Astronomy & Astrophysics Overview

  • Franklin & Marshall College senior Richard Camuccio has spent more than a semester restoring and improving Grundy Observatory, F&M's stargazing facility for students, faculty and the Lancaster community. Image Credit: Melissa Hess

Study the big questions, like the universe.

You’ll find abundant active research opportunities in this dynamic major. Our main research interests are in the areas of pulsar astronomy, gravitational wave astronomy, and cosmology. Our students regularly collaborate with F&M faculty using satellite data and ground-based observations, and our professors offer exciting research opportunities for students, including funded summer positions.

These kinds of opportunities lead to admission to select graduate schools that begin promising research careers. Recently we have had students admitted to the nation's finest graduate programs, including Columbia, Cornell, MIT and Caltech.

Our students regularly travel with faculty to remote locations to take advantage of national and international observing facilities; the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, the Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico, and the Parkes Telescope in Australia. High-performance computing is done on our very own Beowulf cluster. Student work has been published in leading scholarly journals.

Students enjoy individualized instruction and a collegial atmosphere. Our Astronomical Imaging Laboratory enables students to work with computer-controlled telescopes and CCD cameras.

If you’re ready for some hands-on exploration of one of the hottest, fastest changing fields, our program would be an excellent match.

For more info see the Physics and Astronomy web page.

Learning Goals for the Physics and Astrophysics Major