College of Arts and Sciences

Astronomy

Program Options

Physics and Astronomy department web site

The information on this page pertains to program requirements for students who matriculated in the 2022-2023 academic year.  View requirements for previous catalog years here.

Program Overview

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a major directed toward a career in astronomy.  Most professional positions in astronomy and astrophysics generally require study leading to the Ph.D. degree.  Opportunities include research positions in observatories, often in conjunction with university teaching, and scientific positions in government agencies and industry.


B.A. Degree Requirements

This program allows students to get a degree in Astronomy and also pursue professional career goals (e.g. – journalism, politics, law). The B.A. in Astronomy requires 39 credit hours in the Physics & Astronomy department, and 24 credit hours outside of the department, for a total of 63 credit hours for the degree.

Course

Credits

ASTR 001 - Descriptive Astronomy

3

ASTR 01L - Descriptive Astronomy Lab

1

PHY 001 (with lab and discussion) - Introductory Physics I

4

PHY 002 (with lab and discussion) - Introductory Physics II

4

PHY 003 - Contemporary Topics in Physics and Astronomy Seminar

1

PHY 021 – Introduction to Methods in Physics

3

PHY 050 - Modern Physics

4

PHY 059 - Advanced Lab I with Error Theory

2

PHY 121 - Theoretical Mechanics

4

PHY 122 - Electromagnetic Theory

4

ASTR 185 - Astrophysics I

3

ASTR 195 - Astrophysics II

3

PHY 191 - Physics Seminar I

1

PHY 192 - Physics Seminar II

1

PHY 197/198 - Research*

1

PHY 199 - Physics & Astronomy Capstone

0

 

 

Additional requirements outside of the department:

 

MATH 050 - Calculus I

3

MATH 070 - Calculus II

3

MATH 080 - Linear Algebra

3

MATH 100 - Calculus III

3

MATH 110 - Multivariate Calculus

3

MATH 120 - Differential Equations I

3

CHEM 001 - General Chemistry I**

3

CS 065 - Introduction to CS I

3

 

 

Total hours

63

*Research Participation: 1 cr (min) of PHY 197 and/or PHY 198 at Drake and/or at least one REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates). 

**Students who take General Chemistry I at Drake University must take CHEM 001 with the lab (CHEM 003), as they are co-requisites. Students may seek a waiver from their General Chemistry professor to not take the lab. Students should note that a general chemistry lab is recommended for those pursuing certain pre-professional/career paths.

Grade Requirements for Graduation

2.0 minimum (C) average is required in all physics-credit courses.  In addition, a C is required for Modern Physics, Advanced Lab I with Error Theory, Theoretical Mechanics, and Electromagnetic Theory.


B.S. Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Science degree requires a minimum of 76 credit hours in astronomy and physics courses.  This degree is suitable for students who want to pursue graduate studies leading to research and academic careers in astronomy, astrophysics or related fields.

Course Credits
ASTR 001 - Descriptive Astronomy 3
ASTR 01L - Descriptive Astronomy lab 1
ASTR 041 - Astronomical Techniques 3
ASTR 185 - Astrophysics I 3
ASTR 195 - Astrophysics II 3
PHY 001 (with lab and discussion) - Introductory Physics 1 4
PHY 002 (with lab and discussion) - Introductory Physics 2 4
PHY 003 - Contemporary Topics in Physics and Astronomy Seminar 1
PHY 021 – Introduction to Methods in Physics 3
PHY 050 - Modern Physics 4
PHY 059 - Advanced Lab I with Error Theory 2
PHY 121 - Theoretical Mechanics 4
PHY 122 - Electromagnetic Theory 4
PHY 133 - Electronics 4
PHY 149 - Advanced Lab II 2
PHY 181 - Quantum Theory 4
PHY 191 - Physics Seminar I 1
PHY 192 - Physics Seminar II 1
PHY 197/198 - Research I/II 1
PHY 199 - Physics & Astronomy Capstone 0
Additional requirements outside of the department:  
MATH 050 - Calculus I 3
MATH 070 - Calculus II 3
MATH 080 - Linear Algebra 3
MATH 100 - Calculus III 3
MATH 110 - Multivariate Calculus 3
MATH 120 - Differential Equations I 3
CHEM 001 - General Chemistry I** 3
CS 065 - Introduction to CS I 3
TOTAL 76

*Research Participation:  1 cr (min) of PHY 197 and/or PHY 198 at Drake and/or at least one REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates). 

**Students who take General Chemistry I at Drake University must take CHEM 001 with the lab (CHEM 003), as they are co-requisites. Students may seek a waiver from their General Chemistry professor to not take the lab. Students should note that a general chemistry lab is recommended for those pursuing certain pre-professional/career paths.

Students who double major in the B.S. in Physics and Astronomy must take two additional topical courses in Physics.

Grade Requirements for Graduation

2.0 minimum (C) average is required in all physics-credit courses.  In addition, a C is required for Modern Physics, Advanced Lab I with Error Theory, Theoretical Mechanics, Electromagnetic Theory and Astronomical Techniques.

The information in this catalog does not constitute a contract between the university and the student. The university reserves the right to make changes in curricula, admission policies and processes, tuition and financial aid, academic standards and guidelines, student services and any other regulations or policies set forth in this catalog without giving prior notice.