Study Astronomy at UBC

Join Canada's top-ranked science community. You apply online through youbc, but first, we'll run you through a few important things to consider before you begin your application.

Apply to UBC Science

About Astronomy

Astronomers use principles of physics and mathematics to learn about the fundamental nature of the Universe, including the Sun, Moon, other planets and moons, asteroids and comets, stars, our Milky Way and other galaxies, and cosmology. The phenomena they explore include the births, evolution, and deaths of stars - from protostars to red giants, and the stellar corpses of white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes, as well as properties of galaxies and the origin and evolution of the Universe.Astronomers also apply their knowledge to celestial navigation, space flight, and satellite communications, and to develop the telescopes, instrumentation and techniques used to collect, analyse and interpret astrophysical data.


Program details

UBC is one of the few universities in the world that offer an undergraduate degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics. The Combined Honours in Physics and Astronomy is intended for students who plan to pursue graduate study in astronomy and a research career. The Astronomy Major is for students who wish to have astronomy background for careers in education, outreach and technical support of research.


Over the course of a four-year degree, this program could help you build the following skills:

  • Application of theoretical concepts and scientific principles to unexplained or novel space scenarios
  • Observation, interpretation, quantification, and communication of relationships between factors that explain and impact the universe
  • Computational coding of complex models or simulations to test theories
  • Application of logic, reasoning, judgement, and creative and abstract thinking to solve problems
  • Complex calculations and statistical analysis to understand the world
  • Communication of complex ideas through advanced technical writing
  • Technical usage of advanced instruments, machines, and laboratory equipment

Career options in Astronomy

With an undergraduate degree

  • Data analyst
  • Laboratory technician
  • Planetarium lecturer or guide
  • Research assistant
  • Scientific and technical writer

With additional study

  • Astrophysicist/Astronomer:
    • Theoretical, observational, computational or instrumental
    • Planetary, stellar, extragalactic or cosmological
  • Astronaut
  • Planetary scientist
  • Space astronomy mission scientist
  • University professor or lecturer

UBC Science Astronomy Graduates Work As

  • Astrophysicist and Scientific Software Developer, UBC Atlas Group
  • MSc Candidate in Astronomy, University of British Columbia
  • PhD Candidate in Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia
  • System Engineer, UrtheCast

Related Professional Groups

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