Graduate Admissions Task Force


Alice K. B. Monet, AAS Secretary
Alice K. B. Monet
AAS Secretary

History: With record numbers of students applying to graduate school in astronomy and astrophysics, and the success rate of applications corresponding low, the situation is self-amplifying. The current state of affairs is considered untenable by many, and the applicants themselves are facing extreme application burdens — which also results in inclusivity issues. 


  1. Collect data on current and historic (last 5-10) trends in graduate applications from as many astronomy/astrophysics (including joint physics-astronomy) programs as possible and assess the depth and breadth of the issue.
  2. Collect information on departments’ policies and procedures pre- and post-deadline and how departments are handling the application influx.
  3. Collect information from recent graduate applicants on their experiences, concerns, and input for improving the process.
  4. Assess current and projected demographic data to predict near and mid-future trends.
  5. Investigate the use and efficacy of shared platforms for admissions (e.g., Common App, AMCAS, etc.).
  6. If possible, investigate the situation in other STEM disciplines and how these communities have addressed similar issues.
  7. Investigate local constraints on the admissions process at a range of institutions.
  8. Provide findings and recommendations to the AAS Board of Trustees on if/how our community can mitigate the stress of graduate admissions on both departments and applicants.

Charge: The task force is encouraged to carry out surveys, interviews, and information collection as they deem most appropriate.

Report: The task force will provide the AAS Board of Trustees with updates on progress quarterly, with an anticipated final report by the end of the calendar year (to be presented at the January in-person meeting).

Committee Chair

Emily M. Levesque (She/Her/Hers)

University of Washington, Seattle

Term: Feb 2024 – Feb 2025

Committee Members

Christopher M. Johns-Krull (He/Him/His)

Rice University

Term: Feb 2024 – Feb 2025

Seth Redfield (He/Him/His)

Wesleyan University

Term: Feb 2024 – Feb 2025

Laura A. Lopez (She/Her/Hers)

The Ohio State University

Term: Feb 2024 – Feb 2025

Rachel Ivie

American Association of Physics Teachers

Term: Feb 2024 – Feb 2025

Meredith A. MacGregor (She/Her/Hers)

Johns Hopkins University

Term: Feb 2024 – Feb 2025

Tom Rice (he, him, his)

American Astronomical Society (AAS)

Term: Feb 2024 – Feb 2025

Jose S. Monzon (He/Him/His)

Yale University

Term: Feb 2024 – Feb 2025

Grace Krahm (She/Her/Hers)

The Ohio State University

Term: Feb 2024 – Feb 2025

Daniel R. Piacitelli

Rutgers University

Term: Feb 2024 – Feb 2025