What is Astrobiology?

Get a Master's in Astrobiology

The Astrobiology B.S.

Astrobiology opens a door into the universe. An interdisciplinary discipline that integrates knowledge from various fields, such as astronomy, biology, geology, physics and chemistry, astrobiology examines fundamental questions about life in the universe.

Astrobiologists seek to understand the origins, evolution, distribution and future of life. They study the potential for life beyond Earth, search for evidence of extraterrestrial life and examine the effects of space and planetary environments on living organisms.

Whether you want to investigate abiogenesis—the theory that life on Earth developed from nonliving matter—or discover past or present microbial life on Mars, study the effects of space travel on humans or help develop ways to sustain life on the moon, you will be well ready to take on the challenge with an astrobiology degree from Florida Tech.

Astrobiology Bachelor's
Degree Program
in the U.S.
Top 11%
Private Universities
in America
No. 6
Student Experience
The Wall Street Journal

Why Choose Florida Tech for Astrobiology?

Florida Tech is a pioneer in undergraduate astrobiology education and the premier university for students interested in the space sciences and the study of life in the universe. Florida Tech is where science fiction becomes science fact—and science exploration. Here, through hands-on learning and research, you can delve into some of the deepest questions of the universe, from the earliest origins of life on Earth, to the possibility of life elsewhere in the galaxy and to the future of life on our planet and across the cosmos.

At Florida Tech, you'll develop a strong background in physics and biology and get hands-on experience with space science technologies. When you graduate, you are ready for careers in the aerospace or biotech-related industries or for graduate studies in astrophysics, planetary science or biology.

Faculty members at Florida Tech are top researchers, authors and educators in their fields and are committed to your success. Professors encourage all students seeking an astrobiology degree to become involved in activities and research projects right from the start to engage with the hands-on work of science.

Your first year includes a seminar that provides an excellent introduction to the career options and research areas open to students majoring in astrobiology.

Florida Tech’s 130-acre campus is located on the Space Coast—NASA-Kennedy Space Center is on Cape Canaveral, just north of us. In addition to the many academic benefits our students gain at Florida Tech, the university also has connections to world-leading aerospace companies, such as Northrop Grumman Corp., Lockheed Martin, SpaceX and L3Harris Technologies Inc. These relationships enable our students to form valuable connections that lead to future career opportunities.

We’re in Florida’s "High-Tech Corridor" in Melbourne, with numerous high-tech corporations and government and military organizations that provide a variety of internship and employment opportunities located nearby.

When it’s time for rest and relaxation on planet Earth, you’ll be minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian River Lagoon, 72 miles of beautiful beaches and a short trip to the Florida Keys or the Orlando theme parks. We also have a rich campus life that includes intramural and collegiate sports, clubs and social activities.

In preparation for an astrobiology career, Florida Tech students participate in experience-building internships with local and national organizations, including NASA, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Sandia National Labs and the American Institute of Physics.

These internship opportunities help you build the kind of experience that puts you ahead of the competition when launching an astrobiology career.

Florida Tech is a leader in undergraduate astrobiology education, and our ties to the space science and exploration community run deep, so it’s the perfect place to make connections and get involved.

The Astrobiological Research and Education Society (ARES) provides opportunity to grow professionally, be trained in astronautics and conduct your own undergraduate research in any astro-related field. It promotes fellowship and interdisciplinary cooperation among individuals who believe space is a place for all people and that humanity's future lies among the stars.

The S3 student organization comprises the Florida Tech Student Astronomical Society (SAS) and student chapters of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) and Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS). It seeks to advance knowledge of physics, space sciences and engineering and encourages interest in space development throughout the academic and local communities. Through conferences, projects and internship opportunities, it introduces students to the professional community and helps them to develop networking and other career skills.

Joining these and any of our over 200 other student organizations, clubs and honor societies is an excellent way to share interests and network for astrobiology internships, research opportunities and potential jobs.

Careers in Astrobiology

NASA describes an astrobiology career as an interdisciplinary field that requires a comprehensive, integrated understanding of biological, planetary and cosmic phenomena.

A background in astrobiology allows you to apply many areas of science to your job, from astrophysics to biology, chemistry, astronomy, planetary science and geology. An astrobiology job could have you studying the effects of space on human and animal life, categorizing the properties of exoplanets or collecting ice core samples in Alaska.

If you are interested in a high-tech career at space agencies, in research and development or in working for the federal government, you are a perfect candidate for an astrobiology career.

Jobs in the field of astrobiology include:

  • Astrobiologist
  • Astronomer
  • Planetary scientist
  • Astrochemistry researcher
  • Space mission specialist
  • Data analyst
  • Science educator
  • Science writer
  • Science illustrator
  • Science communicator
  • Space sciences researcher
  • Biomedical researcher
  • Environment researcher
  • University-based research

Looking ahead to your future career can be exciting! Keep in mind that certain roles may entail additional prerequisites, such as an advanced degree in a related field (e.g., astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics or earth science).

Florida Tech Career Services assists students, alumn, and employers in their search for careers and employee candidates. We help students develop career plans and job-search skills. Explore our Career Toolbox to learn more about our services and access additional resources.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook. Check the handbook for information on the outlook for space careers and other related occupations.

Advanced Degree Options

After receiving their astrobiology degree, many of our students continue their graduate studies at Florida Tech and other prestigious universities.

Post-graduate programs our students choose include:

Explore the Astrobiology, B.S., Curriculum

The Astrobiology, B.S., Curriculum

In Florida Tech’s astrobiology B.S. program, you’ll receive a broad education in areas that include planetary science, extrasolar planets and the origins of life. At the same time, you’ll take a solid core curriculum of mathematics, physics and biology courses, allowing you to pursue a wide range of research interests and career options.

Some examples of classes you’ll take:

  • Introduction to Space Sciences
  • Introduction to Biodiversity and Physiology
  • Astrophysics 1: Introduction to Stellar Structure and Evolution

Check the catalog for a description of all courses.

Download the Astrobiology, B.S. Curriculum now!

Research the Answers to Big Questions

Students in the astrobiology major typically join a research group early in their study at Florida Tech and get experience in hands-on, high-caliber research alongside faculty and graduate students.

Our faculty research to detect exoplanets and categorize their properties, predict the habitability of planets and moons and develop probes to explore ocean worlds and other astrobiological targets. 

They explore the origins and indications of life through numerical models of early Earth and Earth-like planets and the biosignatures and technosignatures that can help us to detect life. 

With human space exploration in mind, they research ways to ensure food security and ecosystem viability through in-situ resource utilization.

Whether you undertake collaborative research with a peer or professor or work independently on a topic of your own choosing, you will get practical experience, an enhanced job-search portfolio and the perfect preparation for graduate and professional school or employment.

Learn more about Astrobiology at Florida Tech on the website.

Want to Reach Into the Universe? Our High-Tech Facilities Make It Possible.

You need powerful tools to study the universe: You’ll have access to the Ortega telescope, at 0.8-meter one of the largest research telescopes in the Southeast, allowing you to observe extrasolar planets and other cosmic phenomena. Faculty and students use this telescope as their main training and research instrument, but also have easy access to the Southeastern Association for Astronomy (SARA) 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Arizona.

The Ortega telescope sits atop the Olin Physical Sciences Center, which houses a geospace laboratory with a clean room for spacecraft instrumentation projects and a 3,500-square-foot high bay physics research hall for space systems and high-energy physics research. The L3Harris Center for Science and Engineering also serves the research needs of our students and includes teaching and research labs, computer facilities and an electron microscope suite.


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