For those planning a career in applied astronomy, outreach, or education
The Interdisciplinary Astronomy major and minor are designed for students seeking to develop the kind of broad understanding of astronomical principles and practice ideal for technical positions in astronomy or for careers like teaching, science writing, and outreach. The Interdisciplinary Track includes foundational courses in math and physics, but the requirements in these areas are less intensive than for the Academic Track. Instead, the focus is on providing a broad introduction to key concepts, theories, and phenomena; recent discoveries; methods and technologies important to the field; and communicating science to the public. This track is designed to be adapted to each student's career goals and and is especially strong with a second major or minor, in areas like education, journalism/communication, or museum studies.
Course Requirements for the Interdisciplinary Astronomy Major
Note: Courses in blue also meet the requirements for the Academic Track.
|Astro 100||At least 3 credits of 100-level Astronomy (101, 102, 104, 105, 115 or 142)||3|
|Math 115||Calculus I||4||FWSpS|
|Math 116||Calculus II||4||FWSpS|
|Physics* 140/141||General Physics I; Elementary Lab I||5||FW|
|Astro 201||Introduction to Astrophysics||4||FW|
|Astro 305||Astronomy and the Community (can be elected for 1-3 credits per semester)||3||FWSpS|
|Astro 429||Senior Seminar (satisfies the senior writing requirement)||2||F|
|9 credits from (at least 3 credits must be 300-level or above)|
|Astro 205||Exploring the X-ray Universe||3|
|Astro 210||The Universe Through the Eyes of Magellan**||3|
|Astro 220||New Discoveries in Astronomy||3||F/W|
|Astro 361||Astronomical Techniques||4||W|
|Astro 402||Stellar Astrophysics||3||F|
|Astro 403||Interstellar Medium||3||F/alt|
|Astro 404||Galaxies and the Universe||3||W|
|Astro 405||High-Energy Astrophysics||3||F/alt|
|3 credits from|
|Earth 201||Introduction to Physical Geography: The Earth System||4/3||FW/SpS|
|Earth/Astro 204||The Planets: Their Geology and Climates||3||W|
|Earth 320||Earth Systems Evolution||4||FWSpS|
|Earth 325||Environmental Geochemistry||3||FWSpS|
|Earth 331||Climate and Climate Change (see bulletin for credit restrictions)||4/3||FWSpS|
|Earth 351/451||Earth Structure||4||FWSpS|
|Introductory Earth Physics||3||FWSpS|
|Elective – 3 credits from|
|Any 300- or 400-level Astro course or||3-4||FW|
|Phil 420||Philosophy of Science||3||W|
|Phil 422||Philosophy of Physics||3/2||FW/SpS|
|Phil 423||Problems of Space and Time||3/2||FW/SpS|
|Phil 424||Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics||3/2||FW/SpS|
|Phil 427||Science and Gender||3/2||FW/SpS|
|Phil 464||The Scientific Revolution||3/2||FW/SpS|
|Physics 411||Introduction to Computational Physics||3||FWSpS|
|Physics 420||Physics for Educators||3||W|
|Physics 424||Physics in Action||3||FWSpS|
|Physics 481||Science, Technology and Public Policy||3||FWSpS|
*Students are encouraged to take additional Physics courses earlier in their course of study.
**This course is offered on an irregular basis; students interested in taking it should inform the undergraduate advisor of their interest and are advised to register for it when it appears on the schedule.
Note that the semesters a class is offered is based on the LSA Bulletin, not on the current class schedule.
If you enjoy astronomy but don’t plan to major in it, an astronomy minor on the Interdisciplinary Track can be a great way to incorporate the field into your existing course of study. Because the physics demands are less intensive than on the Academic Track, it’s often easier for non-science majors to fit an Interdisciplinary Astronomy minor into their schedules. Students interested in this option should meet with the undergraduate advisor to develop a course plan tailored to their goals and interests.
Click to see the requirements for a minor in Interdisciplinary Astronomy.
For More Information
For more information on the Interdisciplinary Track major or minor, please contact the undergraduate advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.