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Academics & Opportunities

The Center for Astrophysics (CfA) provides world-class opportunities for academic training and career development in astrophysics. It is home to the Harvard University Department of Astronomy, which features both graduate and undergraduate programs, as well as to the SAO pre-doctoral program, numerous undergraduate summer research programs, and superb opportunities for post-doctoral studies.

The CfA provides a dynamic range of weekly luncheons, prestigious colloquia, journal clubs, daily coffees, divisional get-togethers and many other formal and informal opportunities for the exchange of ideas and professional development in a diverse scientific community. 

Graduate, Undergraduate & Internship Programs

The Center for Astrophysics offers many opportunities for both Harvard students and those from other institutions to participate in research projects with CfA scientists as paid work, part of a degree program, or summer internships. 

Explore Graduate & Undergraduate Programs


Fellowships & Visiting Scientist Positions

The CfA offers several postdoctoral fellowships and a visiting scientist program, designed to facilitate collaborative research. Nearly 350 Smithsonian and Harvard scientists work cooperatively in an environment that welcomes the ideas and contributions of young scientists.

Research programs include instrumentation, observation, and theory in atomic and molecular physics, geophysics, the solar system, stars, galaxies, and cosmology. Techniques used range from computer simulations through observations across the bandwidths, to instrument development and laboratory experiments.

Explore Fellowship & Visiting Scientist Positions


SAO Employment Opportunities

A current vacancy listing for employment opportunities in scientific, technical, and administrative positions, including both Federal and Trust appointments, is maintained by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Human Resources Department. (Please note that the SAO department is separate from HCO.)

Explore SAO Employment Opportunities


The CfA does not discriminate against applicants or students on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, ancestry, cultural background or tradition, biological sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical ability, or any other protected classification.

As a Clay Fellow at the CfA, I was introduced to the world-class Magellan Telescopes. Not only did it enable me to obtain ground-breaking results about ancient dwarf galaxies, I also fell in love with observing and the Atacama Desert in Chile. These days, I am fortunate to be able to continue my research with Magellan and love taking undergraduates to the telescopes and teach them what it means to collect astronomical data.
- Anna Frebel, 2008 Clay Fellow