MAJOR: ASTRONOMY
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The undergraduate program in the Department of Astronomy provides exciting opportunities for students with an interest in astronomy, physics, mathematics, or related sciences. Students can learn from, and conduct research with some of the world's top astronomers who are investigating the births of the first stars and galaxies, deciphering how proto-galaxies evolved into present-day systems like our own Milky Way, studying planets in extrasolar systems, and probing the nature of dark matter and dark energy. Students use the McDonald Observatory in West Texas, multi-wavelength telescopes all over the world, and data from NASA's space-based facilities, including the Spitzer Infrared Satellite, the Hubble Space Telescope, and Swift Gamma Ray Burst Explorer. Astronomy majors have career opportunities in education, government agencies, business, and private industries. Visit the American Astronomical Society site for additional information on careers related to Astronomy.

Declare This Major

Current students meeting the entry-level requirements may declare Astronomy by coming to RLM 4.101 and speaking with an academic advisor.

The entry-level requirements for the Astronomy B.S., B.S.A., and B.A. degrees are completion of M 408D or M 408L (calculus) with a C or higher; completion of PHY 301 and PHY 101L (physics) with a C or higher; and an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher.

Prospective University of Texas at Austin students should visit to learn about the application process and how to declare a major.

Required Courses

Visit the Astronomy degree plan to view all required courses for the Astronomy major in the College of Natural Sciences. Visit a list of all lower and upper division Astronomy courses and information on the most current courses.

Specializations

Astronomy majors typically start out as entry-level majors, from there they may choose:

  • B.A. Astronomy
  • B.S.A. Astronomy
  • B.S. Astronomy
    • Option I: Astronomy
    • Option II: Astronomy Honors (students must first be admitted to Dean's Scholars)
    Personality

    Astronomy majors are usually curious about the universe, studious and patient. Students may pursue their personal interests and passion through research and career opportunities.

    Learn about the Astronomy Students Association.

    Skills

    • Scientific reasoning and writing
    • Computer programming skills for data analysis and theoretical modeling
    • Ability to conduct research through detail oriented approach
    • Skillful in using telescopes to acquire data (acquired through courses)
    • Knowledgeable about the laws of physics
    • Proficient with mathematical equations

    Directly Related Careers

    Astronomer
    Physicist
    Professor