Campuses:
Twin Cities Campus
Astrophysics B.S.Astrop.Astrophysics, Minnesota Institute for
College of Science and Engineering
The astrophysics program enables students to tackle complex and illdefined problems within the physical sciences. The program prepares students for careers in professional astronomy, computational astrophysics, secondary education in the physical sciences, ROTC programs in the Air Force or Navy, data analysis, or laboratory science.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
Admission Requirements
Students must complete
7 courses
before admission to the program.
Freshman and transfer students are usually admitted to premajor status
before admission to this major.
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the
Office of Admissions
website.
Required prerequisites
Mathematics Core
Calculus I
MATH 1271  Calculus I
[MATH]
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 1371  CSE Calculus I
[MATH]
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 1571H  Honors Calculus I
[MATH]
(4.0 cr)
Calculus II
MATH 1272  Calculus II
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 1372  CSE Calculus II
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 1572H  Honors Calculus II
(4.0 cr)
Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
MATH 2243  Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 2373  CSE Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 2574H  Honors Calculus IV
(4.0 cr)
Required prerequisites
Physics Core
Physics I
PHYS 1301W  Introductory Physics for Science and Engineering I
[PHYS, WI]
(4.0 cr)
or
PHYS 1401V  Honors Physics I
[PHYS, WI]
(4.0 cr)
or
PHYS 1501V  Honors Introduction to Mechanics
[PHYS, WI]
(4.0 cr)
Physics II
PHYS 1302W  Introductory Physics for Science and Engineering II
[PHYS, WI]
(4.0 cr)
or
PHYS 1402V  Honors Physics II
[PHYS, WI]
(4.0 cr)
or
PHYS 1502V  Honors Introduction to Electricity and Magnetism
[PHYS, WI]
(4.0 cr)
Physics III
PHYS 2303  Physics III: Physics of Matter
(4.0 cr)
or
PHYS 2503H  Honors Physics III
(4.0 cr)
or
PHYS 2503  Physics III: Intro to Waves, Optics, and Special Relativity
(4.0 cr)
Lower Division Physics Requirement
PHYS 2201  Introductory Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
(4.0 cr)
General Requirements
All students in baccalaureate degree programs are required to complete general University and college requirements including writing and liberal education courses. For more information about Universitywide requirements, see the
liberal education requirements.
Required courses for the major, minor or certificate in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward the major, minor or certificate (including transfer courses).
Program Requirements
All freshmen in the College of Science and Engineering must complete CSE 1001: FirstYear Experience.
Core Coursework
Astrophysics Requirements
AST 2001  Introduction to Astrophysics
(4.0 cr)
Take 2 or more course(s) totaling 8 or more credit(s) from the following:
·
AST 4001  Astrophysics I
(4.0 cr)
·
AST 4002  Astrophysics II
(4.0 cr)
·
AST 4031  Interpretation and Analysis of Astrophysical Data
(4.0 cr)
·
AST 4041  Computational Methods in the Physical Sciences
(4.0 cr)
·
AST 5012  The Interstellar Medium
(4.0 cr)
·
AST 5022  Relativity, Cosmology, and the Universe
(4.0 cr)
·
AST 5201  Methods of Experimental Astrophysics
(4.0 cr)
Physics Requirements
PHYS 2601  Quantum Physics
(4.0 cr)
PHYS 3041  Mathematical Methods for Physicists
(3.0 cr)
PHYS 3605W  Modern Physics Laboratory
[WI]
(3.0 cr)
PHYS 4001  Analytical Mechanics
(4.0 cr)
PHYS 4002  Electricity and Magnetism
(4.0 cr)
PHYS 4303  Electrodynamics and Waves
(3.0 cr)
Senior Project
This requirement can be met with directed research in astrophysics or a project tailored to the specific area of interest.
AST 4994W  Directed Research
[WI]
(2.05.0 cr)
Multivariable Calculus
MATH 2263  Multivariable Calculus
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 2573H  Honors Calculus III
(4.0 cr)
or
MATH 2374  CSE Multivariable Calculus and Vector Analysis
(4.0 cr)
Upper Division Writing Intensive within the Major
Students are required to take one upper division writing intensive course within the major. If that requirement has not been satisfied within the core major requirements, students must choose one course from the following list. Some of these courses may also fulfill other major requirements.
Take 0  1 course(s) from the following:
·
AST 4994W  Directed Research
[WI]
(2.05.0 cr)
·
PHIL 3601W  Scientific Thought
[WI]
(4.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4052W  Methods of Experimental Physics II
[WI]
(5.0 cr)
·
HSCI 4121W  History of 20thCentury Physics
[WI]
(3.0 cr)
or
PHYS 4121W  History of 20thCentury Physics
[WI]
(3.0 cr)
Technical Electives
All students must select at least 16 credits from the following (in consultation with your advisor). Some courses have been clustered into areas of interest to help with the selection of technical electives.
