Astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects such as planets, stars, galaxies, and the Universe as a whole. In practice, Astronomy is mostly about using remote observations of celestial objects to understand how those objects work.
At Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, students in the Bachelor of Science in Astronomy and Astrophysics program are prepared to enter a broad variety of industrial and basic science applications, as well as graduate programs in related fields. Students will use a combination of physics and astronomy classroom courses, along with hands-on laboratory courses, to understand and explore the Universe.
Embry-Riddle offers students plenty of advantages that include faculty ties to major resources, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, and major research programs sponsored by NASA and the National Science Foundation. Every year, ERAU graduates more students in Astronomy and Astrophysics than 85% of other undergraduate astronomy programs.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 14 percent increase in physics and astronomy jobs between 2016 and 2026.
The median annual wage for Ph.D. astronomers and astrophysicists was $119,580, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Students frequently work one-on-one with faculty on research projects and activities.
About Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Daytona Beach, FL Campus
The B.S. in Astronomy & Astrophysics at the Daytona Beach Campus has a strong fundamental basis in mathematics and physics. Housed in the Department of Physical Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, the program is a member of the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA) and has been appointed the consortium’s lead administrative institution by its Board of Directors.
The Department’s observatory facilities include an instrumented 1-meter telescope (the largest university research telescope in the southeastern U.S.). This and other high-caliber technologies are used in the laboratory components of the program. Two new spectrographs, fed by light from the 1-meter telescope, enable students to determine the temperatures, compositions, rotation rates, and speeds of stars, planets, nebulae, and extragalactic objects.
As the lead member of the SARA, a group of 12 U.S. universities with similar goals for education and research in astronomy and astrophysics, students have remote access to telescopes around the globe. Through this partnership, ERAU faculty and students will have almost continuous access to nearly 90 percent of the sky.
Astronomy & Astrophysics students have access to dynamic labs on campus, including the Laboratory for Exosphere and Near Space Environment Studies (LENSES). LENSES houses computer workstations, two- and three-etalon Fabry-Perot interferometers, and optical calibrations sources with which to conduct optical observations of the earth's exosphere, the moon, and stars.
Students are eligible to participate in study abroad programs.
About Astronomy at the Prescott, AZ Campus
Through hands-on experiences with the instruments that unlock the secrets of the skies, students in the Bachelor of Science in Astronomy program at the Prescott Campus can make precise observations of a variety of celestial objects. Prescott’s campus houses the Optical Observatory, newly upgraded with a computer-controlled 16-inch diameter telescope and professional-quality electronic camera.
Students attend classes in dynamic, engineering-related labs and facilities, such as the Campus Observatory Complex, Cosmic Ray Laboratory, and Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).
Prescott’s campus has one of only a handful of Astronomy degree programs in the Western United States, and its high-altitude location away from large cities allows students to take advantage of equipment access on campus to view the nearest heavens while peering up at the farthest reaches through access to the Hubble Space Telescope and research programs at NASA and the National Science Foundation.
Diverse co-operative education (co-op)/internship opportunities are available for students interested in expanding their experiences. Students can also participate in study abroad opportunities.