that were founded by and continue to be led by Stanford alumni and faculty. Nicknamed the “billionaire factory”, it is said that if Stanford graduates formed their own country it would boast one of the world’s largest ten economies. 

The University does not offer a separate undergraduate major in Astronomy. Students who intend to pursue graduate study in astronomy or space science are encouraged to major in physics. Graduate programs in astronomy and astrophysics and related topics are carried out primarily in the Department of Physics.

2. Harvard University (USA)

Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest higher education institution in the United States, and is widely regarded in terms of its influence, reputation, and academic pedigree as a leading university in not just the US but also the world. Harvard's alumni include eight US presidents, several foreign heads of state, 62 living billionaires, 359 Rhodes Scholars, and 242 Marshall Scholars.

The Department of Astronomy offers a rich and varied program in theoretical, observational and experimental graduate work leading to the PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Students are not accepted for a separate master's degree program. Over 360 PhD scientists are engaged in work at the Center for Astrophysics (CfA), providing students with an unusually wide choice of thesis topics and stimulating opportunities for both formal and informal learning through courses and seminars. Graduate students at Harvard benefit from this diverse environment, have access to extensive facilities, and pursue their work in a supportive and stimulating setting.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA)

“Mind and Hand” is the thought-provoking motto of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, known also as MIT. This motto enigmatically encapsulates this famous institution’s mission to advance knowledge in science, technology and areas of scholarship that can help to make the world a better place. At its founding in 1861, MIT was initially a small community of problem-solvers and science lovers eager to bring their knowledge to bear on the world. Today, MIT has evolved into an educational behemoth, with some 1,000 faculty members and more than 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Although MIT does not have a separate astronomy department,
undergraduate academic programs in astronomy at MIT reside both in the Department of Physics (astrophysics) and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (planetary astronomy), which offer a variety of courses in astronomy and astrophysics.  A variety of graduate courses are offered by both departments.

Author's Message

This is an interesting time to be an Astrophysicist. With the advancement of simulations and technology, theoretical and experimental astrophysics are on the rise. But one thing must be clear, the road to becoming an Astrophysicist is through Physics and Mathematics.

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