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Astronomy Advising Tips

The Department of Physics & Astronomy offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Astronomy as well as minors in Astronomy and in Astrophysics. The astronomy major is appropriate for students interested in careers such as teacher of earth science, planetarium director, science museum educator, science writing, and historian of science. Students wishing to pursue graduate work in astronomy are advised to major in physics (see Physics Advising Tips) and minor in astrophysics. The astronomy major sequence consists of eleven courses, plus one course in mathematics, and at least one other science course. The astronomy and astrophysics minor programs require six courses each. First year students with an interest in astronomy are strongly encouraged to take Physics 100: First Year Physics Seminar in the fall term.

The Department of Physics & Astronomy Program page provides Sample Schedules for Astronomy Majors with some examples of how the required courses fit into four years. For an introduction to the courses offered within the department, select one of the following links:

A Guide to the Physics Major

A Guide to the Astronomy Major

A Guide to Non-Major Courses

A complete listing of courses and requirements can be found in Union’s online course catalog.

Some of the best education a young scientist can obtain occurs outside the classroom, and the department provides a variety of extracurricular opportunities with this in mind. Independent research with a faculty colleague is encouraged for the degree in astronomy, and many of our majors go well beyond the minimum requirements, spending summers at Union or national laboratories doing research and visiting national observatories to observe. The results of these student research projects have been presented at national and international conferences, and in student-coauthored articles for scientific journals. The department also maintains an active colloquium series to help keep students and faculty in touch with exciting developments.