Take 16 or more credit(s) from the following:
·
AST 4001  Astrophysics I
(4.0 cr)
·
AST 4002  Astrophysics II
(4.0 cr)
·
AST 4031  Interpretation and Analysis of Astrophysical Data
(4.0 cr)
·
AST 4041  Computational Methods in the Physical Sciences
(4.0 cr)
·
AST 5012  The Interstellar Medium
(4.0 cr)
·
AST 5022  Relativity, Cosmology, and the Universe
(4.0 cr)
·
AST 5201  Methods of Experimental Astrophysics
(4.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4041  Computational Methods in the Physical Sciences
(4.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4051  Methods of Experimental Physics I
(5.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4052W  Methods of Experimental Physics II
[WI]
(5.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4101  Quantum Mechanics
(4.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4201  Statistical and Thermal Physics
(3.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4611  Introduction to Space Physics
(3.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4621  Introduction to Plasma Physics
(3.0 cr)
·
MATH 2283  Sequences, Series, and Foundations
(3.0 cr)
·
MATH 4512  Differential Equations with Applications
(3.0 cr)
·
MATH 4567  Applied Fourier Analysis
(4.0 cr)
·
MATH 5485  Introduction to Numerical Methods I
(4.0 cr)
·
MATH 5651  Basic Theory of Probability and Statistics
(4.0 cr)
·
ESCI 3006  Planets of the Solar System
(3.0 cr)
·
EE 3005  Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering
(4.0 cr)
·
EE 3006  Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering Laboratory
(1.0 cr)
·
Data Analysis Specialist
Students interested in careers with corporate and government labs and research divisions, such as programming, image processing, laboratory instrumentation, and general data analysis are suggested to take elective credits from the following:
Take 0 or more course(s) from the following:
·
AST 5201  Methods of Experimental Astrophysics
(4.0 cr)
·
CSCI 1113  Introduction to C/C++ Programming for Scientists and Engineers
(4.0 cr)
·
EE 3005  Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering
(4.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4051  Methods of Experimental Physics I
(5.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4052W  Methods of Experimental Physics II
[WI]
(5.0 cr)
·
Professional Astronomer
Students interested in graduate school in astronomy are recommended to take elective credits including the following:
Take 0 or more course(s) from the following:
·
PHYS 4101  Quantum Mechanics
(4.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4201  Statistical and Thermal Physics
(3.0 cr)
·
Secondary Education
Students interested in entry to a master's program for secondary education are recommended to take elective credits including the following, as well as complete 100 hours of inclass experience across at least two semesters:
Take 0 or more course(s) from the following:
·
PSY 1001  Introduction to Psychology
[SOCS]
(4.0 cr)
·
HSCI 1814  Revolutions in Science: The Babylonians to Newton
[HIS, GP]
(3.04.0 cr)
or
HSCI 4121W  History of 20thCentury Physics
[WI]
(3.0 cr)
·
PHIL 1005  Scientific Reasoning
(4.0 cr)
or
PHIL 3601W  Scientific Thought
[WI]
(4.0 cr)
·
AST 5201  Methods of Experimental Astrophysics
(4.0 cr)
or
PHYS 3994  Directed Research
(1.05.0 cr)
or
PHYS 4994  Directed Research
(1.05.0 cr)
·
This course pair replaces AST 4994 in the student's program:
·
PHYS 4051  Methods of Experimental Physics I
(5.0 cr)
PHYS 4052W  Methods of Experimental Physics II
[WI]
(5.0 cr)


Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00067  Math 1271/Math 1281/Math 1371/ 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 1142/1271/1281/1371/1571H 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00067  Math 1142/1271/1281/1371/1571H 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 1272/1282/1252/1372/1572 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 1272/1282/1252/1372/1572 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00068  Math 1272/1282/1252/1372/1572 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2243/2373/2573 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2243/2373/2573 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00561  Math 2243/Math 2373/Math 2573H 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00078 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00078 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00078  Phys 1201W/Phys1301W/Phys1401V 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00079 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00079 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00079  Phys 1202W/1302W/1402V 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00080  Phys 2303/2403H/2503/2503H 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00080  Phys 2303/2403H/2503 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00080  Phys 2303/2403H/2503 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Grading Basis:  AF or Aud 
Typically offered:  Periodic Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Grading Basis:  AF or Aud 
Typically offered:  Periodic Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Prerequisites:  [Math 2243 or 2373 or equivalent[, [Math 2263 or 2374 or equivalent], Ast 2001 or # 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Periodic Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  01838  Ast 4041/Phys 4041 
Typically offered:  Periodic Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Periodic Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Ast 5022/Phys 5022 
Typically offered:  Periodic Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Spring Even Year 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  02527  Phys 2605/Phys 3605W 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  2.0 5.0 [max 5.0] 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2263/2373/2573H/3251 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00069  Math 2263/2374/3251 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2263/2373/2573H/3251 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  2.0 5.0 [max 5.0] 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  5.0 [max 5.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00984  HSci 4121/Phys 4121 
Typically offered:  Periodic Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00984  HSci 4121/Phys 4121 
Typically offered:  Periodic Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Grading Basis:  AF or Aud 
Typically offered:  Periodic Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Grading Basis:  AF or Aud 
Typically offered:  Periodic Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Prerequisites:  [Math 2243 or 2373 or equivalent[, [Math 2263 or 2374 or equivalent], Ast 2001 or # 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Periodic Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  01838  Ast 4041/Phys 4041 
Typically offered:  Periodic Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Periodic Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Ast 5022/Phys 5022 
Typically offered:  Periodic Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Spring Even Year 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  01838  Ast 4041/Phys 4041 
Typically offered:  Periodic Fall & Spring 
Credits:  5.0 [max 5.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  5.0 [max 5.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Typically offered:  Fall Odd Year 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Typically offered:  Fall Odd Year 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2283/3283W 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00259  MATH 4653/Math 5651/Stat 5101 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Typically offered:  Periodic Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  1.0 [max 1.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Spring Even Year 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  5.0 [max 5.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  5.0 [max 5.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00518  PSTL 1281/Psy 1001/Psy 1001H 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  3.0 4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00978  HSci 1814/HSci 3814 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  00984  HSci 4121/Phys 4121 
Typically offered:  Periodic Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  01327 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Spring Even Year 
Credits:  1.0 5.0 [max 10.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  1.0 5.0 [max 10.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  5.0 [max 5.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  5.0 [max 5.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 