Astrophysics  (Minor)

If you want to learn about Earth's solar system as well as our galaxy and the universe, this minor is ideal for you. Join students and faculty in astrophysics who are building space-flight hardware, making astronomical observations, discovering new planets, exploring cosmology and engineering new instruments for telescopes and satellites.

Program Description

The astrophysics minor is designed for students interested in developing a background in the theoretical modeling and observational techniques of galactic and stellar astronomy, extragalactic astronomy and cosmology.

Students completing the minor are able to think critically about scientific problems by reducing complex problems to their most important attributes and are able to design experiments, observations and theoretical models that address those attributes.

Students pursuing an astrophysics minor are expected to have a strong background in physics and mathematics.

Minor Map

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At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No

Program Requirements

GPA Requirement: None

Incompatible Majors: BS in earth and space exploration (astrophysics); other BS in earth and space exploration concentrations are only compatible with the astrophysics minor as long as option 2 or 3 of the minor are pursued

Other Enrollment Requirements: None

Current ASU undergraduate students may pursue a minor and have it recognized on their ASU transcript at graduation. Minor requirements appear on the degree audit once the minor is added. Certain major and minor combinations may be deemed inappropriate by the college or department of either the major program or the minor. Courses taken for the minor may not count toward both the major and minor.

Enrollment Requirements

The minor in astrophysics consists of a minimum of 20 credit hours.

The following courses are required for the minor, adding up to 12 credit hours.

AST 321 Introduction to Planetary and Stellar Astrophysics, SQ (3)*
AST 322 Introduction to Galactic and Extragalactic Astrophysics, SQ (3)*
AST 421 Astrophysics I (3)
AST 422 Astrophysics II (3)

Students must also choose one of the following options for the additional eight credit hours:

Option 1:
SES 121 Earth, Solar System and Universe I, SQ (3)*
SES 122 Earth, Solar System and Universe II (3)
SES 123 Earth, Solar System and Universe Laboratory I, SQ (1)*
SES 124 Earth, Solar System and Universe Laboratory II (1)

Option 2:
AST 111 Introduction to Solar Systems Astronomy, SQ (3)*
AST 112 Introduction to Stars, Galaxies and Cosmology, SQ (3)*
AST 113 Astronomy Laboratory I, SQ (1)*
AST 114 Astronomy Laboratory II, SQ (1)*

Option 3:
At least eight credit hours of AST or SES upper-division electives; these may include (but are not limited to):

AST 494 Special Topics: Observing Instrumentation and Data Analysis (3)
SES 311 Essentials of Astrobiology: Exploration for Life in the Universe (3)

Courses required for the astrophysics minor may have additional prerequisites.

*In order to satisfy SQ natural science General Studies requirements, both a lecture and its corresponding laboratory section must be completed.

Depending upon a student's undergraduate program of study, prerequisite courses may be needed in order to complete the requirements of this minor.

Program Contact Information

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