Our Ph.D. program is designed to prepare students for independent and innovative research in astrophysics. We place a high value on breadth of knowledge in astrophysics, in addition to expertise in a single area.  We take pride in our interactive, collegial, and supportive atmosphere, and strive to make our community an inclusive place.  Below are some of the distinguishing features of our program.

  • Extensive opportunities to work on frontier research with approximately 20 faculty members and 50 postdoctoral scientists, as well as members of Princeton's Plasma Physics Laboratory, Center for Statistics and Machine Learning,  and Physics Department.
  • Vibrant intellectual atmosphere: daily astrophysics discussions at 10:30, weekly joint colloquia and luncheons with the Institute for Advanced Study, a dozen different weekly seminars and group meetings, and a constant stream of visitors from around the world.
  • Relatively small and cohesive program, with a student/faculty ratio of approximately 1.6 to 1.
  • Freedom from any concerns about funding: guaranteed financial support (stipend + tuition) for all years of the program, regardless of research topic or advisor.
  • Five-year completion time: two years of breadth (working on short projects with multiple advisors) and three years of depth.
  • Minimal course requirement: four astrophysics subjects (although plenty of optional courses are offered). 
  • Minimal teaching requirement: one semester (although more opportunities are available for volunteers).
  • Ample resources for computing and observing.

Our graduates obtain excellent positions in academia and industry, and have included 25 recipients of the NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellowship and many other prestigious fellowships.

The small university town of Princeton, New Jersey (population 30,000) has many historical and cultural offerings, including two performing arts centers, a downtown cinema, the University's renowned art museum, and many cafes and restaurants.  Princeton and the surrounding area have many green spaces and places for hiking, biking, climbing, canoeing.  Further afield in New Jersey are an extensive ocean shore, skiing lodges and white-water rafting.  New York and Philadelphia are easy day-trips by train, bus, or car.