Astronomy confronts fundamental questions about the nature of our universe and our place in it. Our telescopes allow us to peer out from Earth and back in time to observe the origins and evolution of galaxies, stars, and planets. The advancing power of computers allows us to apply astrophysical principles to simulate the evolution of these distant objects to learn about their internal workings.
Find research opportunities
IU Astronomy and Astrophysics majors use telescopes at campus observatories, and students involved in faculty-supervised research projects analyze data from the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope and 0.9 meter telescopes at Kitt Peak and other ground-and space-based observatories. Many students are able to participate in observing runs on our research telescopes, and students also use the extensive computing facilities on campus.
Degree options in Astronomy
Our courses and degree programs offer training in creative, disciplined, and quantitative analytical thinking that is valuable for a great variety of careers.
- The Bachelor of Arts degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics is designed for students who are interested in astronomy as the subject of a liberal arts education, and allows great flexibility in the selection of courses. The focus of the B.A. is on breadth of knowledge rather than on depth or specialization.
- The Bachelor of Science degree focuses more on depth of knowledge, and as such prepares students for graduate study and a subsequent career in astronomy and astrophysics, and as well as for careers in related technical fields.
Exciting, high impact careers
Many of our graduate go on to graduate school in astronomy or enter professional degree programs. Recent graduates have pursued careers in astronomy, physics, science writing, science education and outreach, computing and data science, medicine, nursing, imaging science, petroleum, the military, law, and business.
Preparation for a meaningful career
Your degree will provide you with a diverse set of skills and knowledge, preparing you for a variety of work environments. We offer and encourage participation in internships.Learn more
Explore your academic + career options
Check out the Astronomy Major Guides for a detailed consideration of the degree, internships, scholarships, awards, special areas of study, research opportunities, and career options.
The Astronomy Major Guides are ready reference tools that will help you hone your academic and career plans, making the most of your undergraduate experience.