Kitt Peak

Astrophysics Degree Requirements

There is only one basic degree program in Astrophysics in CSE, but almost all career paths benefit from additional course work specific to that path. In many cases, such as secondary education, additional work is required for entrance into the post-baccalaureate programs in the state and elsewhere. All Astrophysics majors must meet the University wide Liberal Arts requirements by graduation. CSE also has a composition requirement.

Upper Division Sample Programs 4-Year Plan  

Astrophysics majors have the option of graduating with Latin honors. To do so they must join the University Honors Program by the fall of their junior year at the latest. For more information see the University Honors Program website.

Lower Division Requirements
Sample Freshman Year
Math 1371 or 1271 (Calculus) Math 1372 or 1272 (Calculus)
Physics 1301 Physics 1302
CSE 1001 1st year Experience Elective (Programming1)
Elective (Psy 10012) Elective (Phil 1005 or 36012)

1 CSci 1113 is suggested for instrumentation emphasis, CSci 1107 is suggested all other emphases. Can be taken in Fresh. or Soph. years. Programming is not required for the degree.

2 Required for Secondary Ed. Emphasis.

Sample Sophomore Year
Math 2373 or 2243 (Calculus) Math 2374 or 2263 (Calculus)
Physics 2503 (NOT 2303) Physics 2601 (Quantum)
Physics 2201 CSE 1001 1st year Experience
Elective Astro 20013

3 May be taken in Fall Term if desired.

Remaining electives in both the Freshman and Sophomore years should be chosen from freshman composition (if required), and Liberal Arts courses that count toward the Liberal Arts requirements. All of the Physical Science and Mathematical Thinking requirements within the Liberal Arts requirements are met by core courses in the major. Note, however, a course in Biology is also required. The liberal arts requirements are rather complicated. Be sure to consult the Course Schedule and your advisor!

Upper Division Requirements
The basic upper division requirements for a degree in Astrophysics are:
Physics 4001 Classical Mechanics
Physics 4002 Classical Electricity and Magnetism
Astronomy two courses at the 4xxx or 5xxx level
Astronomy 4994 Senior Thesis, minimum of 3 cr
Physics 3605W Modern Physics lab
Physics 4303 Electrodynamics
Minimum credits necessary to graduate with an Astrophysics Degree:
Physics 29 cr
Astronomy 15 cr
Math 20 cr
Liberal arts 20 cr (includes 4 cr of Biology with Lab)
Techincal Electives 16 cr
Minimum Total Credits to Graduate — 120

This number does not include the Freshman composition course, if required. Technical Electives can be any 3xxx, 4xxx, or 5xxx course in CSE. Choosing from Astronomy, Physics, Geology, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Mathematics is encouraged.

Note: The current Liberal Arts requirements are complicated. Be sure to consult with your advisor(s) and the Course Schedule for more information. Pay particular attention to the Designated Theme Requirements. Try and pick courses that cover both at core requirement and a theme requirement. All of the Physical Sciences and Mathematics requirements are met by the courses in the major. Choose liberal arts courses that are as far removed as possible from science and math. Expand your horizons!

See Sample Programs 4-Year Plan  

Contact Information

MN Institute for Astrophysics

University of Minnesota
John T. Tate Hall, 116 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55455

P: (612) 624-4811