May 28, 2018  
Academic Catalog 2017-2018 
Academic Catalog 2017-2018


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Chair: Professor R. Koopmann
Faculty: Professors S. Maleki, M. Vineyard (on leave, Fall, Spring); Associate Professors S. Amanuel, C. Orzel; Assistant Professors N. Mann, J. Wagner, H. Watson; Senior Lecturer S. LaBrake, J. Marr, F. Wilkin
Staff: J. Sheehan (Technician), L. Stec (Administrative Assistant)

The Physics and Astronomy Department offers a bachelor of arts degree in Astronomy as well as minors in Astronomy and in Astrophysics. The astronomy major is appropriate for students interested in careers such as teacher of earth science, planetarium director, science museum educator, science writing, and historian of science. Students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in astronomy are advised to major in Physics  and minor in Astrophysics . Example 4-year schedules are available on the Department of Physics & Astronomy website.

Common Curriculum (CC) Courses
Courses numbered in the 050’s are designed particularly for non-science majors seeking to satisfy Common Curriculum requirements, and all of these courses carry Common Curriculum credit. These courses may count toward the major in astronomy or the interdepartmental major (see requirements for the Astronomy, B.A.  major and  Astronomy (ID), B.A.  ID major), but they may not be counted toward the major in physics or toward any other science or engineering major.

Course Selection Guidelines

Placement: Students who score a grade of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement C-exam (mechanics and/or electromagnetics), an A on the physics A-levels, a 5 or above on the Higher Level or a 6 or above on the standard exam of the International Baccalaureate (provided they earn the IB diploma), may be given credit for up to a maximum of two courses (PHY 120   and/or PHY 121   ). If a student does not earn the IB diploma, they will be given credit only if they pass the higher level exam with a grade of 6 or above.  Students who score a grade of 4 or 5 on both the Physics 1 and Physics 2 AP exams will earn one SET credit in Physics.

Courses Suitable for Non-Majors: The following courses are designed to fulfill the Science and Technology Common Curriculum requirement (some of these courses have labs and some do not): AST 050   , AST 051   , AST 052   ,and  AST 058   . Other courses suitable for selected non-majors include AST 100   , AST 105   , AST 200   , AST 210   , AST 220   , AST 230   , and AST 240   .

Prerequisites: There are no placement test requirements for courses in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. All courses numbered 100 or above have prerequisites. Please review the course descriptions below and listed under Physics  to identify the requirements.


    MajorInterdepartmental MajorMinor


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