Undergraduate Major Courses

Please read Which astronomy course should you take? for a detailed description of the scope and intended audiences for each of these courses.


Astronomy 2291

Basic Astrophysics & Planetary Astronomy

3 credits / Autumn semester

Motions and physical nature of objects in the solar system; electromagnetic radiation, telescopes, & astronomical detectors.

Prereq or concur: Physics 1251 or concurrent; or permission of instructor. Intended only for BS students. This course is available for EM credit.


Astronomy 2292

Stellar, Galactic, & Extragalactic Astronomy & Astrophysics

3 credits / Spring semester

Observational and physical properties of the sun and stars; stellar structure and evolution; interstellar medium; galaxies & cosmology.

Prereq: Astronomy 2291 or permission of instructor. This course is available for EM credit.


Astronomy 2895

Topics in Astrophysics

1 credit / Autumn semester

Prospective astronomy majors will meet weekly with different astronomy faculty to learn about current research topics, facilities, and opportunities available in the undergraduate astronomy program.

Astronomy 2895 is repeatable to a maximum of 2 cr hours. This course is graded S/U.


Astronomy 3350

Methods of Astronomical Observation & Data Analysis
3 credits / Autumn semester

Astronomical observation techniques and quantitative analysis of astronomical data; practical experience with modern astronomical instrumentation and computer-based reduction, analysis, and interpretation of astronomical data.

Prereq: 162, H162, 292, 1162, 1162H, or 2292 and Math 153 or 1152, and Physics 133 or 1251.

Note: While Astronomy 162 (1162) is technically allowed as a prerequisite, Astronomy 2292 will be assumed for most students. The Math 1152 / 2162 / 2173 and Physics 1251 prerequisites will assume a mastery of (not just familiarity with) calculus and classical physics.  


Astronomy 5681

Principles of Stellar Evolution & Nucleosynthesis

3 credits / Spring semester alternate years (next offered in Spring 2018)

Physics of stellar structure, evolution, and nucleosynthesis.

Prereq: Math 2174 or 2255 or 2145; and Physics 5500; or permission of instructor.  Not open to students with credit for Physics/Astronomy 681.


Astronomy 5682

Introduction to Cosmology

3 credits / Spring semester altnernate years (next offered in Spring 2019)

Structure and Evolution of the Universe.

Prereq: Math 2174 or 2255 or 2145; and Physics 2301; or permission of instructor.  Prereq or concur: Physics 5600.  Not open to students with credit for Physics/Astronomy 682.


Astronomy 4193

Individual Studies

1-10 cr.

Independent library or laboratory work on a special problem or topic in observational or theoretical astronomy.

Prereq.: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 30 hours or 3 completions. This course is graded S/U.


Astronomy 4194

Group Studies

1-10 cr.

Special studies not otherwise offered

Prereq.: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 10 hours or 2 completions. This course is graded S/U.


Astronomy 4998

Non-Thesis Research

1-10 cr.

Directed undergraduate research (non-thesis).

Prereq.: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 30 hours or 4 completions. This course is graded S/U/


Astronomy 4999

Thesis Research

1-10 cr.

Directed undergraduate research for thesis.

Prereq.: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to 30 hours or 4 completions. This course is graded S/U.

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