Theoretical Astrophysics

           Santa Cruz



Theoretical Astrophysics Santa Cruz (TASC) is a research unit spanning four affiliated departments: Astronomy & Astrophysics, Physics, Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Applied Mathematics.  We work closely with each other and with experimentalists, instrumentalists, and observers at the University of California Observatories, the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, the Center for Adaptive Optics, the Center for the Origin, Dynamics, and Evolution of Planets, and the Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics

TASC science tackles a wide range of problems, such as:   How do stars and planets form, evolve, move, and die?  Is Earth unique?  How were the elements created?  How do black holes impact the Universe?  What is the nature of dark matter and dark energy?  How do galaxies form and evolve?  How did the Universe begin (and are there other universes)?

More information on TASC and its members can be found here.

Prospective Graduate students interested in applying to become a TASC graduate student: Submit all applications to the Graduate Division of the University of California at Santa Cruz (  Apply to the UCSC department of your choice (Astronomy, Physics, Earth Sciences, or Applied Math) but indicate your interest in TASC in the application.  All TASC-oriented applications will be reviewed jointly.  Also send a separate letter of interest to Maria Sliwinski (, TASC graduate program advisor, 201 Interdisciplinary Sciences Bldg., UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz CA 95064. Students may apply for an Application Fee Waiver by indicating financial need in their letter of interest. Letters containing fee waiver requests should be submitted by December 15, 2007.

TASC International Graduate Fellowships: we are pleased to announce special funding for international students, who have formerly been obliged to pay UC out-of-state tuition amounting to $15,000 per year because they cannot qualify for state residency.  These new TASC fellowships will cover all additional out-of-state fees for a period of up to five years.  In return, recipients must pass the Qualifying Exam (thesis topic exam) by the end of their second summer.  All international applicants to TASC will automatically be considered.  Apply normally but be sure to state research areas of interest.  International applicants are also advised that the Physics GRE score is a very important component of the application package and that it is helpful to arrange for letters of reference from researchers who are familiar with the UCSC program and/or who can make specific comparisons with previous students who have come to the US for graduate school.


Astronomy & Astrophysics

Applied Mathematics

Earth and Planetary Sciences