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The UW Astronomy Department is a moderate-sized unit with outstanding strengths in many key areas, including the origin and composition of the Solar System, the search for life in the cosmos, stellar populations and evolution, the formation and structure of stars and galaxies, the structure and evolution of the Universe, instrumentation, time domain astronomy, and statistics and algorithms.

  • Our faculty, research staff, postdocs, graduate students and many of our undergraduates are engaged in research covering a broad range of astronomical research topics that span the full range of modern methodologies from experimental to observational and theoretical.
  • Our award winning teaching faculty provide innovative and engaging courses to the entire UW community.
  • Our Department seeks to provide a supportive and inclusive atmosphere, to prepare all of our students of every gender, background, and nationality for a lifetime of curiosity and engagement in modern astrophysics. 

The current state of the Astronomy Department is summarized in the UW astronomy fact sheet.


The University of Washington has been engaged in astronomy education and research since its earliest days. The Astronomy Department was founded in 1891, and you can read about its early history.