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College of Arts & Sciences

Astrophysics Major (B.S.)

The astrophysics bachelor’s degree is preparation for careers in research, government and industry.

Dr. Joseph Shields is a professor of astrophysics.

  • Preparation for research institutions, government, industry or teaching
  • Opportunities for undergraduate research
  • Facilities including laser labs, Edwards Accelerator Lab and more
  • Advanced course emphasis in theoretical and observational astronomy
  • Preparation for graduate study in astrophysics and related fields

Admissions Information

Degree Requirements

Sample Curriculum

Program Overview

The B.S. degree in physics astrophysics provides a substantial introduction to classical and modern physics, with advanced course emphasis in theoretical and observational astronomy. Students graduating with this degree will have a good understanding of Newtonian mechanics, electromagnetic phenomena, thermodynamics, and special relativity along with expertise related to the physics of stars, the interstellar medium, and galaxies, and the methods by which each is studied. Students will also gain practical skills from laboratory and computer programming courses.

Careers and Graduate School

Recipients of the B.S. degree possess high-level problem-solving skills that can lead to opportunities for employment in research institutions, government, industry, or teaching. This degree also prepares students for graduate study in astrophysics and related fields.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements. However, it is recommended that students entering the program have at least a Math Placement Level II, or an ACT Math score of 24, or a SAT Math score of 560.

Change of Program Policy: No selective or limited admission requirements. However, it is recommended that students changing into the program have at least a Math Placement Level II, or an ACT Math score of 24, or a SAT Math score of 560.

External Transfer Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements. However, it is recommended that students transferring into the program have at least a Math Placement Level II, or an ACT Math score of 24, or a SAT Math score of 560.

Degree Requirements

Major Code: BS3335

University-Wide Graduation Requirements

To complete this program, students must meet all University-wide graduation requirements.

College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences

View the College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Physics Hours Requirement

Complete a total of 33 semester credit hours of PHYS coursework, including all the requirements below.

General Physics Sequence

General Physics I

Complete one of the following courses:

  • PHYS 2051 - General Physics Credit Hours: 5.0
  • PHYS 2051H - General Physics for Physics and Astronomy Majors Credit Hours: 5.0

General Physics II

Complete one of the following courses:

  • PHYS 2052 - General Physics Credit Hours: 5.0
  • PHYS 2052H - General Physics for Physics and Astronomy Majors Credit Hours: 5.0

Other Physics Courses

Complete the following courses:

  • PHYS 2053 - Contemporary Physics: Relativity and Quantum Phenomena Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PHYS 3001 - Mechanics Credit Hours: 4.0

Physics Seminar and Labs

Complete the following courses:

  • PHYS 1901 - Physics Seminar Credit Hours: 1.0
  • PHYS 2701 - Electronics Laboratory Credit Hours: 2.0
  • PHYS 3701 - Intermediate Laboratory - Electrons & Photons Credit Hours: 2.0
  • PHYS 3702 - Intermediate Laboratory - Photons & Nucleons Credit Hours: 2.0

Physics Common Mathematics Requirements

Complete the following courses:

  • MATH 2301 - Calculus I Credit Hours: 4.0
  • MATH 2302 - Calculus II Credit Hours: 4.0
  • MATH 3200 - Applied Linear Algebra Credit Hours: 3.0
  • MATH 3300 - Calculus III Credit Hours: 4.0
  • MATH 3400 - Elementary Differential Equations Credit Hours: 3.0
  • MATH 4410 - Fourier Analysis and Partial Differential Equations Credit Hours: 3.0

Intermediate and Advanced Courses for Astrophysics Major

Astronomy Requirements

Complete the following courses:

  • ASTR 3251 - Fundamentals of Astrophysics Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ASTR 4201 - Stellar Astrophysics and Radiation Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ASTR 4202 - Interstellar Medium and Galaxies Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ASTR 4271 - Observational Astrophysics Credit Hours: 3.0

Physics Requirements

Complete the following courses:

  • PHYS 3011 - Thermal Physics Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PHYS 4031 - Electricity and Magnetism 1 Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PHYS 4032 - Electricity and Magnetism 2 Credit Hours: 3.0

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