Astronomy (B.A.)

This program is intended to provide students with foundational knowledge in astronomy and space science. Students will graduate with strong scientific preparation and communication skills and will have a wide range of career options including entry-level jobs as well as graduate education in law, business, education, social and physical sciences. In short, these students will have all the traditional options of liberal arts majors with the added advantage of a unique science background.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for this program are satisfied by the general requirements for undergraduate admission to the University.


Candidates must complete 120 credits in course work including satisfaction of the University General Education Requirements and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Group Requirements, as well as the Departmental major requirements cited below. All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the University and the College governing undergraduate scholarship and degrees.

Note: In some cases the requirements of a specific program will increase the number of credits above 120.

The University requirement for a writing intensive (WI) course in the major field is satisfied by:

  1. PHY 6850 for the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Physics
  2. AST 4200 for the Bachelor of Arts in Astronomy degree
  3. PHY 6780 for Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Physics degree

It should be noted in each case that the requirement is satisfied by an additional writing project beyond the normal course requirements.

Students must receive a grade of C- or better in all physics and/or astronomy courses. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher for all course work is required for graduation.

Students should consult with the Undergraduate Academic Advisor in the Physics Research Building for more detailed information concerning the various degrees and options outlined below.

Additionally, student must complete:

AST 2010(PS) Descriptive Astronomy4
AST 2011Descriptive Astronomy Laboratory1
PHY 2170(PS) University Physics for Scientists I 14
PHY 2171University Physics Laboratory1
PHY 2180University Physics for Scientists II 14
PHY 2181University Physics Laboratory II1
PHY 3300Introductory Modern Physics3
PHY 3310Introductory Modern Physics Laboratory2
PHY 5340
PHY 5341
and Optics Laboratory
AST 4100Astronomical Techniques3
AST 4200(WI) Astronomical Laboratory2
AST 4300Planetary Astronomy and Space Science3
AST 5010Astrophysics and Stellar Astronomy3
AST 5100Galaxies and the Universe3
MAT 2010Calculus I4
MAT 2020Calculus II4
PHY 3700Mathematics for Biomedical Physics4
Total Credits51

A student may present credits in PHY 2130, PHY 2140 or equivalent, in lieu of PHY 2170 and PHY 2180, with the consent of the Departmental Undergraduate advisor.

Electives to complete credits required for the degree may include any courses from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.