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.

OVERVIEW

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.

COURSES

Below are listed the core courses and elective options for the BS in astrophysics.  Course information can be found in the UH Mānoa Course catalog.

If you have any questions, please contact undergrad@ifa.hawaii.edu.

Foundational Requirements

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

RESOURCES

Why pursue a degree in Astronomy?
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Course map for the BS Astrophysics
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Course descriptions
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Learning objectives
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