BA in Astronomy

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 in them, the supermassive black holes that reside at the centers of all large galaxies, and how the universe got to be the way it is. Astronomy majors gain exposure to the principles of astronomy, physics, and mathematics; learn to communicate astronomical information effectively, both in writing and verbally, to a variety of audiences; and learn to think critically and evaluate, interpret, and solve problems related to astronomical, as well as other technical and general scientific, topics. The BA in Astronomy prepares students for entry into the competitive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workplace, with technical skills and problem-solving experience providing advantage in the modern, high-tech world.

Principal (Required) Courses

Unless otherwise noted, all courses are 4 credit hours.

  • CAS AS 202
  • CAS AS 203
  • CAS AS 311
  • CAS AS 312
  • CAS AS 441
  • CAS MA 123
  • CAS MA 124
  • CAS MA 225
  • CAS PY 211 (or 251)
  • CAS PY 212 (or 252)
  • CAS PY 313 (or 351)
    and at least four courses from the following list:

    • CAS AS 413
    • CAS AS 414
    • CAS AS 491 (or 492, but not both)
    • CAS PY 355, 405, 408, 410, or 451

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

Recommended Courses

Any from the above required list if not taken as a principal course, in addition to CAS MA 226, MA 242, PY 406, PY 452, GE 310, CS 111, and CS 112. Students who plan to enter graduate school to study astronomy should take several of the recommended and alternate principal courses.