Post-Baccalaureate Program

Please note:  We will not be accepting applications for the coming 2019-2020 academic year.

Princeton University Post-Baccalaureate Program in Astrophysics

1 - Summary

Post Baccalaureates 2017-2018

2018 Post-Baccalaureate Presenters

The Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University offers a two year post-baccalaureate program to strengthen preparation for pursuing a PhD in astrophysics or related fields at a US graduate school. This is a research assistantship rather than a degree program but includes training and course work. The Department is a vibrant community of faculty, research staff and students working on a wide variety of topics in astrophysics, and is ranked among the best departments in the world offering graduate degrees in astrophysics. Participants receive full support stipend, research allowance and summer salary for both years. There is no application fee if one applies through the link below. The program is targeted towards members of groups in the United States who have traditionally been underrepresented in the physical sciences, including women. Preference is given to undergraduate degrees in physics, astronomy, or related STEM fields.

2 - Course of Study

The course of study is tailored to the needs and background of each participant. Broadly speaking, 2 courses per semester will be taken in physics (classical and statistical mechanics, quantum physics, electromagnetism), astrophysics, and mathematics at the advanced undergraduate or graduate level. Postbaccs will also carry out research with a faculty advisor or in a research group, and will receive an official transcript at the end of the program.

The program includes mentoring and support on career paths and advice on graduate school applications.

3 - Philosophy

Graduate studies in astrophysics require an extensive background in physics, mathematics and computational science. Some highly talented and dedicated students lack opportunities to master all of the prerequisites before completing their undergraduate education. We seek such students, especially from traditionally underrepresented groups (Native American, Hispanic, African-American, women, and those in challenged economic circumstances), who wish to pursue the higher education and research necessary for study in astrophysics. Our goal is to prepare potential young scientists to make very strong applications to the best graduate schools.

4 - Financial support

Princeton University and the Department of Astrophysical Sciences provides full support to research assistants in the post-baccalaureate program, including a healthcare plan, salary for the academic year (70% FTE - approximately $3080/mo), and a small research budget. Other research support, including the use of the department’s computer facilities, is also covered. Funding for the second year is contingent upon the continued effort of the participant to pursue a GRE and a career in physical sciences. The program is presently in its third year and has resources for only two participants per year.

5 - Further information

Questions can be addressed to Please note that the Princeton Physics department also has a bridge program, which can be applied to at the same link given above, and which has a separate deadline. In practice, the activities of the post-baccaleaureate students in the physics and astrophysics departments are coordinated to some extent. For Physics, please review and contact Professor Herman Verlinde (