Graduate Program – Admissions

Professor Wen Li Director of Graduate Admissions

Note to admitted students:  Our priority during this challenging time is the well-being of our students and ensuring their ability to fulfill their academic program requirements.  This applies to our current students as well as admitted graduate students.  We are aware of the increasing concern around delayed visa appointments for our international students and delayed air travel for both our domestic and international students. Please be assured that we are currently working on alternative enrollment options for admitted students who are unable to arrive on campus by the start of classes in September.  Please do not hesitate to contact me ( if you have any questions.

Welcome to the graduate program of the Department of Astronomy at Boston University. We have a thriving program with 16 active faculty and 30+ PhD students. Our students, professors and researchers are at the forefront of a variety of research areas that include space physics, observational and theoretical astrophysics, planetary science, instrumentation, and solar physics. We are partners in Lowell Observatory’s 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope, and we own and operate the 1.8-meter Perkins Telescope Observatory, both of which are located in the high-altitude dark skies of Northern Arizona.  Faculty are involved in a number of space-based research projects, including the Hubble Space Telescope, MAVEN, JUNO, THEMIS, Van Allen Probes and TESS. You can learn more about the specific projects/programs that are currently being executed by our faculty and students by browsing our website and the websites of the Institute for Astrophysical Research ( and the Center for Space Physics (, two research centers associated with the Department.

BU is located in the heart of Boston (on the shores of the Charles River), an exciting urban area where students have access to a variety of cultural events outside the academic arena. Our department provides a number of social events throughout the year including (but not limited to) weekly, informal discussions with our seminar speakers at the BU Pub, weekly pizza after journal club, and musical events Unplugged and The Soiree, which feature performances by our faculty, students, and staff.

Our graduate applications are processed through the Boston University Graduate School ( and are due on 15 December. University policy is that all students accepted into PhD programs are guaranteed five years of financial support.  Please note that our department does not offer a terminal masters program; though MA degrees may be awarded en route as part of the PhD program.

Graduate Program Application Requirements (

Application fee waivers may be awarded under special circumstances.  Please see the following website:

If you have any questions about our program, or specific inquiries regarding the application process, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email (

Wen Li
Assistant Professor of Astronomy
Director of Graduate Admissions


Further general information on the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences’ graduate programs and financial aid can be found at:

GRS: Graduate Admissions

or contact the department directly:

Graduate Admissions Committee
Boston University, Astronomy Department
725 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

(617) 353-2625