University of Hawaii at Hilo

Natural Sciences Division

Department of Physics & Astronomy

Astronomy Program at UH Hilo


The UH Hilo astronomy program aims to (a) develop the science knowledge and analytic skills of students, whether they be majors or not, through a focus on the field of astronomy; and (b) instill an appreciation of science, particularly astronomy, in students. The program provides the students with transferable skills so they can excel in a wide range of STEM-related fields. Through the study of astronomy, graduates will also learn to appreciate and understand science more broadly, enabling them to be more informed citizens. The B.S. degree program, taking advantage of our access to Mauna Kea Observatories, provides the training needed for students seeking careers in astronomy---as professional astronomers, observatory technical staff, and educators. Our program supports the liberal arts mission of the University by providing general education courses in a field of major importance to the State of Hawai`i.

Program Learning Outcomes

The B.S. program in astronomy is designed to develop student mastery of:

Goals for Student Learning

Graduates are also expected to:

We also try to provide every opportunity for the students to conduct original research with faculty or Mauna Kea Observatories staff.

Astronomy Degree Progam

The initial two years of the program consist mainly of general education courses that are part of traditional liberal arts education, as well as basic physics, mathematics and introductory astronomy. The junior and senior years are largely devoted to advanced physics and astronomy coursework, observational experience, and senior thesis projects. Students who intend to graduate in four years should be prepared to enroll in elementary calculus and physics courses at the start of their freshman year.

Flow chart of classes:

Astronomy Degree Tree








Learn more about the Astronomy Program at UH Hilo

Interested in a career in Astronomy?