BS in Astrophysics
This degree is a rigorous program for those students who plan to pursue graduate studies in astronomy, astrophysics or physics and are aiming at a long-term research career.
This degree is a rigorous program for those students who plan to pursue graduate studies in astronomy, astrophysics or physics and are aiming at a long-term research career. For more thoughts on why one may want to pursue a degree in astrophysics, see here.
Astrophysics requires in-depth study of the application of physics and mathematics to astronomy. Students learn about the key physics governing the universe, such as classical dynamics and electromagnetism, quantum mechanics and relativity, and practice applying these concepts to phenomena ranging from asteroids to galaxy clusters and cosmology. They learn to carry out and analyze astronomical observations, and gain research experience via a year-long senior project with a faculty member.
The overall course sequence is available as a pdf (BS Astrophysics course map), and the individual course descriptions with sample syllabi may be found here. The detailed learning objectives may be found here.
Students interested in a more flexible program as preparation for astronomy-related careers should consider the BA in astronomy.
Students interested in gaining exposure to astrophysics as a supplement to a different major may consider the Minor in Astronomy or Minor in Astrophysics.
CHEM 161/161L or 171/171L or 181A/181L General Chemistry I and lab
CHEM 162/162L General Chemistry II and lab
MATH 241 or 251A Calculus I
MATH 242 or 252A Calculus II
MATH 243 or 253A Calculus III
MATH 244 Calculus IV
MATH 311 or 307 Linear Algebra
Astrophysics Core Courses
ASTR 241 Foundations of Astrophysics I
ASTR 242 Foundations of Astrophysics II
ASTR 300/300L Observational Astronomy and lab
ASTR 301 Observational Projects
ASTR 399 Directed Study (minimum of 2 semesters)
ASTR 423 Stellar Astrophysics
ASTR 494 Senior Research Project (two semesters)
PHYS 170/170L General Physics I and lab
PHYS 272/272L General Physics II and lab
PHYS 274/274L General Physics III and lab
PHYS 310 Theoretical Mechanics I
PHYS 311 Theoretical Mechanics II
PHYS 350 Electricity and Magnetism
PHYS 450 Electromagnetic Waves
PHYS 480 Quantum Mechanics I
PHYS 485 Professional Ethics
Elective requirements (at least nine credits)
Astronomy (select from one of the following)
ASTR 320 Astronomical Spectroscopy
ASTR 426 Galaxies & Cosmology
ASTR 430 The Solar System
Physics (select from two of the following)
PHYS 400 Mathematical Methods
PHYS 460 Physical Optics
PHYS 481 Quantum Mechanics II
PHYS 490 Modern Physics