Director of undergraduate studies: Debra Fischer, 259 JWG, 432-1613, firstname.lastname@example.org
FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ASTRONOMY
Professors Charles Bailyn, †Charles Baltay, Sarbani Basu, Paolo Coppi, Pierre Demarque (Emeritus), Debra Fischer, Jeffrey Kenney, Richard Larson (Emeritus), Priyamvada Natarajan, †Peter Parker, Sabatino Sofia (Emeritus), †C. Megan Urry, William van Altena (Emeritus), Pieter van Dokkum (Chair), Robert Zinn
Associate Professor †Richard Easther
Assistant Professors Hector Arce, Marla Geha, †Daisuke Nagai, †Nikhil Padmanabhan, Frank van den Bosch
Lecturers Michael Faison, Eilat Glikman
†A joint appointment with primary affiliation in another department.
The Department of Astronomy offers courses both for the nonscientist interested in learning about modern astronomy and for the student wishing to prepare for graduate work in astronomy or a related science. The department offers two degree programs: the B.A. degree program in Astronomy and the B.S. degree program in Astronomy and Physics.
The department offers a variety of courses without prerequisites that provide an introduction to astronomy with particular attention to recent discoveries and theories. Courses numbered below 150, including ASTR 110, 120, and 130, are intended for students who do not plan to major in the sciences but who desire a broad, nontechnical introduction to astronomy. These courses have no prerequisites, and a student may elect any or all of them and take them in any order. Courses with numbers between 150 and 199, including ASTR 155, 160, and 170, are also intended for students who do not plan to major in the sciences, but they provide a more in-depth treatment and assume a somewhat stronger high school science background. ASTR 155 provides a hands-on introduction to astronomical observing, while ASTR 160 and 170 provide an introduction to topics in modern astrophysics and cosmology. For students with good preparation in high school mathematics and physics, ASTR 210 and 220 provide a more intensive introduction to astronomy with emphasis on topics of current interest, and ASTR 255 provides a more quantitative introduction to astronomical research techniques. These courses may be taken independently of each other.
Courses numbered 300 and above are open to students at the sophomore and higher levels who already have an elementary acquaintance with astronomy, and mathematics and physics as described in the course prerequisites. For advice about astronomy courses, students should consult the director of undergraduate studies.
In addition to the normal undergraduate courses, graduate courses in astronomy are open to qualified undergraduates who already have strong preparation in mathematics, physics, and astronomy. Students wishing to take a graduate course must first obtain the permission of the instructor and of the director of graduate studies.
B.A. degree program in Astronomy The B.A. degree program is designed for students who may not intend to do graduate work in astronomy but who are interested in the subject as a basis for a liberal education or as a background for a career in medicine, teaching, journalism, business, law, or government. It allows greater flexibility in course selection than the B.S. program because the emphasis is on breadth of knowledge rather than on specialization. The prerequisites for the B.A. program are: either PHYS 170 and 171, or 180 and 181, or 200 and 201; and MATH 112 and 115. Ten term courses are required beyond these prerequisites, including the senior requirement. Five courses in astronomy must be completed, four of which must be numbered 200 or above, including ASTR 255 or 355; ASTR 310, or both ASTR 210 and 220 (ASTR 170 may substitute for 220 in the latter case); and a senior project or essay (ASTR 490 or 491). Also required are MATH 120 or ENAS 151 and four additional courses in the natural or applied or mathematical sciences, at least two of which must have college-level prerequisites; these may include additional astronomy courses. The senior requirement consists of a senior essay or independent research project carried out for one term under the supervision of a faculty member (ASTR 490 or 491).
Before entering the junior year, the student should consult the director of undergraduate studies.
B.S. degree program in Astronomy and Physics This program is designed to provide a strong background in astronomy and in the relevant physics for students interested in graduate study or a career in astronomy, physics, or a related science.
Prerequisite to the B.S. degree program is work in fundamental physics and mathematics. A student planning to major in Astronomy and Physics should complete this work by the end of the sophomore year. The prerequisites for the B.S. program are: one of the introductory physics sequences (180, 181, or 200, 201, or 260, 261); one of the physics laboratory sequences (PHYS 165L, 166L, or 205L, 206L); and the mathematics sequence MATH 112, 115, and either MATH 120 or ENAS 151. ASTR 155 may be substituted for one term of the physics laboratory sequence.
Beyond the prerequisites, twelve term courses are required in astronomy, physics, and mathematics. In astronomy, the student should complete at least six courses including ASTR 255 or 355; ASTR 310; ASTR 320 or a more advanced astrophysics course with the permission of the director of undergraduate studies; a two-term senior project (ASTR 490 and 491); and one additional astronomy course numbered 200 or above. In physics, the student should complete at least four courses numbered 400 or above, normally PHYS 410, 420, 430, and either 439 or 440; the sequence PHYS 401, 402, 440, and 441 may also fulfill this requirement. With the permission of the director of undergraduate studies, ASTR 440 may be substituted for PHYS 430. In mathematics, the student should complete one course in mathematics numbered 200 or above, or PHYS 301 or ENAS 194; and either an additional course in mathematics numbered 200 or above or a course in statistics or computing. The senior requirement consists of an independent research project in astronomy carried out for two terms under the supervision of a faculty member (ASTR 490 and 491).
Before entering the junior year, the student should arrange a specific program of study in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies in Astronomy, whose approval of the program is needed, and should then also consult the director of undergraduate studies in Physics.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR
Prerequisites PHYS 170, 171, or 180, 181, or 200, 201; MATH 112, 115
Number of courses 10 term courses beyond prereqs, incl senior req
Distribution of courses 5 term courses in astronomy, 4 of them numbered 200 or above; 5 addtl courses in science or math, at least 2 with college-level prereqs (may include addtl astronomy courses)
Specific courses required ASTR 255 or 355; ASTR 310, or both 210 and 220; MATH 120 or ENAS 151
Substitution permitted ASTR 170 for 220
Senior requirement Senior essay or senior research project (ASTR 490 or 491)
ASTRONOMY AND PHYSICS, B.S.
Prerequisites PHYS 180, 181, or 200, 201, or 260, 261; PHYS 165L, 166L, or 205L, 206L; MATH 112, 115; MATH 120 or ENAS 151
Number of courses 12 term courses beyond prereqs, incl senior req
Distribution of courses 6 term courses in astronomy numbered 200 or above; 4 courses in physics numbered 400 or above, as specified; 2 courses in math or mathematical methods in science, as specified
Specific courses required ASTR 255 or 355; ASTR 310, 320
Substitution permitted ASTR 155 for 1 term of prereq physics lab; a more advanced astrophysics course for ASTR 320, with DUS permission
Senior requirement Senior independent research project (ASTR 490 and 491)