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 or PHY 141: Mechanics (Honors)
  • PHY 122: Electricity and Magnetism or PHY 142: Electricity and Magetism (Honors)
  • PHY 123: Waves and Modern Physics or PHY 143: Waved and Modern Physics (Honors)

*PHY 141, 142, and 143 are encouraged for Physics and Astronomy majors

We also strongly recommend that all students take AST 111: The Solar System and It's Origins during the first year, and AST 142: Elementary Astrophysics (Honors) sophomore year.  

Concentration Requirements

Two of the following: 

  • PHY 231: Gravitation and General Relativity
  • AST 232: The Milky Way Galaxy
  • AST 233: Astrodynamics
  • AST 241: Stellar Astrophysics
  • AST 242: Galaxies & Cosmology
  • AST 243: Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics
  • AST 244W: Observational Astronomy
  • AST 265: Physics of Planetary Interiors

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

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: As a general rule, graduate-level courses cannot be substituted for undergraduate core requirements. Well-prepared students can however consider taking graduate courses for which they are well prepared, as electives. Specific questions can be addressed to the Physics, or Physics and Astronomy major advisor.