Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Graduate Study
Astrophysics and Astronomy - Master of Science

The aim of the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in astrophysics and astronomy is to help students to develop the ability to perform independent research and to teach in this field.

Master of Science

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Natural Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

For admission to the master's degree program in astrophysics and astronomy on regular status, the student must have:

  1. Completed mathematics and astronomy or physics courses equivalent to those that are required for an undergraduate major in physics or astronomy.
  2. A satisfactory grade–point average, normally at least 3.00, in the courses referenced in item 1. above.

Students who do not meet the requirements for admission to the program on regular status may be admitted on a provisional basis to remove deficiencies.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Astrophysics and Astronomy

The student must:

  1. Complete a total of 30 credits for the degree under either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis).
  2. Pass a qualifying master’s exam that tests basic knowledge of undergraduate physics.
  3. Complete the following core physics courses or their subject examinations, and the following core of astronomy courses, with a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
    Physics
    PHY    820    Classical Mechanics (3)
    PHY    831    Statistical Mechanics (3)
    PHY    841    Classical Electrodynamics (3)
    Astronomy
    AST    810    Radiation Astrophysics (3)
    AST    825    Galactic Astronomy  (3)
    AST    835    Extragalactic Astronomy (3)
    AST    840    Stellar Astrophysics  (3)
    PHY   983    Nuclear Astrophysics (3)
  4. Complete one semester of half-time teaching.

Additional Requirements for Plan A

  1. Complete at least 4 credits of Astronomy 899 Master’s Thesis Research.
  2. Pass a final oral examination in defense of the thesis.

Additional Requirements for Plan B

  1. Complete 6 credits in Astronomy 805 Research Project. This research project is taken over two semesters and will be graded on the basis of a written paper and oral examination.
  2. Pass a final examination or evaluation.