BA in Astronomy & Physics

Astronomy encompasses the most interesting physical phenomena in the universe, from the atmospheres of planets, to the discovery and characterization of planets orbiting other stars, the nature of galaxies and the stars within them, the supermassive black holes at the centers of large galaxies, and the way the universe came to be the way it is. Astronomy & Physics (A&P) majors gain a broad knowledge of the principles of astronomy and physics, including planets in the solar system, stars and star formation, the nature of the interstellar medium, galaxies and cosmology, mechanics, electricity and magnetism, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics, and mathematical methods of physics. A&P students learn to communicate astronomical information effectively, both in writing and verbally, to a variety of audiences and to think critically and evaluate, interpret, and solve problems related to astronomy, physics, and general scientific topics. The A&P BA is a pathway to research-oriented careers that prepares students for either immediate workforce entry or further, graduate-level study in astronomy and related sciences. Students who are interested in applying to graduate school to study astronomy or astrophysics are generally advised to choose this major.

Unless otherwise noted, all required courses are 4 credit hours.

Prerequisites

  • CAS AS 202
  • CAS AS 203
  • CAS PY 251 (or 211)
  • CAS PY 252 (or 212)

Principal (Required) Courses

  • CAS AS 311
  • CAS AS 312
  • CAS AS 441 or CAS PY 581
  • CAS MA 123
  • CAS MA 124
  • CAS MA 225
  • CAS PY 351 (or 313)
  • CAS PY 355
  • CAS PY 405
  • CAS PY 406
  • CAS PY 408
  • CAS PY 410
  • CAS PY 451

and at least two courses from the following list:

  • CAS AS 413
  • CAS AS 414
  • CAS PY 452

Students who enter the program with a strong background in calculus may substitute CAS MA 127 or MA 129 for the combination of CAS MA 123 and MA 124, in consultation with their academic advisor.

Recommended Courses

Any from the above list of courses, if not taken as a principal course, in addition to CAS MA 226, MA 242, PY 371, GE 302, GE 310, CS 111, and CS 112.