Astronomy & Astrophysics Major Requirements


Requirements for the B.S. in Astronomy & Astrophysics

Astronomy Major Flowchart for Astronomy Courses

Sample Schedules*:

Astronomy Major Sample Schedule

Astronomy Major Honors Track Sample Schedule

Double Major in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics

Double Major in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics (Honors)

*Note: these sample schedules represent only a few of many possible ways to move through the Astronomy & Astrophysics curriculum. Consult with an academic advisor to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.


The Astronomy Department has adopted the following curriculum for the Astronomy & Astrophysics Major:

General Education (GE) Requirements

All students completing Astronomy & Astrophysics as their primary major must complete the GE requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Arts and Sciences (ASC), which are detailed here.

If your primary major is in a different college and/or if your primary major does not result in a Bachelor of Science degree, then the GE requirements for your degree may be different. Please consult with the academic advisor for your primary major for clarification on your GE requirements.

Required Prerequisites

Semester Course                                                                                                    Credit Hours
Astron 1221 Astronomy Data Analysis1 3
CSE 1222 Introduction to Computer Programming: C++1 3
CSE 1223 Introduction to Computer Programming: Java1 3
CSE 1224 Introduction to Computer Programming: Python1 3
Math 1151 Calculus I2 5
Math 1152 Calculus II2 5
Math 2153 Calculus III2 4
Physics 1250/1250H/1270 Mechanics, Thermal Physics, and Waves     5
Physics 1251/1251H/1271 E&M, Optics, and Modern Physics     5

Major Program

Semester Course Credit Hours
Astron 2895 Topics in Astrophysics 1
Astron 2291 Basic Astrophysics and Planetary Astronomy 3
Astron 2292 Stellar, Galactic, and Extragalactic Astronomy & Astrophysics     3
Astron 3350 Methods of Astronomical Observation and Data Analysis 3
Astron 5681 Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis3 3
Astron 5682 Introduction to Cosmology3 3
Math 2415 Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations2,4,5 3
Math 2568 Linear Algebra2,4 3
Physics 2300 Intermediate Mechanics 1 4
Physics 2301 Intermediate Mechanics 2 4
Physics 3700 Experimental Physics Instrumentation and Data Analysis Lab 3
Physics 5400/5400H Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism 4
Physics 5401H (Honors Only) Honors Advanced Electricity & Magnetism 26 4
Physics 5500/5500H Quantum Mechanics 1 4
Physics 5501/5501H Quantum Mechanics 26 4
Physics 5600 Statistical Mechanics 4


  1. Only one of Astron 1221, CSE 1222, CSE 1223, and CSE 1224 will be required.
  2. An acceptable substitute math sequence is Math 1151 - 1172 - 2173 - 2415 - 2568. Students with appropriate placement may also substitute Math 1161 - 2162 or Math 1181H - 2182H or 4181H - 4182H in place of Math 1151 - 1152 - 2153. Math 5520H may substitute in place of Math 2415 - 2568.
    Math 1151 - 1172 - 2173 - 2174 may also meet the minimum requirements for graduation, but are not recommended for students who plan to go to graduate school in astronomy or physics.
  3. Only one of Astron 5681 and 5682 will be required.
  4. Math 4551 Vector Analysis is also recommended for students who plan to go to graduate school.
  5. Math 2255 Differential Equations and Their Applications is an acceptable substitute for Math 2415
  6. Only one of Physics 5401H and 5501/5501H will be required. 

Double Major with Physics

Many students undertake a double major with Physics.  Such a path increases the depth of preparation in physics and mathematics and is a good option for students intending to go on to graduate school in Physics or Astrophysics. If you are interested, check out the sample schedule for a double major in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, linked above.

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