Astronomy Minor


Astronomy is a profound and fundamental science that has never ceased to fascinate the general public and attract the imagination of students. An astronomy major program is under development and currently we offer our students the opportunity to explore astronomy and astrophysics through a minor degree program. The intent is to provide sufficient background to enable a student with both an astronomy minor and a pre-professional physics major to pursue graduate work in astronomy and astrophysics.

Requirements for Minor

Astronomy minors must complete all general education and College of Science requirements and have a GPA of at least 2.0 in physics, astronomy and mathematics courses combined. All physics, astronomy and mathematics courses must be passed with at least a C- grade. The credit/no credit option may not be elected for any course used to fulfill the degree requirements for an astronomy minor.

To obtain an undergraduate minor in astronomy, a student must complete at least 17 hours of approved course work, consisting of the following required and recommended courses. Students may obtain proposed minor approval from the academic adviser: 202 JFB, (801) 581-7910.

Astronomy Course Listings (all are also available and cross-listed as Physics courses)

  • ASTR 1050: The Solar System
  • ASTR 1060: The Universe
  • ASTR 1080: Does ET Exist?
  • ASTR 1090: Mars for Earthlings
  • ASTR 2060: Popular Observational Astronomy
  • ASTR 2500: Foundations of Astronomy
  • ASTR 3060: Introduction to Astrophysics
  • ASTR 4060: Observational Astronomy for Scientists
  • ASTR 4080: Introduction to Cosmology
  • ASTR 5015: Observational Methods & Data Analysis
  • ASTR 5570: Galactic Astronomy and Stellar Populations
  • ASTR 5580: Extragalactic Astronomy & Cosmology [Honors]
  • ASTR 5590: Stellar Astrophysics [Honors]

Required Astronomy Minor Courses

  • ASTR 2500: Foundations of Astronomy (3 credits)
  • ASTR 3060: Introduction to Astrophysics (3 credits)

Two courses from the following options:

  • ASTR 4060: Observational Astronomy for Scientists (3 credits)
  • or
  • ASTR 5015: Observational Methods & Data Analysis (3 credits)
    (students may take both courses but only one can go towards the Astronomy Minor)
  • ASTR 4080: Introduction to Cosmology (3 credits)
  • ASTR 5570: Galactic Astronomy & Stellar Populations (3 credits)
  • ASTR 5580: Extragalactic Astronomy & Cosmology (3 credits)
  • ASTR 5590: Stellar Astrophysics (3 credits)
  • Any additional 5000-level ASTR course (beyond any of those taken to satisfy the requirements above)

Recommended Courses

  • MATH 2210: Calculus III (3 credits)
  • MATH 2250: Differential Equations & Linear Algebra (3 credits)
  • MATH 3150: Partial Differential Equations for Engineering Students (2 credits)
  • MATH 3160: Applied Complex Variables (2 credits)
  • PHYS 2210: Physics for Scientists & Engineers I (4 credits) or PHYS 3210: Physics for Scientists (4 credits) [Honors]
  • PHYS 2220: Physics for Scientists & Engineers II (4 credits) or PHYS 3220: Physics for Scientists (4 credits) [Honors]
  • PHYS 3730: Introduction to Computing in Physics (4 credits)
  • PHYS 3740: Modern Physics - Introduction to Quantum Theory & Relativity (3 credits)
  • PHYS 3760: Principles of Thermodynamics & Statistical Mechanics (3 credits)
  • PHYS 4420: Classical Physics II (4 credits) [Honors]
  • Department of Physics & Astronomy • 201 James Fletcher Bldg. 115 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0830
  • PHONE 801-581-6901
  • Fax 801-581-4801
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