What Can I Do With a Major In Astrophysics?

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Connect with:
Marlena Yang

Career Counselor
yang1358@umn.edu
marlenay.appointments.umn.edu
612-624-7577

Major Information

Do you dream of exploring such diverse fields as the solar system, star formation and stellar evolution, the structure and makeup of the interstellar medium in the Milky Way, and the structure and evolution of the universe?

Are you comfortable with calculus and advanced physics, fearless about studying them more, and ready to apply that knowledge to an exploration of cosmic problems?

If you answered yes, a major in astrophysics may be “in your stars.”

As an astrophysics major you will find a challenging, yet personal, environment where you can prepare for a career in research, teaching, and other scientific areas. You will receive a rigorous foundation in astronomy and physics, while working closely with internationally respected faculty on the most important astrophysical research problems of the day. Working with faculty, you’ll make use of the excellent observational, laboratory, and computational facilities in the department as well as national and international observatories.

All liberal arts degrees help CLA students develop their Core Career Competencies, and astrophysics majors develop specific skills that are applicable to lots of different careers. These skills include:

  • Analytical and critical-thinking skills
  • Strong research skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to gather, interpret and report data
  • Extensive math and physics knowledge
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively

Interest Code: ISE

Internship & Job Search Websites

Student Groups

Professional Organizations

Career Options

Below is a small sampling of what alumni with this major have pursued, organized by the most common career fields they go into (although, keep in mind that there are astrophysics alumni in all eight of the career fields).  For more career information for astrophysics majors, utilize these additional resources:

  • What Can I Do With This Major - Find information about common career paths, employers, and strategies for how to build experience in different career fields
  • LinkedIn's Alumni Tool - Explore thousands of alumni career pathways
  • GoldPASS - Explore different job, internship, and volunteer opportunities as well as career events on campus

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Healthcare & Science

Entry-Level

  • Research Assistant, University of Minnesota Observational Cosmology Group

Experienced

  • Engineer, 3M*
  • Owner, Realtime Precision Systems, Inc.
  • Planetarium Outreach Educator, The Bell Museum