For both masters- and doctoral-level students, UWAB offers a Graduate Certificate in Astrobiology. Compared to our Dual-Title PhD track, the Graduate Certificate in Astrobiology has fewer requirements, and students pursuing a graduate degree in any UW home department are eligible to apply. The requirements for the certificate are as follows:


Students must complete a minimum of 15 credits of coursework. These credits must include:

  • ASTBIO 501, “Astrobiology Disciplines” (4 credits)
  • ASTBIO 502, “Astrobiology Topics” (4 credits)
  • ASTBIO 550, “Professional Development for Astrobiology” (2 credits)
  • ASTBIO 575, “Astrobiology Graduate Seminar” (1 credit)
  • ASTBIO 576, “Astrobiology Colloquium” (1 credit)
  • Electives Cognate Course (3 credits)

Astrobiology is a heavily interdisciplinary field. Thus, the UWAB requires students to complete at least three elective or “cognate” credits outside the student’s home department.

There is no fixed list of cognate courses. However, the UWAB program strives to provide up-to-date information about known courses that can satisfy the cognate requirement. Ultimately, the student’s choice of cognate credits should be made in consultation with the astrobiology program administrator.

Further details of these required courses and a list of past cognate courses can be found on our Courses page.


Though students pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Astrobiology will likely incorporate astrobiology-relevant questions, topics, and materials in their graduate research (e.g., Master’s thesis or Doctoral dissertation), the Certificate does not impose any specific or minimum research requirement.

However, students are encouraged to highlight their achievements and progress in astrobiology-relevant research during annual progress reviews.

Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

  • Minimum Grade Point Average

Successful completion of the program requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all coursework counted toward the Certificate.

  • Annual Progress Review

As only coursework is required to complete the Certificate no formal progress review is required for certificate students. Requests for students to complete a progress report will be sent to all students, but certificate students are not required to complete the report. Any report that is submitted will be reviewed by the Program Administrator and any requests, concerns, or questions submitted by the student will be forwarded to the AB Program Director for a response.

The Program Administrator will ensure that certificate students are properly informed of upcoming course schedules and advised of their progress towards the certificate and their need to enroll in courses in order to complete the certificate without delays to their planned graduate timelines.


If you have questions about the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Astrobiology, please contact the UWAB Program Administrator at