Former Students


The national median time to obtain an Astronomy PhD has remained at 7.0 ± 0.2 years since 1982. At Columbia over the last ten years, the median time to degree has been 6 years, with a range of 4 to 8; only three students have taken seven years or more. There is, however, no strict time limit — the only criterion for continued support is that the student be making satisfactory progress toward the degree.

Since their inception fifteen years ago years, five of our graduates have won Hubble Fellowships, two have won the Sagan Fellowship, four have won Chandra Fellowships, two have won Jansky Fellowships, and two have won the annual Trumpler Award for the Outstanding Dissertation by a Student in North America. Others have gone on to postdoctoral fellowships at institutions such as Berkeley, Harvard, Princeton, Caltech, SAO, Washington, and Munich.