The department of astronomy was established in 2009, based on the Center for Astrophysics founded in 1978 and the Department of Astronomy and Applied Physics founded in 1998. Currently the department has about 20 faculty members including 2 academicians of CAS and 12 full professors. It enrolls about 20 undergraduates and 10 postgraduates annually. The department has a 40cm optical telescope,mainly for teaching students to do observations and data reductions. In 2008,it was granted to set up a Key Lab for Galaxy and Cosmology of CAS, jointly with Shanghai Astronomical Observatory.
The department and the Center for Astrophysics were among the first set of institutions in China that initiated researches in modern astrophysics, and have obtained many research achievements. The research interests include: active galactic nuclei and normal galaxies; relativistic and high-energy astrophysics;cosmology; extrasolar planets. The groups in the department are participating in various big astronomical projects, including the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fibre Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) and the World Space Observatory-Ultraviolet (WSO-UV).