Department of Physics

Astrophysics Track

Purpose

Astronomy and Astrophysics are among the more popular topics of physics for bot incoming students and the general public. While many might see astronomy as a “pie in the sky” field with little practical value – students with 93% of students with astronomy degrees are either employed or attending graduate school after they graduate. UNI does not offer a classical physics degree, but we do offer a flexible program that, in conjunction with the Earth Science Department, offers courses to prepare students for a career in Astronomy or Astrophysics. Students interested in graduate school should combine the electives noted below with those for graduate school. As of Spring 2013, the Physics courses are experimental courses under development with intent to begin being offered on a regular basis after the 2013-2014 academic year.

Suggested Electives: EARTHSCI 1100, 3110, 3130, 3140,  and EARTHSCI 4150

Initial Status After Degree for Astronomy Bachelor's, Classes of 2007, 2008, & 2009 combined.

Plan of Study

The following plan of study is a suggested guide to best prepare students to either work in the astronomy/astrophysics field or just engage in natural scientific curiosity while learning valuable skills. The plan is based on the Flexible Study Plan for a B.S. Physics major incorporating the suggested electives listed above. Course descriptions can be found in the UNI Course Catalog.

1st Year, Fall Semester - 16 hrs 1st Year, Spring Semester - 16 hrs
MATH 1420 - Calculus I 4 MATH 1421 - Calculus II 4
PHYSICS 1100 - 1st Year Projects in Physics 1 PHYSICS 1702 -  Physics II for Science & Eng. 4
PHYSICS 1701 - Physics I for Sci. & Engineering 4 Cornerstone II or Oral Communications 3
Cornerstone I or Coll. Read. & Writing 3 University Elective 3
EARTHSCI 1100 - Astronomy 4 EARTHSCI 3140 - Galaxies & Cosmology 2
       
2nd Year, Fall Semester - 16 hrs 2nd Year, Spring Semester - 14 hrs
MATH 2422 - Calculus III 4 PHYSICS 4100 - Modern Physics 4
PHYSICS 2300 - Physics III Theory & Simulation 3 PHYSICS 4110 - Modern Physics Lab 2
PHYSICS 4300 - Introduction to Electronics 4 PHYSICS 2700 - Math Methods of Phys. 3
Humanities I 3 EARTHSCI 3130 - Stars 2
EARTHSCI 3110 - Observ. Astronomy 2 Social Science 3
       
3rd Year, Fall Semester - 18 hrs 3rd Year, Spring Semester - 15 hrs
PHYSICS 4600 - Classical Mechanics 4 PHYSICS 4860 - Computational Physics 3
PHYSCIS 4900 - Thermo. & Stat. Mechanics 4 EARTHSCI 4150 - Astrophysics 3
Non-Western Cultures 3 Literature, Philosophy, or Religion 3
Fine Arts 3 Social Science 3
University Elective 4 Humanities II 3
       
4th Year, Fall Semester - 16 hrs 4th Year, Spring Semester - 16 hrs
PHYSICS 3700 - Physics Seminar 1 Capstone 2
PHYSICS 3000/Physics 3500 - Research 2 Social Science 3
PHYSICS 4050 - Optical Science 3 University Electives 11
Life Science 3    
Personal Wellness 3    
 University Electives 4    

 

Required courses are in bold..

Liberal Arts Core classes are in italics. See the Liberal Arts Core Link for more details.

Science & Math electives are in italics and bold.

University electives are in black.

Notes:

  1. Students intending to pursue graduate school in astrophysics are encouraged to complete the following electives related to Physics Graduate School Track PHYSICS 4700 & 4800, MATH 2500 & 3425

  2. General Relativity and Astrophysics are intended to alternate years so that the order may be reversed for some students.

  3. PHYSICS 4050, Optical Science, is offered every other year so some students will take this course in their 3rd year instead.

  4. EARTHSCI 3130 and 3140 are offered in alternate years so that some students will take them in reverse order.

  5. Studies in General Relativity is offered periodically. Please consult the Physics Department Head about future offerings of the course.