Astronomy & Astrophysics

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

Professor in observatory

Explore the vast expanses of outer space and the chemical makeup

The B.S. in astronomy & astrophysics at UW offers students an adventurous course of study in astronomical objects—from stars to black holes to solar systems—and their properties and functions. The program aims to prepare students for rewarding careers in the lab, the classroom and beyond.

With expert faculty, small class sizes and state-of-the-art research telescopes, we believe our program is truly out of this world.

About Astronomy and Astrophysics at UW

UW is perhaps the only U.S. university with complete ownership of a research-grade, 2.3-meter-class telescope near campus (WIRO). Plus, there are six UW faculty who focus on research in astronomy and typically around 30 dedicated majors in astronomy. This makes UW a great institution at which to conduct well-supported, authentic research in astronomy as part of an undergraduate degree. 

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Danny Dale working with people

Our faculty are active across campus and in the community and collaborate with colleges and departments like Education, Anthropology and Computer Science. Many of them are also leaders in their fields of study.

Dr. Henry Kobulnicky has received multiple N.A.S.A. grants for his work on the Nature of Extraplanar Galactic Dust. Dr. Danny Dale has been awarded access to the new James Webb telescope for three of his research projects.

Plus, our faculty members frequently have access to top-10 supercomputers such as Perlmutter, observe with powerful space telescopes such as HST and JWST and utilize cutting-edge instrumentation such as the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument. This means you may have opportunities to learn with this equipment during your studies at UW!

Professor teaching at white board

What Can You Do With a BS in Astronomy and Astrophysics?

Students earning astrophysics degrees are well-trained problem solvers who enjoy diverse challenging careers and who earn salaries competitive with fields like engineering. Most astrophysics degree students choose to earn a double major in physics & astrophysics. Students can also earn a secondary teaching credential to teach high school physics, an occupation very much in demand across the country.

Astronomy and Astrophysics Careers

  • Astrophysicist 
  • Astrophysics Technologist
  • Research Physicist 
  • Aeronautical Engineer
  • Astrophotographer
  • Meteorologist 
  • University Professor 
  • High School Science Teacher


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Notable UW Astronomy and Astrophysics Alumni Employers:

  • Duke University 
  • University of Arizona 
  • University of Pennsylvania 
  • Pennsylvania State University 
  • UT Austin 
  • Princeton University 
  • New Mexico State University 
  • ITT Tech 
  • Biomedicine 
  • U.S. Marine Corps. 
  • Bill Barrett Corp., Denver 
  • Google 
  • Lowell Observatory 
  • U.S. Air Force   


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Astronomy and Astrophysics Degree Program Highlights

Students choose to major in astronomy & astrophysics at UW for a variety of reasons, but several stand out. If you join the program, you'll enjoy the following perks and much more.

Smaller Class Sizes

UW offers a unique combination of a large state university with extensive science resources and a small college with intimate class sizes. Unlike a typical introductory physics class at a state university with 400 students in a large lecture hall, UW's class size is limited to around 45 students, fostering a collaborative small group class setting. 

Paid Research Opportunities

Interested in research in astronomy and astrophysics? The Wyoming Research Scholars Program is a part of the UW Science Initiative that spans the university, and it connects undergraduate students with faculty mentors to engage in pioneering research projects as early as their freshman year. If you're curious, take a look at this video tour of our labs dedicated to astronomy and astrophysics.

UW Observatories

The astronomy & astrophysics degree offers students access to a number of advanced observatories (including three research-quality telescopes) to take advantage of during their research. You don't want to miss those! Laramie offers a fantastic night sky.

Networking & Student Groups

As part of their academic and professional development, student can join the Society of Physics Students organization at our university. The organization provides opportunities to attend national conferences and visit regional physical laboratories, where they can network with practicing scientists in the field of physics.


No other undergraduate program I've heard about compares to UW in terms of access to research, especially early in college.

- Astronomy & Astrophysics Graduate

Contact Us

We're Eager to Help!

Department of Physics and Astronomy

University of Wyoming, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Department 3905, 1000 E. University Avenue

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2652