Applying to Caltech Astronomy Graduate School
We believe that the Caltech Astronomy Department offers the best graduate program in astronomy available anywhere. Our observing facilities are unrivaled. The W.M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea, Hawai`i, hosts the twin 10-meter optical telescopes, and we also operate Palomar Observatory and the Owens Valley Radio Observatory. Our students have regular access to these facilities. Our theory group is very active in a wide range of topics. We have a lively and stimulating intellectual atmosphere, and cover a broad range of research in astrophysics.
This is how the admissions program works in our department: Incoming students should have a strong background in physics. Although a good preparation in astronomy is helpful, it is not required. Several factors are taken into consideration: any research you may have done; your general GRE scores; your Physics GRE score (recommended); letters of recommendation; your grades in college, especially in physics and related subjects; and your statement of purpose. As a rule, all of our admitted graduate students are fully supported throughout their Ph.D. program, and do not pay tuition, regardless of their national origin or residence (unlike the situation at many state universities). We offer a combination of research and teaching assistantships and fellowships. The teaching duties are light.
To apply to the Caltech Astronomy Graduate program please fill out the application found on the Graduate Studies Office webpage. Applications in Astronomy are due on December 21, 2018.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the history of Caltech Astronomy?
- Why should I apply to Caltech Astronomy?
- What unique resources and facilities will be available to me as a Caltech student?
- How do I finance my graduate education (and application)?
- Should I apply in Astronomy, Physics, or Planetary Science?
- What should I have studied before coming to Caltech?
- What are the specific application requirements? What factors are important in the evaluation of my application?
- What does the typical progression through the program look like?
- What will my interactions with faculty be like at Caltech?
- How does cost-of-living compare to a grad student stipend?
- What about the quality of life in and around Caltech?
- What else is interesting in Pasadena and L.A.?
- What about other astronomy and technology?