Learn in the classroom and the lab in UNC Asheville’s astronomy minor, which offers a comprehensive curriculum, cutting-edge research opportunities, and hands-on experiences.

Why Study Astronomy at UNC Asheville?

Open to All Majors

Whether you’re majoring in a science discipline or exploring other subjects, our astronomy minor is open to all. Discover the wonders of the universe, regardless of your major, and broaden your horizons with our inclusive approach. If you plan on majoring in physics, you may find the astronomy minor the perfect complement to your education and the necessary stepping stone to a graduate program; however, a physics major is not required to enroll in the astronomy minor.

Lab Experience & Expansive Course Offerings

Combining hands-on lab experience and diverse class offerings—from indigenous perspectives on the sky to black holes and cosmology—the astronomy minor fosters your passion for exploring the science of the universe. The program can mirror your unique background and interests, offering astronomy courses on fundamental topics that propel your understanding and skill set.

Outside the Classroom

At the University of North Carolina Asheville, our commitment to educational excellence extends far beyond the traditional boundaries of the lecture hall. As you deepen your understanding of astronomy, explore the myriad opportunities awaiting you outside the classroom, including student clubs and boots-on-the-ground research.

Students looking through a telescope on the quad during the day

Astronomy Club of Asheville

A community organization, the Astronomy Club of Asheville is free and open to students with various backgrounds and areas of interest. The Club has over 200 members and aims to promote the enjoyment of astronomy in the community. An “all-volunteer” organization, the Club hosts indoor meetings and outdoor star gazes.

Rangi Matamua giving a lecture

Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI)

Students have the opportunity to leverage the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute facilities, formerly used by NASA, in their research endeavors. Our connections with PARI enable students to perform research in radio astronomy.


Discover a faculty dedicated to nurturing your passion for astronomy. Our experienced professors bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise, ensuring an enriching learning environment for all students, regardless of their major. As active researchers, they make meaningful contributions to their field and empower students to engage in hands-on learning and research experiences.

Astronomy Careers & Outcomes

Careers in astronomy are boundless, and our program prepares graduates for a variety of career paths, from research positions to educational roles, ensuring a bright future in the ever-expanding field. Our graduates thrive in environments requiring skills in observational study, theory exploration, or data analysis. We prepare students to make a meaningful impact in fields such as technology, data science, aerospace, and beyond.

While a student’s career path may vary greatly depending on their field of study, recent graduates who pursued a physics major and astronomy minor successfully gained admittance to top Ph.D. programs across the country, including the University of South Carolina, University of Delaware, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and The University of Utah. Graduates majoring in computer science have achieved successful careers as software developers/engineers and data scientists.

Related Programs

Embolden Your Curiosity in UNC Asheville’s Astronomy Minor

The astronomy minor offers a unique blend of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience to elevate your understanding of space. Here, you won’t just learn about the stars—you’ll observe them firsthand with our state-of-the-art observatory. You graduate with a deep understanding of the forces shaping our universe and lay the foundation for a meaningful and impactful career in the field.

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