Program in Astronomy College of Arts and Sciences Stony Brook University, State University of New York

Program in Astronomy College of Arts and Sciences Stony Brook University, State University of New York

Stony Brook, NY
student ratio
Not Reported
total students
average amount to complete degree
January 15
fall application deadline
Not Reported
acceptance rate
1 Degree Offered
degrees offered


Department of Physics and Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers four graduate degrees. Students in the Ph.D. program gain a solid background in the breadth of physics and astronomy and demonstrate their ability to carry out research and overcome new challenges in a specific area of interest. A Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) provides students who have a B.A. degree in a physical science or engineering with the preparation needed for New York State certification as a secondary school teacher. This program addresses the widely known shortage of well-trained high school physics teachers. A Master of Science in Instrumentation program prepares students with undergraduate degrees in physical science, mathematics, or engineering to enter modern technological enterprises such as research labs, industries, and hospitals as professional physicists with expertise in instrumentation.

The program offers both course work and an original instrumentation project in one of the Department's cutting-edge research labs. The Department does not recruit candidates seeking only the Master of Arts (M.A.) in physics degree. However, many students who come to Stony Brook on limited-time exchange programs enroll in the M.A. program. The M.A. may also be awarded to students originally enrolled in the Ph.D. program, either en route to the Ph.D. or as a terminal degree.

Physics and Astronomy Research

Physics research is conducted in the areas of particle, nuclear, condensed matter, mesoscopic, nanoscale, device, atomic, molecular, and optical physics on campus and at research facilities elsewhere. A number of institutes dedicated to specific fields of research are associated with the Department. The C. N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics focuses on research in fundamental theory such as particle theory, neutrino physics, string theory, supersymmetry, and statistical mechanics. The Nuclear Theory Institute works on the theory of nonperturbative quantum chromodynamics and the properties of hadronic matter. A new Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, initiated by a significant private donation to the University, is now in the planning stage. It will build on the historic close interaction between mathematicians and physicists at Stony Brook. The Institute for Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences offers a program in atmospheric physics. The Center for Environmental Molecular Sciences enables study of biological and environmental problems. Under the umbrella of the New York Center for Computational Science (NYCCS), the Stony Brook Center for Computational Science coordinates with the Brookhaven Computational Science Center (CSC) on their mission to develop interdisciplinary computational science at Stony Brook. It provides a focal point for the community of users of the new IBM BlueGene/L supercomputer, NY Blue. The Department has a tandem Van de Graaff accelerator that after forty years of nuclear research is now being converted to educational, training, and accelerator R&D efforts. Faculty and staff members make use of many off-campus facilities including the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at BNL, the Fermilab Tevatron Collider, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, neutrino facilities in Japan, the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at BNL, and synchrotron light sources at BNL, Argonne National Laboratory, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Astronomical research is conducted on both theoretical and observational topics. The group uses DOE supercomputing facilities as well as on-site Beowulf clusters for extensive simulations of astronomical objects and nuclear astrophysical processes. Observational research investigates extragalactic and cosmological parameters, molecular clouds, stellar properties, star formation regions, and neutron stars. Stony Brook is a member of the SMARTS consortium that operates a set of telescopes at Cerro Tololo in Chile. Faculty members and students are also frequent users of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories, the National Radio Astronomy Observatories, the observatories at Mauna Kea, and the millimeter wave facilities at FCRAO and IRAM. They have also received extensive time on space-based observatories, including the Hubble Space Telescope.

There are additional research possibilities for graduate students at Brookhaven National Laboratory or Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in various areas of physics not found in the Department. Students may also find opportunities in related disciplines at Stony Brook in such programs as Medical Physics, Chemical Physics, Atmospheric and Climate Modeling, Materials Science, or Biophysics.

Student Group

Stony Brook's current enrollment is 23,354 students. There are 7,829 graduate students, and they come from all states in the nation, as well as from some seventy-five countries. International students, both graduate and undergraduate, represent about 10 percent of the total student body. There are 185 graduate students in the Department.

Student Outcomes

Students often go on to traditional research positions at universities and national laboratories as well as to industrial labs and to other careers, including medical physics and analysis in technological and financial settings. In addition, many graduates fill positions in high school or higher education, while others contribute to research programs in laboratories in the public, private, and educational sectors.

A State University in the Shadow of New York City

Located on 1,000 acres on the north shore of Long Island, Stony Brook University is just 60 miles east of New York City. Students have access to the rich cultural activities, museums, libraries, and entertainment in New York City via the university's on-campus rail station.

Stony Brook students enjoy various recreational activities throughout the year, particularly outdoor activities at the nearby West Meadow Beach and the campus hiking and biking trails. Stony Brook University features a wide variety of student services and facilities, including a medical center, residence halls, fitness centers, and 8 campus libraries.

Location & Contact

Program in Astronomy

College of Arts and Sciences
Stony Brook University, State University of New York

Nicolls Road
Stony Brook, NY 11794
United States

Dr. Laszlo Mihaly


Phone: 631-632-8100
Fax: 631-632-8176

Sara Lutterbie


Phone: 631-632-8759
Fax: 631-632-8176

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Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Astronomy Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Not reported
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? Not reported
    • Terminal master's degree available? No
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied Not Reported
    • Accepted Not Reported
    • Acceptance Rate Not Reported
    • Enrolled Not Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $100
    • Application Fee - International $100
    • Electronic applications accepted? Not Reported
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 15th Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test, minimum GPA of 3.0
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & Fees$4,685
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsFebruary 1
    • Types of financial support availableNot Reported