Astronomy and Astrophysics

Program Overview

Turn your love of stargazing into a challenging career. Explore the beauty and mysteries of the universe. Pursue a major in astronomy and astrophysics and combine coursework with hands-on experience in the exciting field of astronomy and astrophysics. You'll acquire skills that can help you land careers in physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science and more.

Program Snapshot

Program Type: Full-Time
Location: On Campus
Program Length: 4 years
Credit Hours: 51 - 66

Why This Program & What You'll Learn

As an astronomy and astrophysics student you'll study thermal physics, quantum theory, astrophysics, observational astronomy, mathematical physics and more. And with a coveted student to faculty ratio of 3:1, you'll do so with individual and personalized attention. Plus, you'll demonstrate your extensive knowledge by completing a culminating project under the guidance of a faculty advisor. In short, you'll be prepared for many astronomy, astrophysics, and physics-related careers as well as competitive graduate programs.

You'll also gain hands-on research experience with access to our Brooks ​Astronomical Observatory and other state-of-the-art resources, including:

  • The Brooks Hall research and reference area with computers, a darkroom and a library housing over 1,000 volumes of observatory publications, catalogs, charts and atlases.
  • A modern 16-inch (40 cm) computer-controlled telescope that is equipped for CCD direct imaging, UBVRI photometry, medium-dispersion spectroscopy, as well as visual observing.
  • Laboratories equipped for laser spectroscopy, magnetic resonance, thin films and X-ray diffraction.

Share your love of science with fellow STEM students by living in our Science & Engineering Residential College. Form relationships with STEM faculty, professionals and alumni. And access personalized tutoring, academic advising and career-related programs — right where you live.

Gain significant physics experience for your future career or graduate program. Many students present their research at national venues. More than 50 percent of our students participate in summer research programs — and a significant portion of those continue as research assistants during the year. As a result of opportunities like these, nearly 100 percent of graduating students secure jobs or gain admittance into graduate programs.

Program Highlights

As an astronomy and astrophysics student here, you'll:

  • Join a program in which nearly one hundred percent of graduating students secure jobs or gain admittance into graduate programs.
  • Explore the stars with access to the Br​ooks Astronomical Observatory and its $100,000 computer-controlled Cassegrain reflector telescope.
  • Study in a department in which physics faculty consistently secure more than $2 million dollars of annual research funding.
  • Be eligible to receive the Kenneth Wright Physics, David H. Current, or Kenneth W. And Margaret Cuff Saunders scholarships.
  • Meet other aspiring physicists, astronomers, astrophysicists, and STEM professionals as a member of the Society of Physics Students.

Careers & Outcomes

With a degree in astronomy and astrophysics you’ll be prepared for a variety of careers related to physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science and more.

Career Projected Salary
Physicist $150,130
Data Scientist $103,500
Physical Scientist $86,095
Research Scientist $74,342
Research Assistant $50,470
A telescope in front of a starry night sky.

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