Astronomy: Earning the M.S. degree

For a comprehensive description of the Master’s in Astronomy, consult the program requirements.

Course Requirements

For the M.S. degree, students are required take seven core courses and two elective courses. Students are required to enroll in a minimum of 12 units per quarter and maintain a 3.0 GPA.

Comprehensive Examination

The purpose of the comprehensive exam is to train students to perform research at the Ph.D. level and is designed to assess both research ability and general knowledge of astronomy and physics at the graduate level.

The comprehensive examination itself is comprised of a written component and an oral component. The written component is the culmination of the second-year research project. The oral component is the presentation of the second-year research project. During the oral presentation, students are expected to respond to questions on their research and to solve basic problems from all core areas of astrophysics. The oral presentation is conducted in the Spring quarter of students’ 2nd year by the comprehensive examination committee, appointed by the vice chair and consisting of three members.

Here is a detailed decription of the Astronomy comprehensive exam.

Petition for Master’s degree

Once a student has completed the required courses and passed the comprehensive exam, they may file a petition to receive an M.S. degree.