Bachelor of Science with a major in astronomy.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a major directed toward a career in astronomy. The first-year and sophomore program includes a combined concentration in astronomy, physics and mathematics.
Most professional positions in astronomy and astrophysics generally require study leading to the Ph.D. degree. Opportunities include research positions in observatories, often in conjunction with university teaching, and scientific positions in government agencies and industry.
Approximately 15 students are enrolled in the major. Average class size is 7 students; many classes are shared with physics majors.
The Bachelor of Science degree requires a minimum of 49 credit hours in astronomy and physics courses in a program to be developed by the student and the adviser and approved by the department. The upper division program concentrates on astrophysics with courses in such areas as mechanics, electromagnetic theory, space and astrophysics.
All programs include the following common core of astronomy and physics courses in the first two years:
First and sophomore years
Minimum degree requirements also include:
Select one course from the following:
A Senior Capstone Experience is required, which may be either an NSF-sponsored REU experience between the junior and senior years, or one of the courses Physics 197 or 198 — Research Participation taken during the senior year.
Requirements for all programs also include General Chemistry I with laboratory, and related courses in mathematics and computer science appropriate to the options chosen by the student.
Depending on the student’s career goals, the academic adviser may recommend additional courses chosen from electives. The following courses are highly recommended for students going to graduate school: