Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree with a Major in Astrophysics

Program Learning Outcomes for the BS Degree with a Major in Astrophysics

Upon completing the BS degree with a major in Astrophysics, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a solid foundation of knowledge in astrophysics and deeper knowledge of subdivisions of the field related to their interests.
  2. Identify, formulate, and solve challenging scientific and technical problems as encountered in astrophysics.
  3. Read basic scientific literature and communicate scientific results orally and in writing with scientists and the general public.
  4. Conduct directed research.

Requirements for the BS Degree with a Major in Astrophysics

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

  • A minimum of 73 credit hours to satisfy major requirements.
  • A minimum of 133 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours outside of major requirements. 
  • A minimum of 40 credit hours taken at the 300-level or above.

Students may obtain credit for some courses by advanced placement, and the department's undergraduate committee can modify requirements to meet the needs of students with special backgrounds.

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 Astrophysics73
Total Credit Hours Required for the BS Degree with a Major in Astrophysics133

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
PHYS 311INTRODUCTION TO QUANTUM PHYSICS I3
PHYS 425STATISTICAL & THERMAL PHYSICS3
PHYS 491
PHYS 493
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
and UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SEMINAR 1
3
PHYS 492
PHYS 494
UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
and UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SEMINAR 2
3
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 3 from the following:9
ASTROPHYSICS I: SUN AND STARS
ASTROPHYSICS II: GALAXIES AND COSMOLOGY
SOLAR SYSTEM PHYSICS
INTRODUCTION TO QUANTUM PHYSICS II
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
CAAM 336DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING3
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Astrophysics73
University Graduation Requirements *60
Total Credit Hours133

Footnotes and Additional Information 

 Policies for the BS Degree with a Major in Astrophysics

Program Restrictions and Exclusions

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

  • Students pursuing the major in Astrophysics 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 Astrophysics 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 BS Degree with a Major in Astrophysics 

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/