Astronomy and Astrophysics: Astronomy and Astrophysics PhD

Doctor of Philosophy​

Program Description

The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics offers dynamic and competitive doctoral programs which emphasize research.

Students may be accepted into the PhD program via one of two routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate master's degree or 2) direct entry following completion of a bachelor's degree.

 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must demonstrate proficiency in English. See General Regulations section 4.3 for requirements.

  • Applicants may be accepted into the PhD program following completion of an MSc degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Toronto, or an MSc degree in another appropriate discipline or from elsewhere deemed equivalent, with an average of at least B+ or demonstrated comparable research competence.

  • Because many universities do not offer extensive undergraduate training in astronomy and astrophysics, preparation in physics and mathematics is an acceptable background.

Program Requirements

  • There is no minimum course requirement in the four-year program except for courses deemed necessary by the student's PhD supervisory committee.

  • Students register in the AST 4000Y Research course series (in sequence of the last digit: 2, 3, etc.) beginning in the Summer session of Year 1 and continue through the sequence through Year 4. The first registration, AST 4002Y, corresponds to the qualifying examinations. The series continues with registration each Fall/Winter, starting with AST4003Y and is incremented by one digit each subsequent academic year. This registration is tied to thesis research progress, which is assessed based on the two required annual PhD supervisory committee meetings in October and April.

  • Students must successfully complete the two parts of the PhD qualifying examinations: general knowledge and thesis proposal. Both are oral examinations conducted by a panel of faculty members. The general knowledge section evaluates the student's mastery of general astronomy and astrophysics. The thesis proposal section evaluates the feasibility and value of the proposed thesis, and verifies that the student has sufficient preparation in the relevant research area. It is based in part on a written summary of the proposed thesis provided by the student to the examiners. Both qualifying examinations are taken in the Summer session of Year 1.

  • A thesis embodying the results of original research which must be submitted for appraisal in accordance with the regulations of the School of Graduate Studies.

  • Residence. Students are normally expected to be on campus full-time for the duration of the program.

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must demonstrate proficiency in English. See General Regulations section 4.3 for requirements.

  • Students are accepted into the PhD program following completion of a bachelor's degree, with an average in the final two years equivalent to a University of Toronto A- or better from a recognized university

  • Because many universities do not offer extensive undergraduate training in astronomy and astrophysics, preparation in physics and mathematics is an acceptable background.

Program Requirements

  • Completion of 2.0 required full-course equivalents (FCEs): AST 1501Y and AST 1500Y, with different supervisors. Students are immediately engaged in original research throughout these two required research courses. AST 1501Y is normally completed during the Fall/Winter of Year 1, and AST 1500Y is completed in the following Summer session. An oral exam by committee is held for each.

  • A minimum of four half courses (2.0 FCEs) from the AST preparatory, elective, or specialized courses.

  • Students register in the AST 4000Y Research course series (in sequence of the last digit: 2, 3, etc,) beginning in the Summer session of Year 2 and continue the sequence through Year 5. The first registration, AST 4002Y, corresponds to the qualifying examinations. The series continues with registration each Fall/Winter, starting with AST4003Y and is incremented by one digit each subsequent academic year. This registration is tied to thesis research progress, which is assessed based on the two required annual PhD supervisory committee meetings in October and April.

  • Students must successfully complete the two parts of the PhD qualifying examinations: general knowledge and thesis proposal. Both are oral examinations conducted by a panel of faculty members. The general knowledge section evaluates the student's mastery of general astronomy and astrophysics. The thesis proposal section evaluates the feasibility and value of the proposed thesis, and verifies that the student has sufficient preparation in the relevant research area. It is based in part on a written summary of the proposed thesis provided by the student to the examiners. Both qualifying examinations are taken in the Summer session of Year 2.

  • A thesis embodying the results of original research which must be submitted for appraisal in accordance with the regulations of the School of Graduate Studies.

  • Residence. Students are normally expected to be on campus full-time for the duration of the program.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years