Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022

Physics B.S. – Astronomy Emphasis

College of Natural and Health Sciences

Contact: Cynthia S. Galovich, Ph.D., Department Chair

Location: Ross Hall 0232

Telephone: 970.351.2961

Website: www.unco.edu/nhs/physics-astronomy

Advising Information:

Students must consult with their assigned major advisor each semester prior to registering.

To find your advisor, log into ursa.unco.edu; go to 'Student' tab and click 'View Student Information' link. If no advisor is listed, contact the major program for advisor information.

The program consists of three parts:

  1. Liberal Arts Curriculum (LAC) Credits
  2. Required Major Credits
  3. University-Wide Credits

Program Description:

This emphasis gives graduates excellent preparation for graduate school in Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Physics, and for employment in industry and research laboratories.

Program Admission Requirements:

Academic Good Standing

Program Requirements:

  • A research project, completed in PHYS 470, is required for all emphases except secondary teaching. HON 451 may be substituted for PHYS 470.
  • A 2.0 GPA or better is required in PHYS prefix courses for graduation.
  • In accordance with University Policies, coursework earned more than 10 years prior to the date of matriculation to UNC may not be used to satisfy any major or minor requirements.  Any exception to this policy is at the discretion of the academic program.

Degree Requirements — 120 Credits

1. Liberal Arts Curriculum — 31 credits

To complete the degree in 120 credits as outlined, the program recommends the below LAC courses that also count toward the 87 required major credits.

Any additional coursework completed outside of the recommended list below may extend the length of the program of study.

Written Communication — 6 credits

SCI 291 (3) is recommended to fulfill the Intermediate Writing Course requirement.

See Written Communication courses

Mathematics — 3 credits

MATH 131 (4) and MATH 132 (4) are recommended to fulfill the Mathematics requirement and will fulfill both LAC and major requirements.

See Mathematics courses

Arts & Humanities, History, Social & Behavioral Sciences, U.S. Multicultural Studies, and International Studies — 15 credits

To complete the LAC in the minimum number of credits, be sure to choose at least one course with an IS designation and one course with an MS designation.

Select any courses to fulfill this requirement from the currently approved LAC course list.

See Arts & Humanities, History, and Social & Behavioral Sciences courses

Natural & Physical Sciences — 7 credits

CHEM 111 (4), CHEM 111L (1), and PHYS 240 (5) are recommended to fulfill the Natural & Physical Sciences requirement and will fulfill both LAC and major requirements.

See Natural & Physical Sciences courses

See Liberal Arts Curriculum

2. Required Major — 87-91 credits

Take all of the following courses:

AST 301Classical Astronomy and the Solar System


AST 302Stars and the Milky Way


AST 303Galaxy Formation and Cosmology


AST 310Techniques in Observational Astronomy


CHEM 111Principles of Chemistry ILAS1


CHEM 111LPrinciples of Chemistry I LaboratoryLAS1LASL


CS 120Introduction to Programming


MATH 131Calculus ILAX1


MATH 132Calculus IILAX1


MATH 233Calculus III


PHYS 240General Physics ILAS1LASL


PHYS 241General Physics II


PHYS 301Seminar in Physics


PHYS 320Mathematical Methods I


PHYS 321Elementary Modern Physics


PHYS 323Elementary Modern Physics Laboratory


PHYS 340Mechanics


PHYS 341Electricity and Magnetism I


PHYS 342Electricity and Magnetism II


PHYS 345Quantum Mechanics I


PHYS 347Optics


PHYS 355Computer Applications in Physics


PHYS 360Laboratory Physics


PHYS 370Research I

1- 3

PHYS 420Mathematical Methods II


PHYS 440Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics


PHYS 445Quantum Mechanics II


PHYS 448Nuclear and Particle Physics


PHYS 470Research II

1- 3

3. University-Wide Credits — 0-2 credits*

Complete additional credits to achieve the minimum credits needed for this degree at UNC; for this degree, that will typically be 0-2 credits.

*Note: Students who apply the recommended courses to both the liberal arts curriculum and the major requirements will have an increased number of university wide electives to apply to this degree. See your advisor for details.