Astronomy Major

The Astronomy Major is for students interested in studying astronomy in college, but not intending to go to graduate school in astronomy. This major offers students opportunities to get hands-on experience with telescopes and to work on real research projects in astronomy. Through the physics, math, and astrophysics requirements, the major also develops critical thinking and problem solving skills prized in today's work force. Above all, the major offers students the chance to explore how we have come to understand our place in the Universe.

Course requirements

The Astronomy major consists of ten courses. Required courses include:

  • Astronomy: Any 100-level course in ASTR with lab; ASTR 206; two 300-level courses in ASTR.
  • Physics: PHYS 107; PHYS 106 or PHYS 108

The other four courses normally include:

  • two additional ASTR courses at the 200-level or above
  • one course in MATH at the 200-level
  • one additional course in ASTR or a related field

Students should consult with faculty about choosing electives and research opportunities appropriate for their fields of study. For example, students interested in planetary sciences should elect ASTR 203 (Planetary Geology) and add courses in geosciences and chemistry. Students working towards teacher certification would add courses in other sciences and in Education, and might coordinate their fieldwork with ASTR 350, while those planning to enter the technical workforce might elect additional courses in computer science.

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