For students interested in attending graduate school in astronomy, a thorough grounding in mathematics and physics is essential. To meet the needs of such students, the Astronomy and Physics departments jointly offer an Astrophysics Major. An astrophysics major consists of the courses required for the physics major (with one of the 300-level courses being ASTR/PHYS 311), along with ASTR 107, ASTR 206, and one additional upper-level astronomy course. All students who wish to consider a major in astrophysics are urged to complete the introductory physics sequence (PHYS 100, PHYS 107 and PHYS 108), as well as ASTR 107, as soon as possible. In planning the major, students should note that some of the courses have prerequisites in mathematics.
- Astronomy: ASTR 107 (or, for students who started before Fall 2018, any 100-level course in ASTR w/lab), ASTR 206, ASTR 311, and any other 200 or 300 level ASTR course (where this may include an independent study or thesis: ASTR 250, 350, 360, or 370).
- Physics: PHYS 100, 107, 108, 120, 205, 207, 208, 210, 302, and one other unit of physics at the 300-level in addition to PHYS/ASTR 311. (Prior to 2018-19: PHYS 107, 108, 202, 207, 216, 302, 305, 310, 314)
- Mathematics: MATH 205, and 215. (Note that MATH 115 and 116 are prerequisites.)
Typical schedule of courses
In addition to the physics curriculum listed above, students are strongly encouraged to take their astronomy courses in approximately this order:
- First year: an introductory course in astronomy (ASTR 107 if started after Fall 2018; alternatively: ASTR 101 or ASTR 100 with lab if started before Fall 2018).
- Fall of sophomore or junior year: ASTR 206 on astronomical techniques.
- Any semester: any additional 200-level or 300-level course in ASTR,
- Spring of junior or senior year: ASTR 311.