Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in Astronomy

Program Learning Outcomes for the BA Degree with a Major in Astronomy

Upon completing the BA degree with a major in Astronomy, students will have:

  • Acquired and be able to demonstrate a solid foundation of knowledge in astronomy.

Requirements for the BA Degree with a Major in Astronomy

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in Astronomy must complete:

  • A minimum of 52 credit hours to satisfy major requirements.
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours outside of major requirements.
  • A minimum of 19 credit hours taken at the 300-level or above.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the department's undergraduate committee for input into Degree Works by the major's official certifier. Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Astronomy52
Total Credit Hours Required for the BA Degree with a Major in Astronomy120

Degree Requirements

Required Courses
Select 1 from the following:4
MECHANICS (WITH LAB)
and MECHANICS DISCUSSION
HONORS MECHANICS (WITH LAB)
Select 1 from the following:4
ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB)
and ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM DISCUSSION
HONORS ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB)
PHYS 201WAVES, LIGHT, AND HEAT3
PHYS 202MODERN PHYSICS3
PHYS 231ELEMENTARY PHYSICS LAB1
PHYS 301INTERMEDIATE MECHANICS4
PHYS 302INTERMEDIATE ELECTRODYNAMICS4
ASTR 230ASTRONOMY LAB3
ASTR 350INTRODUCTION TO ASTROPHYSICS-STARS3
ASTR 360INTRODUCTION TO ASTROPHYSICS-GALAXY AND COSMO3
ASTR 400UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SEMINAR (2 semesters total, for a minimum of 2 credit hours total, taken during any Fall and/or Spring semester)1
Select 1 from the following:3
ASTROPHYSICS I: SUN AND STARS
ASTROPHYSICS II: GALAXIES AND COSMOLOGY
SOLAR SYSTEM PHYSICS
INTRODUCTION TO PLASMA PHYSICS
MATH 101SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS I3
MATH 102SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS II3
MATH 211ORDINARY DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS AND LINEAR ALGEBRA3
or MATH 221 HONORS CALCULUS III
MATH 212MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS3
or MATH 222 HONORS CALCULUS IV
CAAM 210INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING COMPUTATION3
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Astronomy52
Additional Credit Hours to Complete BA Degree Requirements 8
University Graduation Requirements *60
Total Credit Hours120

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Policies for the BA Degree with a Major in Astronomy 

Program Restrictions and Exclusions

Students pursuing the major in Astronomy should be aware of the following program restriction:  

  • Students pursuing the major in Astronomy may not additionally declare the minor in Physics.  

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: http://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in Astronomy should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis.

For additional information, please see the Physics and Astronomy website: http://physics.rice.edu/.

Opportunities for the BA Degree with a Major in Astronomy

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Research in the Department of Physics and Astronomy

The Physics and Astronomy Department encourages undergraduate participation in research, both within the department and through extramural programs. For current opportunities, please visit the Department's website and click on the Undergraduate Study link, at: http://www.physics.rice.edu/.

For additional information, please see the Physics and Astronomy website: http://physics.rice.edu/.