Dec 10, 2023  
Undergraduate Record 2023-2024 
Undergraduate Record 2023-2024


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Requirements for the Astronomy Major

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Astronomy, not intended as preparation for graduate study in science, provides a firm grounding in basic astronomy, mathematics, physics, and computer science. Students take ASTR 1210, 1220 (or 2110, 2120), 3130, 4998 (Senior Thesis), and twelve additional credits of 3000-5000 level astronomy courses (ASTR 1270 may be substituted for ASTR 1220). Students are also required to take MATH 1310, 1320, and 2310; PHYS 1420, 2410 (or 1425, 2415); and PHYS 1655 or CS 1110, 1111 or 1112. This program offers considerable opportunities for students to pursue interests in other subjects, and is well suited for inclusion in a double major.

Requirements for the Astronomy-Physics Major

The Bachelor of Science degree in Astronomy-Physics is offered jointly by the astronomy and physics departments. This program prepares students for graduate study in astronomy, physics, computer science, and related fields. Students take MATH 1310, 1320, 2310, 3250, 4220; PHYS 1420, 1429, 1655, 2410, 2419, 2620, 2720, 3210, 3310, 3340, 3420, 3430, 3650; ASTR 2110, 2120, 3130, 4998 (Senior Thesis), and six additional credits of 3000-5000 level astronomy courses.

Students can substitute PHYS 1425 (Introductory Physics 1 for Engineers) for PHYS 1420 (Introductory Physics 1), and PHYS 2415 (Introductory Physics 2 for Engineers) for PHYS 2410 (Introductory Physics 2).

Prospective astronomy-physics majors are strongly urged to consult with the astronomy undergraduate advisor during registration week of their first semester at the University.

Distinguished Majors Program in Astronomy-Physics

Students must maintain a GPA of 3.400 or better. For the Distinguished Majors Program (DMP), students must meet the requirements of the astronomy-physics major described above, must complete either PHYS 3660 or any PHYS course at the 5000-level, complete a two-semester Senior Thesis (ASTR 4998), and complete at least two ASTR courses at the 4000 - 5000-level (excluding ASTR 4993 and 4998) as part of the six credits of elective astronomy courses. This program leads to the award of degrees with distinction, high distinction, or highest distinction.

Requirements for the Minor in Astronomy

The Minor Program in Astronomy is intended mainly for students with a strong interest in the subject who do not have the time to commit to the mathematics and physics courses required for the major.  The minor consists of 15 credits of Astronomy courses: ASTR 1210 and 12 additional credits of astronomy, at least 6 of which must be at the 3000-level or above.  ASTR 2110 may be substituted for ASTR 1210.

Additional Information

For more information, contact the Undergraduate Advisor, Department of Astronomy, 530 McCormick Road, P.O. Box 400325, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4325; (434) 924-7494; Fax: (434) 924-3104.;

Course Descriptions

Note: All astronomy courses may be used to satisfy the College natural sciences area requirements. Both ASTR 1210 and 1220 cover complementary subject matter at an introductory level. Each is complete in itself, and students may take only one, or both concurrently.

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