University of California, San Diego

Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences


    Graduate Study in Astrophysics
       at UCSD

UCSD offers a variety of graduate and research opportunities in astrophysics and space sciences and CASS has a number of graduate students working with faculty and research staff as thesis students. CASS is not an academic department, however; prospective graduate students apply through the departments of Physics, Chemistry, or Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and follow the individual departmental curricula. Graduate students in the three departments concentrate on core courses during the first academic year, usually with financial support through Research Fellowships and/or Teaching Assistantships.

Graduate students under CASS faculty or research staff direction have the opportunity to work on a wide range of scientific problems in experimental, observational or theoretical astrophysics and space sciences. These include theoretical studies of nucleosynthetic processes in the early universe, numerical simulations of non-linear plasma processes, analysis and interpretation of data obtained from ground and space based instruments, making observations at optical, infrared, X-ray or radio wavelengths, and participating in the development and construction of forefront astronomical instrumentation. Students in CASS have direct access to UC's ground-based optical/IR facilities at Lick Observatory and the UCSD/U. Minnesota 1.5-m telescope at Mt. Lemmon, Arizona. Through their research advisor students also have access to the 10m Keck Telescopes on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Research areas are listed under the CASS Research Activities page.
Mauna Kea Observatory from the West.
The Keck Telescopes, to the left,
have provided data for several CASS PhD theses.

UCSD's HEXTE Experiment on XTE
is also providing graduate thesis research.
The goal of CASS is that PhD graduates have demonstrated a breadth of astrophysics and space science knowledge, a working experience with the techniques of his/her research specialty, and a deep understanding of both observational and theoretical aspects related to a thesis research topic. There are many colloquia and seminars offered through the associated departments. These include the Physics Department/CASS Astrophysics Seminar, the ECE Space Physics Seminar, and the Cosmochemistry Seminar. Various research groups also conduct informal seminars or journal clubs.

In addition to regular (core) departmental offerings (e.g. quantum mechanics, mathemetical methods) there are a number of course offerings in the three departments associated with CASS for students in astrophysics and space sciences:

Related UCSD Departments and Course Information:

For further information see the UCSD General Catalog or contact the graduate admissions secretary of the appropriate department:

    Debra Bomar
    Physics Department 0354
    La Jolla, CA 92093-0354
    (858) 534-3293
    Karol Previte
    EBU I, Room 2705
    La Jolla, CA 92093-0407
    (858) 534-4286
    Lynda Chang
    Chemistry Department 0301
    La Jolla, CA 92093-0301
    (858) 534-6870

The UCSD/La Jolla/San Diego Community

There is more to La Jolla than the beaches (although these are some of the nicest in Southern California) and more to San Diego than the zoo (probably the best in the world, especially if you include the Wild Animal Park). UCSD and La Jolla support a vibrant performing arts community, including a wide range of artists from Chamber Music to Comedy presented by the University Events Office in UCSD's Mandeville Additorium, and the highly-regarded La Jolla Playhouse whose home is the Mandell Weiss Theater on campus. San Diego supports an excellent Opera and a good Symphony, a wide range of Theater, including the famous Old Globe replica, sports teams that sometimes make the playoffs, and a revitalized downtown with its Gaslamp Quarter and nearby Old Town.

San Diego is a rapidly growing city, but still retains many community aspects of a much smaller city and is considered by most standards one of the nation's most "liveable" urban areas. Wilderness areas from desert to mountain ranges are within short driving distances.

And there is no beating San Diego's climate!

La Jolla Shores and the Scripps Pier

Here are some links to community activities:

Return to CASS Home Page