How to Apply
The Department of Astronomy offers the Ph.D. in astronomy. Although a master's degree is offered, students generally are not admitted for a terminal master's degree. Students typically begin graduate work in the fall semester. Undergraduate preparation typically includes at least three years of college physics, and mathematics through differential equations.
Applicants are judged on the basis of their previous academic record, letters of recommendation, personal statement, research experience and plans, and Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores.
As the Astronomy Ph.D. Program comes with a guarantee of financial support, our admissions process is highly competitive. Typically, the Department of Astronomy admits a small number of applicants annually, on average 4, with year-to-year fluctuations.
Please Note: Admission to the doctoral program requires admission to both the Department of Astronomy and the Graduate School.
Complete the UW-Madison Graduate School application
Refer to "Frequently Asked Questions" for any questions regarding the application form or the application process.
The Graduate School's Requirements for Admission website provides information on Grade and Degree Requirements, International Student requirements, Application Fee Grants, and more.
Review the information below to insure that all materials required by the Department and the Graduate School have been submitted.
I. Apply Using the UW-Madison Graduate School Electronic Application:
- Complete the online application: Graduate School Electronic Application
- Allow 30 to 60 minutes to complete the application. Prepare all materials to be uploaded beforehand (see II and III below).
- Submit the application and fee.
- If an unsubmitted application is not accessed in a 120 day time period, it will be disabled.
II. Submit the Following Application Materials:
- Scanned unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended.
- Astronomy courses for Fall and Spring, if not listed in the transcript.
- Statement on 'Reasons for Graduate Study in Astronomy'.
- Three letters of recommendation from those well acquainted with your academic work (email addresses are required for all recommenders).
- Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores for the general and subject test in physics. (List scores in the Graduate Application and request scores to be sent by GRE to UW-Madison, Institution Code 1846).
- Résumé, first page of published papers, or any other material that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee can also be submitted within the Graduate School Electronic Application.
III. International Applicants Must Also Submit The Following Materials:
- Scanned official documentation of all courses taken and grades received, with an English translation.
- Scanned official certification of degrees and dates granted, with an English translation.
- Official TOEFL score.
Please Note: All components of the application are essential for consideration of your application for admission. If you are unable to submit any of these items electronically, please contact the Graduate Coordinator for assistance.
The application deadline for admission in Fall, 2017 is December 31, 2016. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Graduate Admissions Coordinator, Sharon Pittman, via email, telephone (608) 890-3775, or fax (608) 263-6386.
Mailing address for the Graduate School
228 Bascom Hall, 500 Lincoln Drive
Madison WI 53706
Mailing address for the Department of Astronomy
Department of Astronomy
University of Wisconsin-Madison
475 N. Charter St
Madison WI 53706-1582