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Jan 16, 2017 06:51 AM EST

Astronomy Doctorate Degree Now Available At Northern Arizona University

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Stephen Tegler, the chairman of Northern Arizona University, announces that the school is going to offer an Astronomy doctorate program.

It has taken decades but it is finally happening. The university is going to feature a new emphasis on research. Northern Arizona University is known for its physics and astronomy research and opening this doctorate program will enable students to gain access to labs and observatories.

This all started over ten years ago but it solidified after the research department has been discussing an additional doctorate program for years. It was only three years ago when the university asked them to write a proposal and business plan for the Astronomy doctorate program, as reported by the Arizona Daily Sun.

The program's coordinator and professor, David Trilling, explains that Astronomy is quite important in the state and having research and training available means opportunities in progress and growth. This also allows the university to become viable for grant funding.

According to Tegler, this is a huge expansion, as reported by The Daily Progress. Tegler explains that they are going to need five new faculty members. Maybe even more in order to fill faculty positions. This also includes an astrochemist. He also adds that both graduates and undergraduates are going to have the opportunity to work on astronomy research. The program will have different areas of specialty. It includes working to build a flight instrument designed to go to Mars.

Trilling announces that four students have already enrolled and they are aiming to reach 25 students. For those thinking of enrolling, the first two years of the doctorate program (which usually takes five to six years to complete) will focus on understanding planetary sciences. The remaining years will focus on working on a research with mentors.

The university hopes that their Ph.D. program explores the opportunities space has to offer and at the same time open discussions surrounding the field. They also aim to have the program recognized around the United States and even globally for its discoveries.

Explore the mysteries of space with this NAU video below:

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