Newberg received her bachelor's degree in Physics from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1987. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1992, working on the Berkeley Automated Supernova Search, which measured the supernova rates as a function of supernova type in Virgo-distance galaxies; and the Supernova Cosmology Project, which measured the cosmological parameters Omega and Lambda using the light curves of distant supernovae, and provided strong evidence that the expansion of our universe is accelerating. In 2007, she shared the Gruber Prize in Cosmology along with the other members of the Supernova Cosmology Project for this work. At Fermilab, she worked on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey starting in 1992. She joined the faculty of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1999.
She has published papers in diverse areas of galactic and extragalactic astronomy, including: supernova phenomenology, measuring cosmological parameters from supernovae, galaxy photometry, color selection of QSOs, properties of stars, and the structure of our galaxy.