Astronomy - Doctor of Philosophy

The Astronomy Department at NMSU offers programs leading to the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Graduate courses cover topics in astrophysics, stellar atmospheres, observational techniques, the interstellar medium, galactic structure, star formation and evolution, extragalactic objects, cosmology, and solar system studies. Students also take courses in other relevant fields to broaden their knowledge and capabilities.

The MINIMUM course and credit-hour requirements of the NMSU Department of Astronomy toward completion of the Ph.D. program are 


ASTR 500                                Seminar 4-credits (4 semesters)

ASTR 501-597, 601-699         Regular Classes, 27-credits (9 courses)

Out of department OR             Regular Classes, 6-credits (2 courses)
ASTR 501-597, 601-699

ASTR 598                                Special Research Programs, 3-credits

ASTR 600                                Pre-Dissertation Research, 6-credits

ASTR 700                               Dissertation Research, 18-credits

Minimum Total Credits            64 credits


Students may take two out-of-department classes to fulfill the overall credit requirements if these classes are deemed by the student and her/his committee to be appropriate to the student's program-of-study.
A maximum of one 3-credit course numbered between 450 and 499 can be applied to the out-of-department course/credit-hour requirement, but only with the approval of the student's Committee.
Otherwise, out of department classes must be at the 500 or greater level.

If more than 6 credits of out-of-department classes are taken, they may potentially count toward the required total courses/credit hours, but only with the approval of the student's Committee.

Several different course numbers involve research credits: ASTR 598, ASTR 599, ASTR 600, and ASTR 700.
ASTR 598 is generally taken sometime in the first five semesters (we recommend trying to schedule one during your second year) and is intended to provide a semi-formal introduction to doing a research project. 
ASTR 600 and ASTR 700 credits are designed towards dissertation research. You may take anywhere from 1-9 credits of these in a semester. Generally, ASTR 600 credits can be taken before the thesis proposal is done, and ASTR 700 credits can be taken afterward. Specific milestones/requirements for ASTR 600 and ASTR 700 should be discussed with your research advisor.