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Graduate Minors

The Astronomy Minor

Formally, all PhD students in our program select both a major and a minor subject. For most, both are astronomy. However, it is possible for the minor to be in one of the other science or engineering disciplines. The course requirement is set by the minor department, but usually at least three of the required elective courses are graduate courses in the minor department. At least one representative from the minor department should participate on the preliminary and final oral (dissertation defense) exams. 

The astronomy department allows graduate students whose PhD major is in another department to minor in astronomy. Our minor requires:

  • A passing grade in nine units of graduate-level astronomy coursework, including five or more units from the core astronomy graduate curriculum
  • One astronomy faculty member who participates in the student's preliminary and final oral exams

See the Graduate Catalogue and the "Handbook for Completing the Steps to Your Degree" for more information. These publications also contain requirements involving the dissertation, as does the Manual for Theses and Dissertations.

The Astrobiology Minor

The Department of Astronomy and the Department of Planetary Sciences jointly offer a graduate minor in Astrobiology. This minor is recommended for astronomy or other students with strong interests in astrobiology, exoplanets, planet formation, or planetary sciences. The minor allows students to develop a strong core of understanding in astrobiology, enhancing their specific research in astronomy, biosciences, earth sciences, etc. The minor requires nine credits from among the following courses: Astrochemistry 588A (3 credits), Planetary Astrobiology (3 credits), Key Concepts in Biology (MCB315, 3 credits), and Geoastronomy (3 credits).

For the public
For Public

Public events include our Monday Night Lecture Series, world-reknowned Astronomy Camp and Mt Lemmon Sky Center.

For Students

A good place to start if you want to become an undergrad major or grad student, or need to find our schedule of classes.


For Scientists
For Scientists

Find telescopes and instruments, telescope time applications, staff and mountain contacts, and faculty and staff scientific interests.