One of the few departments in Japan that focuses on astronomy, covering various objects and astronomical phenomena from cosmology to the (exo)planets. In addition to basic physics and mathematics, the undergraduate course includes practical exercises of observation and programming.
Unlike most of its counterparts at other universities in Japan, the Department of Astronomy is an independent department at the University of Tokyo; it has the largest of all research subjects: space, including various celestial phenomena and the structure and history of the universe itself. As it primarily uses physics to understand the universe, the term astrophysics is used almost synonymously for astronomy these days. Therefore, the Department of Astronomy maintains a close relationship with the groups that study the universe within the Department of Physics, as well as with the Departments of Earth and Planetary Physics, and Biology, through the study of exoplanet astronomy. The Department of Astronomy traces its roots to the oldest branch of the University of Tokyo, the Astronomical Agency of the Tokugawa Shogunate established in 1684, and is home to a variety of researchers specializing in optical infrared astronomy, radio astronomy, and theoretical astronomy, all of which make full use of the latest scientific technology. Our graduate school also includes researchers in gravitational waves and X-ray astronomy, covering a wide range of observation wavelengths and research targets, making it the largest department in Japan in the field of astronomy and space science, and proud of our world-leading research results.
Curriculum and Academic Options
The curriculum offered by the Department of Astronomy is based on physics, so students will acquire knowledge of astronomy through lectures, seminars, and hands-on training, while acquiring the basics of physics alongside their fellow students in the Department of Physics. If you have decided on a career in the field of space and astronomy, entering the Department of Astronomy will give you the advantage of early exposure to lectures and seminars on space and astronomy, rich in both quality and quantity.