Academics » Graduate Admissions
Thank you for your interest in our graduate program. All the basic information you need to complete an application to the NMSU graduate astronomy program is available on this web site and at NMSU Graduate Admissions, and the NMSU Graduate School Catalog is available online here.
Please note that our admissions materials have recently transitioned from paper to electronic format. The electronic version is available for use in Fall 2013 admissions. This includes both uploading of application forms, statements, unofficial transcripts and GRE scores, etc. and letters of recommendation.
Contact and Correspondence
We maintain a single email account for all admissions-related correspondence, and request that you direct all email messages regarding the application process through this account: gradapps (domain astronomy.nmsu.edu). A member of the Graduate Admissions Committee or another appropriate member of the Astronomy Department will respond promptly to all queries. If you send an email directly to a specific member of the department, please Cc: the above account on your message. (This will help us to insure that all email messages receive a prompt response.)
Correspondence may include specific questions about our graduate astronomy program, assistance setting up direct contact with a current graduate student to learn about graduate life at NMSU, or any other related topic. If you wish to call or write to a specific person, please consider contacting one of the following individuals.
- Ms. Ofelia Ruiz, Department Staff Head
(phone 575.646.4438 (email: oruiz; domain nmsu.edu)
Dr. Nancy Chanover, Chair of Graduate Admissions
(phone 575.646.2567, email: nchanove; domain nmsu.edu)
Dr. Jon Holtzman, Department Head
(phone 575.646.8181, email: holtz; domain nmsu.edu).
Required Materials (Deadline: February 1st)
There are four components to a complete application:
- Application to the Astronomy Graduate Program and the Graduate School (includes a statement of interest)
- Official GRE Scores (General Exam and Physics Exam)
- Three Letters of Recommendation
- Application required for
admission to the NMSU Astronomy Graduate Program and the NMSU Graduate School
Statement of interest: This includes a brief description of your current research interests, astronomical background, and how you became interested in astronomy (if you are a co-author on any journal articles, or have attended a scientific conference such as a AAS meeting, please mention this).
- Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the initial application; official versions are required for admitted candidates)
- Official GRE General Exam and Advanced Physics Exam scores
- The Physics Exam is required by the Astronomy Department.
- The institution code for NMSU is 4531.
- The department code for astronomy is 0801.
- Please self-report your GRE scores as soon as you receive them. Send an email message containing your full name, your current (or last) institution of study, and all four GRE scores to gradapps (domain astronomy.nmsu.edu). This will allow us to evaluate your application more quickly. (If you have already noted your scores on your application form, this step is not necessary). Note that this unofficial communication of your GRE scores will be very helpful, but it is not sufficient for formal admission. We will still need to have the official ETS record of your scores in order to formally accept you into the NMSU program.
- If you will not have completed the GRE Physics Exam by February 1, please make a note of this in your application. We caution that such applications are very difficult to evaluate.
- Three letters of recommendation. Please make sure to enter the names and contact information for three letter writers in your application.
Once you have submitted all of your application materials, we recommend that you wait ten days before confirming that everything has been received. You will also be responsible for checking with your letter writers to see that they have each sent in a letter of reference for you in a timely fashion. Be sure that all three of your letters of recommendation have been received, as well as the materials that you sent directly to us, by the February 1 deadline. For final packet verification, we recommend direct contact with our Head of Department Staff, Ms. Ofelia Ruiz. You can email her at oruiz (domain nmsu.edu), or call her at 575.646.4438.
Graduate Admissions Committee
Department of Astronomy
New Mexico State University
P. O. Box 30001, MSC 4500
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003-8001
For overnight services such as FedEx or UPS, replace P. O. Box 30001, MSC 4500 with 1320 Frenger Mall above.
Researching the NMSU Astronomy Program
The departmental masthead (the set of menus which can be pulled down from the top of any of our web pages) is a very good place to find lots of information about the graduate program.
Each of the four research groups (planetary, stellar & solar, galactic, and extragalactic) provides a central research page explaining the broad goals of the group and listing the group members. All research staff (PhDs and students alike) members maintain an individual research page as well, describing the work that they do themselves (so you can read about many of the projects that we work on at NMSU by clicking on the names of people listed in the Directory pages).
The Talks section describes recent presentations that people have made at national and international conferences, and lists talks that will be given in the department throughout the current semester (including our colloquium series with guest speakers, our weekly informal lunch talks, research group meetings, and student dominated sessions like the seminar series and the journal club).
The entries under the Public Events heading provide an overview of public outreach efforts through the department, and the Observatories section will tell you about a number of the observatory facilities that NMSU astronomers often use.
The Academics menu holds lots of information about the graduate courses that you will attend and the undergraduate courses that you might teach, as well as many details to help you with the process of applying to NMSU (be sure to read through the pages maintained by the department graduate students, including this FAQ). The Directory pages also list phone numbers and email addresses for all department members so that they are easy to contact; don't hesitate to call upon one of us if you have questions and you think that we can help.