The Astronomy/Physics BS is an interdepartmental major administered jointly with the Astronomy Department. The program prepares a student for graduate study in either astronomy or physics, or in related fields. Students in this major have advisors both from Astronomy and Physics. Official information regarding the major requirements is available in the Undergraduate Record.
While it is not required, we recommend that prospective majors take ASTR 1610 (Introduction to Astronomy Research), which introduces many of the 'big ideas' in astronomy and helps connect students with research opportunities in the department.
Starting in the 2021/22 academic year, we have updated the degree requirements. If you take the introductory physics courses in Fall 21 or later, you should use these new requirements:
- PHYS 1420 or PHYS 1425 - Introductory Physics 1 (prereq: Calc 1)
- PHYS 1429 - Physics 1 Workshop (coreq: Intro Physics 1)
- PHYS 1655 Python for Scientists and Engineers or PHYS 2660 - Fundamentals of Scientific Computing or PHYS 3630 - Computational Physics
- MATH 2310 or APMA 2120 - Multivariable Calculus (prereq: Calc 2)
- PHYS 2410 or PHYS 2415 - Introductory Physics 2 (prereq: Multivariable Calc)
- PHYS 2419 - Physics 2 Workshop (coreq: Intro Physics 2)
- PHYS 2620 - Modern Physics (prereq: Intro Physics 2)
- ASTR 2110 - Introduction to Astrophysics 1 (prereq: Intro Physics 1)
- ASTR 2120 - Introduction to Astrophysics 2 (prereq: Intro to Astrophys 1)
- MATH 3250 or APMA 2130 - Differential Equations (prereq: Calc 2)
- PHYS 2720 - Problem Solving (coreq: Intro Physics 2, Differential Equations)
- ASTR 3130 - Observational Astronomy (prereq: Intro to Astrophys 2)
- PHYS 3210 - Classical Mechanics (prereq: Intro Physics 2, Differential Equations)
- PHYS 3310 - Statistical Physics (prereq: Modern Physics)
- PHYS 3340 - Mathematics for Physics (prereq: Multivariable Calc)
- MATH 4220 or APMA 3140 - Partial Differential Equations (prereq: Differential Equations)
- PHYS 3420 - Electricity and Magnetism 1 (prereq: Intro Physics 2, Partial Differential Equations)
- PHYS 3430 - Electricity and Magnetism 2 (prereq: E&M 1)
- PHYS 3650 - Quantum Mechanics 1 (prereq: Modern Physics, Differential Eqns, Math for Physics)
- ASTR 4988 - Senior Thesis
- Six additional credits of 3000- to 5000-level astronomy electives
If changes in course offerings and scheduling make it challenging for you to satisfy either of these requirement sets, discuss the situation with your advisors.
Declaring the Major
You are welcome to declare an astronomy/physics major at any time, there are no prerequisites or conditions to fulfill. To start the process, contact our program coordinator, who will put you in contact with a physics advisor. You will also be assigned an advisor from Astronomy.
Distinguished Major Program
Students must maintain a GPA of 3.4 or better. For the Distinguished Majors Program (DMP), students must meet the requirements of the Astronomy-Physics major described above, must complete either PHYS 3660 (Quantum Phys. II) or any PHYS course at the 5000-level, complete a two-semester Senior Thesis (ASTR 4998), and complete at least two ASTR courses at the 4000-5000 level (excluding ASTR 4993 and ASTR 4998) as part of the six credits of elective Astronomy courses. This program may lead to the award of degrees with Distinction, High Distinction, or Highest Distinction.
Sample Course Schedule (New Requirements)
Note that only courses related to the astronomy/physics degree are shown.
*PHYS 1660 (Practical Computing) and ASTR 1910 (Intro to Astronomy Research) are optional courses that are not required for the major.
Sample Course Schedule (Old Requirements)
*ASTR 1910 (Intro to Astronomy Research) is an optional course that is not required for the major.