Best IIT for Astrophysics

Which IIT is best for Astrophysics?

Have you ever gazed at the night sky and felt a burning curiosity about its secrets? Do you wonder how you can have a promising career in space sciences?  If yes, you might also have wondered which institute you must attend for your studies. IITs are India’s most prestigious science and technology institutes right after IISc. If you have ever wondered which IIT is the best choice for a bright career in astrophysics, this blog is for you.

In this blog, we will discuss:

  • Do IITs provide Astrophysics?
  • Why should I enroll in IITS for astrophysics?
  • Which is the Best IIT for Astrophysics?
  • What are the future career prospects in this field?

Do IITs Provide Astrophysics?

Yes, of course! There are branches at some of the top Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), like IIT Bombay, Kanpur, Delhi, etc, that offer courses related to astronomy and astrophysics. While not all IITs have dedicated departments or programs specifically for astronomy and astrophysics, you can still pursue this field through related branches such as physics or applied physics. 

However, while the IITs provide opportunities to study and research astronomy and astrophysics, they are not specifically dedicated to these fields, unlike the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) or the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA). There are other institutes like IISc (Indian Institute of Science), IIST (Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology), IISERs (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research), NISER (National Institute of Science Education and Research), NITs (National Institute of Technology), etc that provide similar exposure in astrophysics at undergraduate level. While JEE Mains and Advanced exams decides your admission to IISc, IITs, IIST and IISERs, IISER Aptitude Test (IAT) is for entrance to IISc and IISERs. Similarly, National Entrance Screening Test (NEST) is the entrance exam for NISER.

Check out this blog to know more about space sciences.

Why Should I Enroll in IITs for Astrophysics?

IITs generally don’t have a program dedicated to astrophysics. Still, you can definitely take admission to the physics department and take some special courses under professors who teach astrophysics. On the department page of the specific IIT, you can find out about professors doing active research in astrophysics. This is quite common, and students usually enroll in physics, applied physics, aerospace engineering, or mathematics and later pursue post-graduation studies in astrophysics.

Joining an IIT gives you access to an extensive alumni network that has significantly advanced many other subjects, including astrophysics. Upon graduation from an IIT, having a specialization in physics and mathematics opens a wide range of opportunities in astrophysics. An IIT degree is highly acknowledged and regarded in the scientific community, regardless of your career goals—working in universities, research facilities, space agencies, or the business sector. 

Which is the Best IIT for Astrophysics?


The Department of Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Space Engineering (DAASE) was established in December 2015 as an interdisciplinary division at IIT Indore, focusing on various research topics in astronomy, space weather, and navigation studies. Their efforts are not only limited to the research domain but also go well in astronomy outreach. This interdisciplinary division is a unique department among all IITs that offers a dedicated and focused platform to pursue research in astronomy and space sciences.

They have varied research interests in radio astronomical instrumentation, observational cosmology, atmospheric corruption and ionospheric turbulence, computational astrophysics, MHD simulations, high energy astrophysics, and compact object physics. 

DAASE has started a unique interdisciplinary B.Tech programme in Space Science and Engineering in 2023 to train students to meet the demands of the ever-growing space and allied sectors of India and the world. For more details, please visit their official website.


The Department of Physics has a section dedicated to astrophysics and cosmology at IIT Bombay. You should pursue it if you are interested in areas like observational astrophysics and instrumentation, gravitational wave physics, and astronomy or comprehending the nature of enigmatic dark matter. Renowned academics excelling in various domains, such as Vikram Rentala and Varun Bhalerao, are there for you to learn from. You can join any of their groups to learn more about this area. 


IIT Kanpur has recently established the Department of Space, Planetary & Astronomical Sciences & Engineering. The Department is devoted to research and teaching in all branches of Space Sciences, in particular

  • Observational Astronomy
  • Galactic and extragalactic Astronomy
  • Planetary Science and Technology
  • Space and Astronomical Instrumentation
  • Space Missions

The department provides a healthy atmosphere for cutting-edge research in these fields. This is boosted by strong interdisciplinary collaboration with other science and engineering departments at IIT Kanpur while involving students in major space and astronomical research projects.

Other IITs like IIT Kharagpur, Madras, Roorkee and Delhi also provide opportunities to explore astrophysics. It is advantageous to check these IITs’ official websites to learn more about the courses offered. 

What are the Future Career Prospects in This Field?

After you get your bachelor’s or master’s degree from IIT, you can either continue your academics by pursuing a PhD from the same IIT or you may apply to other institutes like IISc, IIA, IUCAA, MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, University of Tokyo, etc. Pursuing a PhD is highly advisable for a promising career in astrophysics.

Astrophysics is not yet an extremely popular choice for students in India, causing it to be offered by only a few universities. But since it’s a niche course, the scope of it is diverse and enormous. You can either become a research scientist, pursue teaching as an occupation in universities, or work in the industry. 

Check out this blog if you want to know more about it.


Finally, it depends on you and your interests in which institute you want to go into. Your passions in terms of research and career aspirations decide the quality of work you do in this field. To make an informed choice, take the time to review the research facilities, faculty bios, and curriculum of each institute. Recall that space exploration is a beautiful adventure, and you can achieve greatness only with the correct academic foundation and consistent effort. We wish you good luck! 

If you want to know more about astronomy, check out this blog.


Ques: What is Astronomy?

Ans: Astronomy is a branch of science focussed on studying processes at a cosmic level. It studies stars, planets, galaxies and phenomena related to them.

Ques: Which is the best institute in India for Astronomy and astrophysics?

Ans: There are many institutes in India focussed on Astronomy. Some are Indian Institute of Astrophysics, IISc, Physical Research Laboratory , Raman Research Institute, Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), etc.

Ques: Which is the best IISER for space sciences?

Ans: IISER Kolkata, Mohali and TVM have a slight orientation toward space science. Check out this blog to know in depth.

Ques: What is the difference between astronomy and astrophysics?

Ans: Astronomy is focussed on experimental studies while astrophysics involves theoretical understanding. Astronomy provides evidence while astrophysics provides reasoning and explanation of those observations. Check out this blog to know more.

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