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Undergraduate Major in Astronomy


The Astronomy Department offers a B.S. degree in a program which is designed to prepare students for graduate work or professional employment in astronomy, astrophysics and related fields. The curriculum combines courses and research in astronomy and astrophysics with a strong foundation in physics and mathematics. The major requires 36 units of coursework. For typical four-year plans of study, Frequently Asked Questions, the names of Astronomy Advisors, Undergraduate Research, and more, see the links on the right. Most of those plans assume that you start as a Freshman with Math 122 or 125 (ie, "Calculus 1"). If you are starting with Math 100, 111/112, or 120R, please consult with both a Math Advisor and your Astronomy advisor. It will take more than 4 years to complete the B.S. degree if you do not start with Calculus I (or high level math).  If you are starting with Math 129 or above, again, please see your advisor.

Here is a link to the WEEKLY UPDATE NEWSLETTER for the Astronomy and Physics Departments.

One of our graduating seniors (Ms. Grace Hathaway) speaks about her research, and work/life balance, on radio station KXCI's "Thesis Thursday" (November 26, 2020).

The virtual graduation ceremony (May 2021) for our 18 undergraduate majors, eight undergraduate minors, and five Ph.D. students is an excellent resource for learning about our program. This presentation provides (1) a Department-wide perspective (people, academics, research, funding, work-life balance), (2) a personal perspective about each individual, and (3) excellent advice from our distinguished graduation speaker, Dr. Andrea Ghez (Nobel Prize in Physics 2020, Professor of Physics & Astronomy at UCLA).

The virtual graduation ceremony (May 2020) for our 29 undergraduate majors and 12 minors.

If you are interested in declaring as an Astronomy major, please contact the Directors of Undergraduate Studies in Astronomy  Professor Don McCarthy  and  Associate Professor Brenda Frye  as well as the Senior Academic Advisor Mr. David Smith.

Click on photo for enlarged version. Photo: 2020 Astronomy Club, courtesy David Cantillo.

For the public
For Public

Public events include our Monday Night Lecture Series, world-reknowned Astronomy Camp and Mt Lemmon Sky Center.

For Students

A good place to start if you want to become an undergrad major or grad student, or need to find our schedule of classes.


For Scientists
For Scientists

Find telescopes and instruments, telescope time applications, staff and mountain contacts, and faculty and staff scientific interests.