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AST Course Offering:

AST 201: Mapping the Universe, Prof. J.R. Gott (Fall 2012; every other Fall)

AST 203: The Universe, Profs. C. Chyba, A. Spitkovsky   (each Spring)

AST 204: Topics in Modern Astronomy, Prof. J. Greene, N.Bahcall (each Spring)

AST 205: Planets in The Universe, Prof. G. Bakos

GEO/AST 207: A Guided Tour of the Solar System, Prof. T. Duffy (each Fall)

GEO/AST/EEB/CHM 255: Life in the Universe, Profs. T. Onstott, E. Turner, L. Landweber, C. Dismukes,

E. Stiefel (each Fall)

AST 301: General Relativity, Prof. J. R. Gott (Fall 11); Prof. J Goodman (Fall 13); (every other Fall)

AST 303:   Modeling and Observing the Universe:   Research Methods in Astrophysics, Profs. M. Strauss (Fall 12; every other Fall).

AST/PHY/MAE 309:   Nuclear Energy in a Carbon Constrained World: Fission and Fusion,Prof. Rob Goldston (each Spring)

AST 401:   Cosmology, Prof. N. Bahcall (Spring 12; every other Spring)

AST 403:   Stars and Star Formation, Prof. B.Draine, A. Burrows (Spring 11; every other Spring)

Freshmen Seminars:  

Science in the Media.   Life on Mars! (Or Maybe Not), Profs. E. Turner, M. Lemonick   (Spring)

A variety of previous Freshmen Seminars, including: They Laughed at Einstein: How Science Responds to Cranks and Visionaries; The Search for Life in the Universe; Life on Mars! (Or Maybe Not); The Copernican Principle; New Worlds: The Search for Extrasolar Planets; Bringing the Heavens Down to Earth: Science in the Media; Measuring the Structure of the Universe; Cosmology: Science or Mythology? Imaging other worlds.                            


Requirements for Astrophysics Majors

PREREQUISITES: Students interested in majoring in astrophysics are required to complete the following courses during their 1st and 2nd year

Physics 103 or 105:   Classical Mechanics

Physics 104 or 106:   Electromagnetism

Physics 207 or 205:   Advanced Mechanics

Astrophysics 204:      Topics in Modern Astronomy (strongly recommended)

Mathematics 103 or 104:   Calculus  

Mathematics 201 or 203 or 218:   Advanced Multivariable Calculus

Mathematics 202 or 204 or 217:   Linear Algebra

REQUIRED COURSES: Eight upper level courses are required for completing an Astro major.

(a) Students should complete at least three out of the following four courses:                                           

Astrophysics 301:    General Relativity

Astrophysics 303:    Modeling and Observing the Universe:   Research Methods in Astrophysics

Astrophysics 401:    Cosmology

Astrophysics 403:    Stars and Star Formation


(b) Students should complete three the following four courses: 

Physics 208:   Principles of Quantum Mechanics

Physics 301:   Thermal Physics

Physics 304:   Advanced Electromagnetism

Physics 305:   Quantum Mechanics


(c) Students may select among the following (or other courses) to complete their eight required courses:

Physics 312:   Experimental Physics

Physics 403:   Mathematical Methods of Physics

Physics 405:   Modern Physics I:   Condense-Matter Physics

Physics 406:   Modern Physics II: Nuclear and Elementary Particle Physics

Physics 408:   Modern Classical Dynamics

Mathematics 301/MAE305:   Mathematics in Engineering I (ODE's).

Mathematics 302/MAE306:   Mathematics in Engineering II (OPDE's, complex analysis).

Mathematics 317:   Complex Analysis

Mathematics 327/328:   Differential Geometry

Geology 427:   Introduction to Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 341:   Space Flight

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 342:   Space System Design

Other upper-level science or math courses


(d) Other course selections or replacements allowed with departmental approval. 

Recommended Courses in addition to the above:

Computer Science 126:   General Computer Science

Math 309/ORF 309:      Probability and Stochastic Systems

Mechanical and Aerospace Eng. 222:   Mechanics of Fluids




The Department of Astrophysical Sciences participates in the University Certificate Program in Planets and Life. This Program is an interdepartmental, multidisciplinary plan of study designed for students interested in these two fundamental subjects. The goal is to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental astrophysical, chemical, biological, and geological principles and engineering challenges that will guide our search for life in extreme environments on Earth and on other planets and satellites in the Solar System and among neighboring planetary systems. The cooperating departments from which the Program in Planets and 
Life draws faculty and other resources include Astrophysics, Chemistry, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Electrical Engineering, Geosciences, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Operations Research and Financial Engineering, and the Woodrow Wilson School.

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