Program Director: Melissa Hayes-Gehrke, Ph.D.
The Astronomy Department offers courses leading to a Bachelor of Science in Astronomy as well as a series of courses of general interest to non-majors. Astronomy majors are given a strong undergraduate preparation in Astronomy, Mathematics, and Physics. The degree program is designed to prepare students for positions in government and industry laboratories or for graduate work in Astronomy or related fields. Courses offered by this department may be found under the following acronym: ASTR.
The Department of Astronomy B.S. program educates majors toward achieving an understanding of modern astronomical concepts, applying physics and mathematics to astrophysical situations, and gaining experience in gathering and reducing data using astronomical instrumentation and computational tools. Completion of this program provides the opportunity for majors to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for graduate school or employment after graduation.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Identify basic concepts from the many areas of astronomy, including motions in the sky, gravity, electromagnetic radiation, solar system, stars, and galaxies.
- Develop mathematical skills, acquire physics knowledge, and practice applying these skills and knowledge in astrophysical situations.
- Use astronomical telescopes/instruments and reduce astronomical data using modern computational methods.
- Demonstrate advanced level knowledge in several different areas of astronomy.
For further details, see the department's assessment plan: astro.umd.edu/academics/astronomyBS.pdf
|Required Basic Astronomy Courses|
|ASTR120||Introductory Astrophysics - Solar System||3|
|ASTR121||Introductory Astrophysics II - Stars and Beyond||4|
|Advanced Astronomy Courses|
|Select any two 400 level Astronomy courses of the following:||6|
|Stellar Structure and Evolution|
|The Solar System|
|Astrophysics of Exoplanets|
|High Energy Astrophysics|
|Optional Astronomy Seminars:|
|Special Projects in Astronomy (ASTR288C-Astronomy Research Techniques)|
|Special Projects in Astronomy (ASTR288M-Current Events in Astronomy Research)|
|Special Projects in Astronomy (ASTR288I Introduction to the Astronomy Major)|
|Special Projects in Astronomy (ASTR288P-Introduction to Astronomical Programming)|
|Required Introductory Physics Courses 1|
|PHYS165||Introduction to Programming in the Physical Sciences 2||3|
|PHYS171||Introductory Physics: Mechanics and Relativity||3|
|PHYS174||Physics Laboratory Introduction||1|
|PHYS272||Introductory Physics: Fields||3|
|PHYS273||Introductory Physics: Waves||3|
|PHYS275||Experimental Physics I: Mechanics and Heat||2|
|PHYS276||Experimental Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism||2|
|Advanced Physics Courses|
|PHYS373||Mathematical Methods for Physics II||3|
|PHYS401||Quantum Physics I||4|
|PHYS404||Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics||3|
|Supporting Mathematics/Mathematical Methods Courses|
|PHYS274||Mathematical Methods for Physics I 3||3|
For students with experience with computer programming this course can be replaced by PHYS474 Computational Physics or ASTR415 Computational Astrophysics. If students complete ASTR415 for this requirement, it cannot be counted as an advanced astronomy course (400-level course) requirement.
Grades in all of the above required courses must be “C-” or better.
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