The Department of Astronomy offers two undergraduate degree options: Bachelor of Science and the Bachelor of Arts in Astronomy. The B.Sc. degree is designed to be a solid preparatory course of study for graduate school in astronomy, astrophysics and related fields. The curriculum combines studies in astronomy and astrophysics with a strong foundation in Physics and Mathematics. The B.Sc. degree track requires foundation courses in mathematics, physics, and astronomy that entails taking a variety of upper-level astronomy and physics courses. Advanced courses in mathematics and computer science are suggested but not required.
The Bachelor of Arts in Astronomy is also for students who are passionate about astronomy, but is tailored for those who have other vocations in mind. The B.A. requires a lesser focus in mathematics and physics compared to the B.Sc. degree. This gives the student more flexibility in choosing courses, and facilitating to fit in preprofessional courses in education, business, or medicine. If the student is simply looking for a liberal degree, they can instead take a broad range of courses in the sciences and/or humanities. Of course, the student can always take more astronomy courses than are required!
For undergraduate students not primarily interested in pursuing a major in astronomy, our department offers a variety of General Education courses as well as an astronomy minor. These courses provide a broad largely non-mathematical survey of the field of astronomy and its various sub-disciplines.
Both majors are for those who are comfortable with, and have some aptitude for physics, and mathematics. They both should develop the student's analytical reasoning skills as well as expand their knowledge about the Universe.
The Astronomy Minor comprisesrequires a 15-credit coursework that afford the student an opportunity to get a taste of what the science of astronomy is about. The first part consists of the three introductory courses in basic theoretical and observational astronomy, and astrophysics; AST 3018-19, and 3722C. These are the same courses required for the astronomy major. They have calculus, and physics with calculus as prerequisites or corequisites. The final two courses in astronomy for the minor can be any two upper-division courses.