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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 Courses 32 credits
ASTR 101 Astronomy 3 credits
ASTR 101L  Astronomy Laboratory 1 credit
ASTR 221 Observational Astronomy 1 credit
ASTR 252 Introduction to Stellar Astrophysics 3 credits
ASTR 253 Introduction to Galactic Astrophysics and Cosmology 3 credits
ASTR 445 Senior Research in Astronomy 2 credits
PHYS 141 Newtonian Mechanics 3 credits
PHYS 141L Experimental Physics I 1 credit
PHYS 142 Physics: Electricity, Magnetism, and Waves 3 credits
PHYS 142L Experimental Physics II 1 credit
PHYS 243 Physics: Atoms and Nuclei 3 credits
PHYS 245 Experimental Physics III 1 credit
PHYS 246 Data Reduction and Error Analysis 1 credit
PHYS 250 Mechanics 3 credits
PHYS 360 Thermal Physics 3 credits
PHYS 499 Physics and Astronomy Colloquium 0 credit
TOTAL 32 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)