Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Astrophysics M.S.

Astrophysics, Minnesota Institute for
College of Science and Engineering
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics, 116 Church Street S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-624-4811; fax: 612-626-2029)
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Length of program in credits: 30
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Science
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
Astrophysics is the study of the universe and its constituent parts. The department conducts research in observational, theoretical, and computational astrophysics, as well as instrument development. The main research areas include minor planetary bodies, solar system properties, dynamics of normal and active galaxies, stellar evolution, interaction of stars with their environments, the interstellar medium, astrophysical magnetohydrodynamics, and galactic and cosmological structure. Observational research includes activities that cover X-ray, ultraviolet, optical, infrared, and radio wavelengths. Extensive research programs in space physics, nucleosynthesis, and the elementary particle-cosmology interface are also carried out in interdisciplinary connections with the graduate program in physics.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.50.
An undergraduate degree in astronomy or physics or the equivalent is required. Contact the Graduate Studies Committee for exceptions.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
A statement of career goals, scores from the GRE General (Aptitude) Test and Subject (Advanced) Test in physics, and three letters of recommendation are required. Applications are due by January 1 to be considered for fellowships and by January 15 for teaching and research assistantships. Students are admitted fall semester only. Additional application information is available at
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
    • Total Score: 6.5
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan A: Plan A requires 14 major credits, 6 credits outside the major, and 10 thesis credits. The final exam is oral.
Plan B: Plan B requires 14 to 24 major credits and 6 to 16 credits outside the major. The final exam is oral.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
The master's degree requires a minimum of 30 credits and is offered under Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (project). Completion of the degree normally takes two years.
Required Coursework
All students are required to take the following course
PHYS 5011 - Classical Physics I (4.0 cr)
Plan A
Plan A requires 14 credits in astrophysics, 6 credits in a minor or in related fields outside AST, and 10 thesis credits
AST 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's (1.0-18.0 cr)
Plan B
Plan B requires 14 credits in astrophysics and 6 credits in a minor or in related fields outside of AST. The remaining 10 credits may be taken in the major field or any supporting field. The Plan B also requires the completion of 1-3 papers written in connection with three courses taken in the program.
More program views..
View college catalog(s):
· College of Science and Engineering

View future requirement(s):
· Fall 2020

View PDF Version:
Search Programs

Search University Catalogs
Related links.

College of Science and Engineering

Graduate Admissions

Graduate School Fellowships

Graduate Assistantships

Colleges and Schools

One Stop
for tuition, course registration, financial aid, academic calendars, and more
PHYS 5011 - Classical Physics I
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Classical mechanics: Lagrangian/Hamiltonian mechanics, orbital dynamics, rigid body motion, special relativity. prereq: 4001, 4002 or instr consent
AST 8777 - Thesis Credits: Master's
Credits: 1.0 -18.0 [max 50.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
(No description) prereq: Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 10 cr total required [Plan A only]