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Department of Physics and Astronomy

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Why study physics and astronomy?

Because understanding the physical universe starts here.

Undergraduate Programs

The astronomy curriculum offers undergraduates a survey of modern astronomy and an introduction to physical science, gives science and engineering students an introduction to astronomy and astrophysics, and prepares students majoring in astronomy for graduate study in astronomy or related fields.

The physics curriculum includes course work for those who want a sound background in physics as part of their general education, for those who study physics as part of their training in other fields, and for those whose post-graduate plans include research or employment in physics or related fields.

Courses for Nonmajors

ASTR 191 is a survey of contemporary astronomy, taught at a level using basic mathematics; ASTR 391 offers an introduction to physical astronomy at a calculus-based level. ASTR 196 is a laboratory course suitable as a companion for either introductory astronomy course.

PHSX 111 provides a general introduction to important physics topics and is taught at a level using basic algebra. The department offers two introductory physics sequences that include laboratory work. PHSX 114 and PHSX 115 cover the major fields of physics without calculus. PHSX 211 and PHSX 212 provide a calculus-based foundation in physics for students in physical science, engineering, and mathematics. PHSX 313 and the laboratory course, PHSX 316, provide an introduction to modern physics for majors in physics and some engineering and physical science programs.

Students in biological sciences, health sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, and prospective elementary and secondary teachers should see appropriate sections of this catalog and major advisers for guidance about required physics course work. Chemistry majors should note that PHSX 211 and PHSX 212 are prerequisites to advanced work in chemistry.

For programs in engineering physics, see the School of Engineering section of the online catalog.

Why study physics and astronomy?

Because understanding the physical universe starts here.

Graduate Programs

At the graduate level, the Department of Physics and Astronomy offers Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Physics and a Master of Science degree with a major in computational physics and astronomy.

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