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)
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)
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.
In addition to the core coursework, students will follow a professional astrophysics plan and complete the respective additional requirements, unless they opt into the secondary education subplan. These requirements are subject to departmental review for each student. If selected, the secondary education subplan needs to be added to the students program no later than the junior year.
At least half of upper division (3xxx level or higher) credits that satisfy major requirements must be earned at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, which is 1820 credits depending on whether or not the secondary education subplan is selected.
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)
Core 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)
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)
Specializations in Astrophysics
Astrophysics (no specialization)
Electrodynamics and Waves
PHYS 4303  Electrodynamics and Waves
(3.0 cr)
Technical Electives
Technical electives include any mathematics, science or engineering course of technical nature approved by the student's department adviser. Only one course can be a directed research or directed study course. Students are encouraged to discuss options for technical electives with their departmental adviser as additional options may be approved based on individual interests and goals.
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 3283W  Sequences, Series, and Foundations: Writing Intensive
[WI]
(4.0 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  Rocks and Stars: Introduction to Planetary Science
(3.0 cr)
·
EE 3005  Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering
(4.0 cr)
·
EE 3006  Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering Laboratory
(1.0 cr)
·
Take no more than 1 course(s) from the following:
·
CSCI 1113  Introduction to C/C++ Programming for Scientists and Engineers
(4.0 cr)
·
CSCI 1133  Introduction to Computing and Programming Concepts
(4.0 cr)
·
CSCI 1103  Introduction to Computer Programming in Java
(4.0 cr)
·
PHYS 3993  Directed Studies
(1.05.0 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)
OR
Secondary Education Subplan
Program Subplans
A subplan is not required for this program.
Secondary Education
This subplan is designed for students who are interested in teaching science at the secondaryschool level. The program offers a versatile broadbased education. It is particularly useful to students who are planning on teaching in Minnesota, as it has been optimized to fit well with the state licensure procedures.
General Psychology
PSY 1001  Introduction to Psychology
[SOCS]
(4.0 cr)
Philosophical Foundations
PHIL 1005  Scientific Reasoning
(4.0 cr)
or
PHIL 3601W  Scientific Thought
[WI]
(4.0 cr)
Historical and Social Perspectives of Science
Take 1 or more course(s) from the following:
·
PHYS 4121W  History of 20thCentury Physics
[WI]
(3.0 cr)
·
HSCI 4121W  History of 20thCentury Physics
[WI]
(3.0 cr)
·
HSCI 3814  Revolutions in Science: The Babylonians to Newton
[HIS, GP]
(3.04.0 cr)
·
HSCI 3815  Making Modern Science: Atoms, Genes and Quanta
[HIS, GP]
(3.04.0 cr)
Methods of Experimental Physics
PHYS 4051  Methods of Experimental Physics I
(5.0 cr)
PHYS 4052W  Methods of Experimental Physics II
[WI]
(5.0 cr)
Technical Electives
Technical electives include any upperlevel mathematics, science or engineering course of technical nature approved by the student's department adviser. Only one course can be a directed research or directed study course. Students are encouraged to discuss options for technical electives with their departmental adviser as additional options may be approved based on individual interests and goals.
Take 5 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 4101  Quantum Mechanics
(4.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4201  Statistical and Thermal Physics
(3.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4303  Electrodynamics and Waves
(3.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4611  Introduction to Space Physics
(3.0 cr)
·
PHYS 4621  Introduction to Plasma Physics
(3.0 cr)
·
MATH 3283W  Sequences, Series, and Foundations: Writing Intensive
[WI]
(4.0 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  Rocks and Stars: Introduction to Planetary Science
(3.0 cr)
·
EE 3005  Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering
(4.0 cr)
·
EE 3006  Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering Laboratory
(1.0 cr)
·
Take no more than 1 course(s) from the following:
·
CSCI 1113  Introduction to C/C++ Programming for Scientists and Engineers
(4.0 cr)
·
CSCI 1133  Introduction to Computing and Programming Concepts
(4.0 cr)
·
CSCI 1103  Introduction to Computer Programming in Java
(4.0 cr)
·
PHYS 3993  Directed Studies
(1.05.0 cr)
·
The Senior Thesis elective option for the Secondary Education emphasis involves directed research in astrophysics or a project tailored to the specific area of interest.
·
AST 4994W  Directed Research
[WI]
(2.05.0 cr)


Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 1271/Math 1281/Math 1371/ 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 1271/Math 1281/Math 1371/ 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 1271/Math 1281/Math 1371/ 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 1272/Math 1282/Math 1372/ 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 1272/Math 1282/Math 1372/ 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 1272/Math 1282/Math 1372/ 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2243/Math 2373/Math 2574H 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2243/Math 2373/Math 2574H 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2243/Math 2373/Math 2574H 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phys 1201W/1301W/1401V/1501V 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phys 1201W/1301W/1401V/1501V 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phys 1202W/1302W/1402V/1502V 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phys 1202W/1302W/1402V/1502V 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phys 2303/2403H/2503/2503H 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phys 2303/2403H/2503/2503H 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phys 2303/2403H/2503/2503H 
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] 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  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:  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:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2263/Math 2374/Math 2573H 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2263/Math 2374/Math 2573H 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Math 2263/Math 2374/Math 2573H 
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 
Credits:  5.0 [max 5.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  HSci 4121/Phys 4121 
Typically offered:  Periodic Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  HSci 4121/Phys 4121 
Typically offered:  Periodic Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
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] 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  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:  Ast 4041/Phys 4041 
Typically offered:  Periodic Fall & Spring 
Credits:  5.0 [max 5.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  5.0 [max 5.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & 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:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
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:  Math 5651/Stat 5101 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Typically offered:  Spring Even Year 
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:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  CSci 1133/CSci 1133H 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  1.0 5.0 [max 10.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
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:  PSTL 1281/Psy 1001/Psy 1001H 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  Phil 1005/Phil 1005H 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  HSci 4121/Phys 4121 
Typically offered:  Periodic Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  HSci 4121/Phys 4121 
Typically offered:  Periodic Spring 
Credits:  3.0 4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  HSci 1814/HSci 3814 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  3.0 4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  HSci 1815/HSci 3815 
Typically offered:  Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  5.0 [max 5.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  5.0 [max 5.0] 
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] 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Spring 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  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:  Ast 4041/Phys 4041 
Typically offered:  Periodic Fall & 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:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Typically offered:  Fall Odd Year 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Typically offered:  Fall Odd Year 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
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:  Math 5651/Stat 5101 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 
Credits:  3.0 [max 3.0] 
Typically offered:  Spring Even Year 
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:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Course Equivalencies:  CSci 1133/CSci 1133H 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  4.0 [max 4.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall 
Credits:  1.0 5.0 [max 10.0] 
Typically offered:  Every Fall, Spring & Summer 
Credits:  2.0 5.0 [max 5.0] 
Grading Basis:  AF only 
Typically offered:  Every Fall & Spring 