The APS department offers an MS and PhD degree, as well as an undergraduate minor and major; however, only students planning to earn their PhD will be considered for admission. Graduate students generally specialize in the areas of astrophysics or planetary science.
The Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences (APS) at the University of Colorado has a reputation of excellence, both nationally and internationally. Consistently ranked among the top programs in the country, the department enjoys a diversity of research interests with 22 rostered faculty, 50 research and affiliated faculty and 47 graduate students.
The program successfully integrates astrophysics, planetary science, solar physics and space instrumentation, with strong observational and theoretical components. These assets facilitate interaction and collaboration between the disciplines and enable students to explore a wide variety of research areas. In addition, the SommersBausch Observatory on campus provides excellent handson experience with telescopes and observing, and the department supports the worldclass Fiske Planetarium, which offers a unique opportunity for public outreach. These campus resources are complemented by other affiliated research organizations in Boulder.
The APS Department is affiliated with many different research labs, both within the university (CASA, LASP, JILA) and in the Boulder area (High Altitude Observatory/NCAR, NOAA, NIST, Southwest Research Institute). These affiliations often lead to research opportunities for students in the major. Students may also choose to work with APS faculty on independent research projects that use the Sommers-Bausch Observatory, the 3.5m Apache Point Observatory or the Fiske Planetarium.