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Undergraduate Program

BA in Physics and Astronomy

The BA program is perfect for students looking for a broad overview and the flexibility to double major. Students preparing for graduate school in physics or a related field should consider the more intensive BS program.

Four Year Worksheet: Bachelor of Arts in Physics & Astronomy

Pre-Concentration Requirements

Before starting with the requirements for the BA degree, each student must also complete the following pre-concentration requirements:

One of the following calculus sequences:

  • MTH 161, 162, 164, and 165
  • MTH 171, 172, 173, and 174

Three introductory physics courses*:

  • PHY 121: Mechanics
  • PHY 122: Electricity and Magnetism
  • PHY 123: Waves and Modern Physics

*PHY 141, 142, and 143 are also acceptable.

We also strongly recommend that all students take AST 111: Elementary Astronomy I freshmen year, and AST 142: Elementary Astrophysics sophomore year.  

Concentration Requirements

Two of the following: 

  • AST 231: Gravitation and General Relativity
  • AST 232: The Milky Way Galaxy
  • AST 241: Astrophysics I*
  • AST 242: Astrophysics II*

*At least one must be AST 241 or 242.

Three other 200-level physics or astronomy courses, two of which must be from the following: 

  • PHY 217: Electricity and Magnetism I
  • PHY 227: Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
  • PHY 235W: Classical Mechanics
  • PHY 237: Quantum Mechanics of Physical Systems

Two additional 200-level technical courses in:

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Another science or engineering*

*Some engineering courses at the 100 level may also be acceptable, with prior approval from the undergraduate physics advisor.

At least a 2.0 (C) average in astronomy, physics and mathematics courses must be maintained. Courses must be approved by the undergraduate astronomy advisor.

Note: Equivalent graduate-level courses may be substituted when appropriate.