Astrochemistry @ Illinois

Applying for Graduate Studies
Graduate Concentration
Frequently Asked Questions
Research Groups
Double Major
Midwest Astrochemistry Consortium
Seminar Series

University of IL at Urbana Champaign

Contact Ben McCall.

What courses are useful to prepare for graduate studies in astrochemistry?

If your interests and experience are primarily in chemistry, we recommend taking coursework in physical chemistry, including spectroscopy, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics if available. Additional coursework in physics, astronomy, and mathematics will also prove useful in your graduate studies.

If your background is more on the astronomical side, we recommend taking any available courses in the interstellar medium, galactic structure, spectrosocpy and radiative processes, etc. Additional coursework in physical chemistry would be especially helpful.

What are the admission requirements (GRE, GPA, etc.) for the astrochemistry concentration?

The concentration itself does not have any admission process; all University of Illinois PhD students in the Department of Chemistry or Department of Astronomy are eligible to join the concentration. For information on the admissions processes in the Chemistry and Astronomy departments, please contact those departments directly.

What if I am a (chemistry or astronomy) major and have not taken any courses in the other field?

In this case, we recommend you apply to the PhD program in you major discipline. If you have an opportunity to take a course or two in the other discipline, that is great! If not, there are plenty of courses at Illinois to help you to learn your second discipline.

Is financial support provided for students in the concentration?

Financial support (as a teaching assistant or a research assistant) is provided through the "home" department, not through the concentration.

What types of research in astrochemistry are available at Illinois?

The University of Illinois offers a wide range of research opportunities in astrochemistry, ranging from observational studies of the galactic interstellar medium and external galaxies (at a wide range of wavelengths) to laboratory spectroscopy of astrophysically important molecules to computational chemistry. Some links to research groups at Illinois are provided here.

What other universities offer programs in astrochemistry?

Other American universities with organized programs in astrochemistry include the University of Arizona, the University of Hawaii, and the University of Virginia.

What are some resources I can consult to learn more about astrochemistry?

The websites of the 2011 and 2005 International Astronomical Union symposia on astrochemistry are very useful resources. Some textbooks by Xander Tielens, Sun Kwok, and Lyman Spitzer may also be of interest.