Astrophysics (Minor)

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 will be able to think critically about scientific problems, reducing complex problems to their most important attributes, and 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.

Degree Offered

Astrophysics (Minor)
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of


Major Map

A major map outlines the degreeā€™s requirements for graduation.

Application Requirements

All students will be required to meet with an academic advisor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration to declare the minor and confirm that the requirements are being met. The student should also consult an academic advisor in the college or department of the major to make sure the college or department of the major allows the recognition of the minor. The Degree Audit Reporting system will be used for tracking student progress and verifying completion of the minor.

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.

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements.

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