Choosing to study Astronomy is not only a valuable choice, but usually an obligatory first step for pupils wanting to begin a career as an astrological trends analyst, an observatory telescope technician, or a rocket scientist. Interestingly, astronomy is an uncommon degree coming in at the 292nd most popular major. Last academic year alone, there were 435 astronomy graduates. In-state tuition for astronomy at private universities is, on average, 4 times more costly than their public peers.
With only 73 institutions having programs for astronomy you may have a more finite list of the institutions you can choose from. If you're hoping to immerse yourself with other astronomy students, consider institutions in Colorado which have more undergraduates admitted to astronomy than any other state. More generally, the best region to pursue astronomy is in the Great Lakes region with University of Chicago, Indiana University-Bloomington, and Ohio State University-Main Campus best representing the region. Interestingly, our pick for the best conference to major in astronomy is the Pacific-12 Conference with University of Arizona, University of Colorado Boulder, and University of Washington-Seattle Campus representing the conference. From our list of the best colleges, our belief is that the best university for astronomy is University of Chicago.
The best school does not mean it is the 'best' school for every student. There are tons of angels to think about when deciding on college. External stuff such as campus amenities, transportation services, and food would definitely alter your choice on which college to attend. Here at Authority, we've evaluated the pros and cons for you. If, for example, you are interested in which astronomy school has the top campus, the answer is Boston University. If, for example, you are mostly interested in which school boasts the finest campus, we have an entire list dedicated to that. We have carefully pored through student reviews, professor reviews, government databases, and more in order to compare every U.S. major in an unbiased and informative way. You can find our well researched list for the universities with the best student life here and our selection of the school with the best student life for astronomy is University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Curious why? Continue scrolling to learn more about our top recommendations. Many of our picks will probably shock you.
If expense is a primary factor in your decision on where to go to university, you might be cautious about Vassar College. Vassar College appears to be the most expensive school for astronomy, at least for out of state students. We do have an entire list of the most expensive schools that might put the price tag of Vassar College into perspective. Additionally, you may be interested to know that astronomy is the 135th most expensive program in the nation, with an average bill of $35,100. To zoom out a little, the most costly state for astronomy in the country is Michigan with tuition and fees at the primary college, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, of $52,669. Even more broadly, the most costly region of the country for astronomy is the New England region which is best demonstrated with Boston University with a cost of $54,720, University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a cost of $35,112, and Mount Holyoke College with a cost of $52,040.
Our cheapest region for astronomy is the Rocky Mountains region which is represented by University of Colorado Boulder with a cost of $34,930 and Brigham Young University-Provo with a cost of $5,790. In better news, the most affordable school for astronomy is Brigham Young University-Provo. Authority.org's entire list of the most affordable universities can be explored here.
In-state students can anticipate paying around $12,300 for a degree in astronomy. That cost inflates significantly to a median of $35,000 for the out-of-state public-school student. On that note, our pick for the college constituting the best value for astronomy: University of Chicago. Here you will see our comprehensive list of the colleges we believe to be the best value overall. Bear in mind, this section is based on the assumption that you are an out-of-state student. The value proposition changes when it comes to in-state tuition, but we do not know where you live (and are not trying to collect that kind of data).
Earnings for astronomy students vary widely, but two-years after graduation graduates will regularly earn in the neighborhood of $64,200. There can be much variation in earnings potential; top positions can rake in up to $126,800. Straight out of college, the lowest earning opportunities within the astronomy field make $32,000, which isn't that bad. The highest earning graduates for astronomy studied at Villanova University and if you want to find the colleges with all of the highest earning graduates, we have that too.
The general diversity of astronomy ranks below average, being in the 45th percentile of all majors. The college with the most composite diversity for astronomy is University of Chicago and here you can find our comprehensive list of the universities with the most diversity. The overall financial diversity of Astronomy sits only within the 17th percentile of all majors. Racial diversity is actually greater, in the 37th percentile. White undergraduates compose the largest proportion at 65% of students majoring in astronomy. Additionally, 63% of students pursuing an astronomy major are men.
The median ranking for astronomy professors is 3.8 stars, which is 5% worse than the average across all majors; which is a subpar score. If you want the most popular astronomy professor nationally, look no further than Thomas Brueckner at University of Central Florida. It may come as a shock, but the highest rated astronomy instructors from student rankings are found at Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus. If we incorporate information other than just rankings it becomes clear that the school with the overall best instructors for astronomy is University of Chicago. You can find more detail on our ever evolving ranking methodology of the best overall professors here, as well as many of the top professors in the U.S.
Finally, the most difficult school to get into for astronomy is University of Chicago. While we are unsure why you would be interested, we have an extensive page for the hardest colleges to get into. But, we do hope you understand that looking at higher education from examples primarily informed by superlatives can create issues. We at Authority hope you read our more focused pages on different colleges and read some of Authority's helpful background pages on useful details to look for as your college search develops.