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.
For admission to the master's degree program in astrophysics and astronomy on regular status, the student must have:
- Completed mathematics and astronomy or physics courses equivalent to those that are required for an undergraduate major in physics or astronomy.
- 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:
- Complete a total of 30 credits for the degree under either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis).
- Pass a qualifying master’s exam that tests basic knowledge of undergraduate physics with a grade of B or above before the end of the student's first semester of the second year. A maximum of three attempts is allowed on this exam.
- 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.
Two of the following:
PHY 820 Classical Mechanics (3)
PHY 831 Statistical Mechanics (3)
PHY 841 Classical Electrodynamics I (3)
All of the following:
AST 810 Radiation Astrophysics (3)
AST 825 Galactic Astronomy (3)
AST 835 Extragalactic Astronomy (3)
AST 840 Stellar Astrophysics (3)
- Complete a minimum of 6 credits of additional course work in physics, astrophysics or computation, with a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher at the 800-level or above as chosen in consultation with the student's guidance committee.
- Complete training in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).
Additional Requirements for Plan A
- Complete 4 to 10 credits of Astronomy 899 Master’s Thesis Research.
- The student must form a guidance committee of three regular faculty members: the student's master's thesis advisor, one additional member of the astronomy group and one faculty member from outside the astronomy group.
- Pass a final oral examination in defense of the thesis.
Additional Requirements for Plan B
- 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.
- Pass a final examination or evaluation.