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DOCUMENTS OF THE GENERAL FACULTY

PROPOSED CHANGES FOR DEGREE REQUIREMENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF ASTRONOMY IN THE COLLEGE OF NATURAL SCIENCES CHAPTER OF THE UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG, 1998-2000

 

Mary Ann Rankin, Dean of the College of Natural Sciences, filed with the Secretary of the Faculty Council the proposal below for changes to the Bachelor of Arts major in astronomy, and the Astronomy Honors Program in the College of Natural Sciences chapter of The University of Texas at Austin Undergraduate Catalog,1998-2000. The changes have been endorsed by the dean and were approved by the faculty and the Natural Sciences Course and Curriculum Committee. The edited proposal was received from the Office of Official Publications on January 27, 2000. The secretary has classified this proposal as legislation of exclusive application and primary interest to a single college or school.

If no objection is filed with the Office of the General Faculty by the date specified below, the legislation will be held to have been approved by the Faculty Council. If objection is filed within the prescribed period, the legislation will be presented to the Faculty Council at its next meeting. The objection, with reasons, must be signed by a member of the Faculty Council.

To be counted, a protest must be received in the Office of the General Faculty by March 24, 2000



<signed>

John R. Durbin, Secretary
The Faculty Council



This legislation was posted on the Faculty Council web site (http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/) on February 18, 2000. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500. No-protest deadline has been extended from March 3, 2000 to March 24, 2000.


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PROPOSED CHANGES FOR DEGREE REQUIREMENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF ASTRONOMY IN THE COLLEGE OF NATURAL SCIENCES CHAPTER OF THE UNDERGRADUATE CATALOG, 1998-2000

 

On page 383, in the section "DEGREES," subsection "Majors and Minors," make the following changes.

Astronomy

Major: Physics 301, 101L, 315, 115L, 316, and 116L; nine semester hours of upper-division coursework in astronomy, [including Astronomy 352K and at least one of the following courses: Astronomy 352L, 353, 358, and 364] including at least two of the following courses: Astronomy 352K, 352L, 353, 358, and 364; and six additional upper-division hours in astronomy and/or physics. [No more than six of the hours counted toward the major requirement may be earned in conference courses.]

No changes to the second and third paragraphs.

All astronomy majors should consult the astronomy undergraduate adviser regularly about the choice of appropriate courses in both the major and the minor. [Qualified students may carry out a supervised research project in their area of interest under the departmental honors program.] Qualified students are encouraged to carry out a supervised research project by taking a conference course such as Astronomy 375 or 379H. No more than six of the hours counted toward the major requirement may be earned in conference courses.

JUSTIFICATION FOR THESE CHANGES:
Astronomy 352K used to be taught every fall; at present it is no longer offered frequently enough to require it of every astronomy major. The modified statement about conference courses is intended to encourage a broader cross-section of our majors to participate in research.



On page 377, in the section "DEPARTMENTAL HONORS PROGRAMS," make the following changes.

ASTRONOMY HONORS PROGRAM

Candidates for special honors in astronomy should apply to the honors adviser for admission to the honors program no later than the beginning of the fourth year; application by the end of the third year is recommended. A University grade point average of at least 3.00 and a [grade point average] combined University grade point average in physics and astronomy of at least 3.50 are required for admission. The requirements for graduation with special honors[, which are in addition to the requirements for the major,] are (1) [Astronomy 679H] Astronomy 379H, Honors Tutorial Course[;] , in which the student completes a supervised research project; the student may take a second semester of Astronomy 379H if necessary to complete the project; two semesters in this course may be counted toward the major requirement; (2) [a thesis on the student's research approved in comprehensive examination by the department honors committee] a written report and oral presentation on the research project, approved by the research supervisor and honors adviser; (3) a University grade point average of at least 3.00 and [a grade point average in courses in the major] a combined University grade point average in physics and astronomy of at least 3.50; and (4) completion at the University of at least sixty semester hours of coursework counted toward the degree.


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JUSTIFICATION FOR THESE CHANGES:
We clarify the statements regarding the GPA criterion for astronomy and physics courses, which should not include hours transferred from other institutions, and make the definition of the GPA "in the major" reported in various places more consistent. Item (1): since it is possible to graduate with honors having taken only one semester of a 3-credit hour Honors Tutorial course, we are changing the designation from 679H to 379H. Requirement (2) is restated to clarify what is actually required and for consistency with existing practice.