Learn more about Dr. Batcheldor in his Florida Tech Faculty Profile.
F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Center
Explore more about this facility in Florida Tech's virtual tour!
Choose Florida Tech for
Bachelor of Science in Astronomy and Astrophysics
When consider astronomy colleges, consider that the astronomy and astrophysics program at Florida Tech is the first ever in the world. Students choose Florida Tech over other astronomy colleges because we have one of the largest astronomy programs in the United States in terms of bachelor's degrees awarded annually. Florida Tech is one of just two Florida universities listed by Peterson's Top Colleges for Science, with our department playing a prominent role in that distinction.
One benefit we have over other astronomy colleges is that we are the lead institution for the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA), which operates automated one-meter-class telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Ariz., and at Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in Chile. Both are accessed and controlled remotely over the Internet. SARA also sponsors an NSF-funded summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program that provides 10–12 students from around the United States an opportunity to work with scientists at SARA institutions.
Small Class Sizes & Intensive Faculty Interaction
An excellent group of instructors is another reason why Florida Tech is among the top astronomy colleges. Our internationally recognized faculty members work in various fields that include extra solar planets, stellar astrophysics and active galactic nuclei. Small class sizes with a student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1 give you an opportunity to receive one-on-one attention from professors. Physics and space sciences faculty include a TED Global Fellow, the founding chairman of the Southeast Association for Research in Astronomy, and an NSF CAREER Award-winner.
The monthly Astronomy & Astrophysics Public Lecture Series gives our professors an opportunity to impart their knowledge to students and the community on topics of general interest. Professors highly encourage students to participate in research projects to gain hands-on observations with our telescopes or work with data from space-based observatories such as the Hubble Space telescope. These experiences are among the many reasons Florida Tech rises above other astronomy colleges.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
This small learning environment is accented by large-university quality internship and research opportunities. Astronomy colleges are dedicated to research and Florida Tech professors specialize in everything from human space exploration to stellar evolution and are devoted to providing students with exposure to countless professional-level research opportunities. Often, students get to analyze data from space-based observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory and the Kepler Observatory.
High-Tech Laboratory Facilities
Facilities and resources are important to all astronomy colleges and Florida Tech boasts some of the best. Not only do our students have access to the Olin 0.8-m telescope, the largest research telescope in the state of Florida on campus, they also have access to telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. There are also two astronomy labs where undergraduates work. Classes are held in the F.W. Olin Physical Sciences Building that provides 14 teaching and 21 research laboratories, a 3,500 sq. ft. "high bay" physics research hall is used for magnetic levitation launch systems and high energy physics research, as well as planetary science work.
Great Florida Location
In terms of location, other astronomy colleges have a hard time competing with Florida Tech. The campus is located on Florida's Space Coast, an area with year-round subtropical weather and 72 miles of Atlantic Coast beaches. The campus is also located within Florida's High Tech Corridor, which puts it in close proximity to over 5,000 technological companies and NASA Kennedy Space Center. In addition, students can find a host of entertainment options including Brevard Zoo, Sebastian Inlet, area festivals and events, and Orlando theme parks.
When considering astronomy colleges, consider the many benefits Florida Tech can offers.