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32-hour B.S. in Astronomy

This flexible degree plan can accommodate a variety of interests, and electives can be selected to prepare students for several career paths. Students who pursue this degree adopt one of the following options:

  • a stand-alone major in astronomy, achieved by completing at least eight additional credit hours in astronomy;
  • a second major in a non-science discipline;
  • the 32-credit complementary major in environmental science;
  • a disciplinary science minor (qualifying disciplines include biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geography, geology, mathematics, meteorology, physics, and psychology); OR
  • a minor in fundamentals of business, business administration, applied statistics, engineering, or geographic information systems.

In addition to completing the required courses, students are encouraged to take advantage of any of the many research opportunities available at Valpo.


B.S. students in astronomy at Valpo must complete the general-education requirements for the B.S. This University-wide core strengthens communication and critical-thinking skills while introducing the student to global cultures and traditions. General-education requirements for the B.S. (.pdf) ยป

Requirements for the Major

The following courses constitute the minimum 32 credits required for the major. Further courses are recommended for students who are interested in graduate study in astronomy.

It is assumed that students will acquire competency in at least one computer programming language (FORTRAN, C, C++).

Core Courses32 credits
ASTR 101Astronomy3 credits
ASTR 101L Astronomy Laboratory1 credit
ASTR 221Observational Astronomy1 credit
ASTR 252Introduction to Stellar Astrophysics3 credits
ASTR 253Introduction to Galactic Astrophysics and Cosmology3 credits
ASTR 445Senior Research in Astronomy2 credits
PHYS 141Newtonian Mechanics3 credits
PHYS 141LExperimental Physics I1 credit
PHYS 142Physics: Electricity, Magnetism, and Waves3 credits
PHYS 142LExperimental Physics II1 credit
PHYS 243Physics: Atoms and Nuclei3 credits
PHYS 245Experimental Physics III1 credit
PHYS 246Data Reduction and Error Analysis1 credit
PHYS 250Mechanics3 credits
PHYS 360Thermal Physics3 credits
PHYS 499Physics and Astronomy Colloquium0 credit
TOTAL32 credits
Courses recommended for students intending to pursue graduate study in astronomy or astrophysics:

  • PHYS 371, Electromagnetic Fields (3 credits)
  • PHYS 381, Advanced Mechanics (3 credits)
  • PHYS 421, Quantum Mechanics I (3 credits)
Additional Recommended Courses:

  • One year of chemistry
  • PHYS 490, The Scientific Endeavor (3 credits)