Before studying Astronomy

We are happy that you are interested in studying astronomy. Welcome! A decision for or against studying is by no means easy. When describing the science field or study subject of astronomy, sometimes the term is not clear and understandable for everyone. We would like to help you with the decision for or against this course by giving you a better understanding of what to expect.

Let's start with an explanation of the field of Astronomy:

Astronomy includes many mathematical and physical sub-areas. The widespread notion, that we sit outside at night and look through a telescope, has little to do with reality. When we operate telescopes, this is done remotely using a computer. Data and images are collected from telescopes all over the world and satellites in space and processed by astronomers. Therefore the courses include a lot of mathematics and physic as well as computational science aspects. The aim is to observe, record, describe and, ideally, reproduce the universe (with its stars, planets, galaxies, gases and elements). This is realized, for example, by simulations. Numerical simulations are therefore an important tool for most fields.

All these terms make you curious and you would like to learn more? These are good signs that this course may be the right choice. You are also welcome to watch the video below, which summarizes the course in 5 minutes (german).

There is also an online questionnaire to help you decide for or against a study in Astronomy. Filling out this so-called online self-assessment (OSA) is one of the few requirements for the course. The form is intended to give you an insight into typical questions and problems in our field of study and to help you make a well-founded decision. The procedure takes about 75 minutes.

A visit to the Studieren Probieren (try studying) homepage can also help you with your decision. Appointments are offered there for attending courses on a large number of studies. If there are no dates for the astronomy department at the moment, you can also make a specific request.

Have you followed all these steps and are now sure that studying astronomy is exactly what you want to do? Then welcome, you're almost there.

If you have not already done so in advance, it is now necessary that you read through the steps for admission to the University of Vienna. For astronomy, you do not need any further requirements apart from the OSA. The general requirements (Matura or comparable examinations, etc.) and necessary steps for admission to the university are described on the homepage of the University of Vienna. Admission to the master's program in astronomy, without an astronomy bachelor's degree from the University of Vienna, is a bit more complex and is explained separately in the point Admission to a master's program.

Astronomy Bachelor in 5 minutes (german)