Astronomy Graduate Program

Welcome to the UVic graduate program in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Students entering our graduate programs should have a strong undergraduate background in Physics and Mathematics. This background should be roughly equivalent to the physics and mathematics requirements for the BSc Honours degree in Physics and Astronomy at UVic. Additional undergraduate courses and experience in Astronomy/Astrophysics are very useful, but not essential.

Most students are admitted initially to an MSc program, and complete the MSc degree prior to embarking on a PhD. In contrast to the system at U.S. universities, the MSc degree is a real research degree, with a thesis and a research project that usually is publishable.

It may be possible to transfer to a PhD program, without completing an MSc. A decision on the PhD transfer is made by the student's Supervisory Committee, in consultation with the student following the guidelines for MSc to PhD transfer.

Graduate students in astronomy may be supervised by faculty at UVic, or by staff astronomers at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics. This large pool of supervision talent gives Victoria one of, if not the, largest concentrations of astronomers in Canada, and makes UVic an extremely attractive place to do graduate work in astronomy!

On admission, each MSc student is assigned a provisional supervisor. However, it is understood that some students will elect to be supervised by faculty other than their assigned provisional supervisors. New graduate students are strongly encouraged to talk with interested UVic faculty and HIA astronomers about opportunities for supervision and funding. Students should reach a final decision on supervision within 6 months of arrival at UVic.

After the first 8 months of enrolment, it is necessary for a Supervisory Committee to be appointed. Setting up this committee is the duty of the supervisor, in consultation with the student. The composition of the Supervisory Committee is different for MSc and PhD students, and is described in the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar (where a great deal of other fascinating information will be found!).

Courses should be chosen in consultation with the student's supervisor.

MSc students in Astronomy are required to take 6 one-term courses as part of their degree requirements. One of these 6 courses is the astronomy paper session (ASTR 561). Two of the remaining courses may be undergraduate (300 or 400 level) courses. As much of the course work as possible should be completed in the first year of graduate studies.

As part of their course requirements, MSc students are also encouraged to arrange one or two small (one-term) self-contained research projects with interested faculty or HIA staff. These projects will be taken as directed studies courses (ASTR 580).

PhD students in Astronomy require 2 additional one-term courses in addition to the MSc course requirements (or equivalent), of which one is the astronomy paper session (ASTR 661).

Our recent PhD graduates since 1992 have taken up the following positions:

Dr. BERGBUSCH, Peter (graduated in 1996, D. VandenBerg), faculty at University of Regina
Dr. DEPROPRIS, Roberto (graduated in 1996, C. Pritchet), staff astronomer CTIO
Dr. LARSON, Ana (graduated in 1996, D. VandenBerg), lecturer at University of Washington
Dr. ROSVICK, Joanne (graduated in 1996, T. Davidge/ C. Scarfe), faculty at Thompson Rivers University
Dr. SIMARD, Luc (graduated in 1996, C. Pritchet), Staff astronomer HIA
Dr. LYDER, David (graduated in 1997, A. Gower/C. Purton)
Dr. BALOGH, Michael J. (graduated in 1997, C. Pritchet), faculty at The University of Waterloo
Dr. PATTON, David R. (graduated in 1997, C. Pritchet), faculty at Trent University
Dr. OUELLETTE, John Anders (graduated in 2000, C. Pritchet), software specialist at HIA
Dr. GWYN, Stephen (graduated in 2001, D. Hartwick), Research Assistant at HIA
Dr. STEINBRING, Eric (graduated in 2001, D. Crampton/ C. Scarfe) Research Assistant at HIA
Dr. TAYLOR, James (graduated in 2002, A. Babul) faculty at the Universityof Waterloo
Dr. LABRIE, Kathleen (graduated in 2003, C. Pritchet) software specialist at the Gemini Observatory
Dr. HAYASHI, Eric (graduated in 2004, J. Navarro) Postdoctoral fellow at Max Planck Institute
Dr. FONT, Andreea (graduated in 2005, J. Navarro) Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge Fellow, Newnham College
Dr. MCCARTHY, Ian (graduated in 2005, A. Babul) Postdoctoral fellow at University of Cambridge
Dr. CLEM, James (graduated in 2006, D. VandenBerg/P. Stetson) Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Louisiana
Dr. STOESZ, Jeffrey (graduated in 2006, J.P. Veran/C. Pritchet) research assistant at the Observatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri
Dr. POOLE, Geogory (graduated in 2007, A. Babul) Postdoctoral fellow at Swinburne University in Melbourne
Dr. FRASER, Wesley (graduated in 2008, JJ. Kavelaars) Postdoctoral fellow at Caltech
Dr. LUDLOW, Aaron (graduated in 2009, J. Navarro) Postdoctoral fellow at Max Planck Institute
Dr. THANJAVUR Karunananth (graduated in 2009, J. Willis/D. Crampton) Staff Astronomer CFHT
Dr. FRIESEN, Rachel (graduated in 2009, J. di Francesco/ C. Pritchet) Postdoctoral fellow at University of California, Berkeley
Dr. HSIAO, Eric (graduated in 2009, C. Pritchet) Postdoctoral fellow at University of California, Berkeley
Dr. KIRK, Helen (graduated in 2009, D. Johnstone/ D. VandenBerg) Postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University
Dr. GRAHAM, Melissa (graduated in 2010, C. Pritchet) Postdoctoral fellow at University of California, Santa Barbara
Dr. PARKER, Alex (graduated in 2011, J.J. Kavelaars/J. Willis) Postdoctoral fellow, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Dr. LEAMAN, Ryan (graduated in 2012, K. Venn) Postdoctoral Fellow at Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias