Why Michigan Astro?

The Cat
Why consider the University of Michigan for your graduate studies in astronomy? It comes down to three things: people, resources, and approach.

We’ve spent the last decade hiring exceptional faculty and investing in world-class telescopes, surveys, and computing resources.

But while the caliber of these resources is important, the truth is that the best faculty and telescopes are only valuable if you have access to them. In many ways that’s the value of a Michigan education — we put students first.

What do we mean by “students first”? It means, as a graduate student, you’ll have priority access to our flagship resources like Magellan. At Michigan, thesis projects take precedence over faculty, research scientists, and postdocs for telescope time.

It also means that if you see faculty members whose research interests you, you can actually work with them. All our faculty advise and mentor students.


THREE-QUARTERS
OF THE FACULTY HAVE BEEN
HIRED IN THE LAST 10 YEARS –
A FIGURE UNMATCHED AMONG
LEADING ASTRONOMY DEPARTMENTS.
THIS HAS BROUGHT AN INFUSION
OF FORWARD-LOOKING
RESEARCHERS, ALL EAGER TO
MENTOR THE NEXT GENERATION
OF SCHOLARS.

Furthermore, you’ll have access to all the experiences that will prepare you for a research career in astronomy. You won’t look over your advisor’s shoulder while he or she writes a telescope proposal; you’ll do it yourself — often first where your priority is guaranteed, like Magellan or MDM, and later where the competition is more challenging, like Hubble or Spitzer. You’ll author papers with Michigan faculty, postdocs, and collaborators. You’ll present so regularly, you’ll get good at it — several times a year within the department and at conferences where you’ll expand your professional network. And you’ll do this all from day one with increasing independence along the way.

It’s a model that is serving our students well. Recent alumni have gone on to prestigious postdoctoral fellowships like Chandra/Einstein, Hubble, and NSF. Not only that, but they report that they genuinely enjoyed their time at Michigan. But don’t let us tell you; read for yourself what recent alumni and current graduate students have to say about their experiences at Michigan Astronomy.

 

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, HEIC, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)