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Undergraduate Major

The Department of Astronomy offers a major in astronomy through the LAS Science and Letters Curriculum. This is a flexible program for students who plan to pursue technical or professional careers in areas requiring a sound grounding in physical science and mathematics. It is based upon both a broad and an in-depth exploration into astronomy and allied disciplines, and is an excellent way to gain a general science education. It may be chosen by students who wish to have an astronomy research career or an astronomy background for use in related fields, such as working in national laboratories, observatories, planetariums, NASA, aerospace industry, many computer related fields, journalism, or science writing to name a few.

Students who are certain that they want to go on to graduate study in astronomy should also consider a double major or double degree program in physics, chemistry, or another closely allied field.

Students who plan to pursue technical or professional careers in fields of astronomy that require a sound grounding in computer science should also consider the Computer Science+Astronomy program.

 

Astronomy Major in Sciences and Letters Curriculum

Degree title: Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts and Sciences

LAS Core Requirements: To graduate with a degree from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, all LAS students must fulfill the core requirements.

Astronomy Major Course Requirements:

Hours Requirements
3 ASTR 210 - Introduction to Astrophysics1
9-10

Advanced Astronomy Core:

 

Select three (3) of the following:

ASTR 404 - Stellar Astrophysics

ASTR 405 - Solar System and Interstellar Medium

ASTR 406 - Galaxies and the Universe

ASTR 414 - Astronomical Techniques

12

Advanced Electives:2,3

Select at least 12 additional hours of 300- or 400-level courses in ASTR or other related technical fields (e.g., PHYS, CHEM, etc..)

  Supporting Technical Courses:
12

PHYS 211 - University Physics (Mechanics)

PHYS 212 - University Physics (Elec. & Mag.)

PHYS 213 - University Physics (Thermal Physics)

PHYS 214 - University Physics (Quantum Physics)

11

MATH 221 - Calculus I4

MATH 231 - Calculus II

MATH 241 - Calculus III

  1. Students without a background in physics or astronomy are encouraged to take ASTR 121 and ASTR 122 during their freshman year.
  2. A maximum of 4 hours of credit in ASTR 390 (or equivalent "Independent Study" course, such as PHYS 497, with academic adviser approval) can be counted towards this requirement.
  3. Recommended courses for students intending to pursue graduate study in Astronomy: PHYS 325, 326, 401, 427, 435, 436, 479, 486, 487.
  4. MATH 220 may be substituted for MATH 221. MATH 220 is appropriate for students with no background in calculus.

Sample Course Plans:

DOUBLE MAJOR/DOUBLE DEGREE PROGRAMS

Astrophysics

Please consult undergraduate advisors in Astronomy and Physics for more information about these curricula. Some guidance on satisfying the necessary course requirements is available in these PDF files on the double major and double degree options.

Astrochemistry

Undergraduates who wish to receive formal training in astrochemistry may complete a combined program in Astronomy and Chemistry. Such students are especially encouraged to take ASTR/CHEM 450 and ASTR/CHEM 451 if their timing permits.

Please consult undergraduate advisors in Astronomy and Chemistry for more information about these curricula. Some guidance on satisfying the necessary course requirements is available in these PDF files on the double major and double degree options.