New Astrophysics and Astronomy undergraduate degrees launched

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
David Sanders, (808) 956-5055
Astronomy Graduate Program Chair, Institute for Astronomy
Paui Lam, (808) 956-2988
Department of Physics and Astronomy Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Posted: Aug 22, 2014

College of Natural Sciences Dean Bill Ditto
College of Natural Sciences Dean Bill Ditto

The UH Board of Regents has approved adding two new programs to the UH Mānoa College of Natural Sciences – a BA in Astronomy and a BS in Astrophysics. The programs will be a cooperative effort of the Physics and Astronomy Department and the Institute for Astronomy. The board approved the new programs at its meeting on Thursday, August 21, 2014.

The BS and BA degree programs draw on extraordinary resources unique to Hawaiʻi. No other astronomy program anywhere has access to such a variety of instruments. Both programs build on a solid grounding in physics and other sciences through courses offered by the College of Natural Sciences. The combined degree programs include introductory, intermediate and advanced astronomy courses and research tutorials with leading scientists at the Institute for Astronomy.

“The University of Hawai'i at Mānoa now provides a young aspiring astrophysicist an opportunity to receive undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral and research positions, as well as unparalleled access to the impressive array of world-class telescopes in Hawaiʻi," said William Ditto, Dean of the College of Natural Sciences.

“Hawaiʻi has some of the best astronomical observatories in the world and the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa has one of the largest graduate programs in astronomy,” said Guenther Hasinger, Director of the Institute for Astronomy.

Virtually all the courses required for these two majors have been offered at UH Mānoa, but they are now fully accredited undergraduate majors. This approval provides the structure and organization needed for a student to choose an Astronomy or Astrophysics track.

“We are confident these majors round out the academic offerings that will attract many bright and enthusiastic students to our programs,” said Pui Lam, Department of Physics and Astronomy Chair.