Undergraduate Program in Astronomy

Astronomy Students Association annual trip to McDonald Observatory

The Department of Astronomy at UT Austin is one of the top 10 astronomy research programs in the United States. Our faculty members are among the worldwide leaders in cosmology, galaxies, stars, the interstellar medium, planets, the solar system, and instrumentation. With twenty-two active teaching faculty, seventeen research scientists, a number of research associates and postdoctoral fellows, 45 graduate and 90 undergraduate students, the department fosters a stimulating and friendly atmosphere that promotes intellectual development and diversity.

Explore Our Universe: Undergraduate Programs at The University of Texas

Brochure (pdf)

Our undergraduate students have the rare opportunity to take classes and conduct research with some of the world's top astronomers. After students complete some core courses, our faculty/research staff offer exciting research opportunities, including working with data taken by NASA's telescopes and with ground-based telescopes all over the world (including our own McDonald Observatory in West Texas), as well as projects in theoretical and computational astrophysics.

We reward excellence in our students through a Freshman Prize for Excellence and numerous merit and research awards for advanced undergraduate students including the Karl G. Henize endowed scholarship, the Board of Visitors scholarship, and the Outstanding Senior Award. We provide financial support for our students to travel to conferences and observatories, including our McDonald Observatory in West Texas, where they benefit from the world's largest telescopes, advanced instrumentation, and dark skies. (Undergraduate Awards)

The Astronomy program helps to prepare undergraduate students for further education in graduate school or/and many career paths spanning education, research, computing, government and journalism. And above all, it gives students the opportunity to join the great intellectual adventures and explorations of astronomy.

If you have questions, please contact us at:

Student Coordinator
Department of Astronomy
University of Texas at Austin
RLM 15.202AA
Austin, TX 78712

phone: (512) 471-3350
fax: (512) 471-6016
hours: M-F: 8-12, 1-5 PM

In the News

Amanda Turbyfill wins Best Poster Award at Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP)

amanda turbyfill

Amanda Turbyfill

Amanda Turbyfill won the Best Poster Award at the Conference for Under-graduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) held at Louisiana State University in January, presenting the latest research in her work with Professor Dinerstein. The poster, "Investigating Possible Departures from Maxwellian Energy Distributions in Nebulae using High-Resolution Emission-Line Spectra", explains the motivation and method for testing a recently hypothesized solution to an old problem -- inconsistent nebular abundances.

Kayla Leonard Wins Freshman Prize for Excellence 2013

kayla leonard

Kayla Leonard

Kayla Leonard was selected as this year's recipient of the Astronomy Freshman Prize for Excellence. Before entering the University of Texas, Kayla attended NASA's Advanced Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama and did a summer internship at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in the Particle Physics Division.

...more at In the News

Astronomy Students Association


freshman research initiative

Freshman Research Initiative

Cosmic Dawn

Exploring the Universe with White Dwarf Stars


CNS Family Day Fall '12

Fall '12 Research Symposium

Spring '12 Graduation Ceremony

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