2019-2020 University Catalog 
    Jun 25, 2024  
2019-2020 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Astrogeophysics Major

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Director Levine

The astrogeophysics major is a multidisciplinary program for students interested in the study of the solar system and planetary matter. Drawing on astronomical observations, physical models, chemical constraints, and geological interpretations, students consider the Earth in its planetary context, the processes that have shaped Earth and other planets through time, and our place in the Universe. Students learn to appreciate or participate in the ongoing discovery of planets throughout the galaxy, and to reflect critically on their similarities with and differences from our own world. Astrogeophysics majors develop intellectual tools from across the physical sciences to reason qualitatively and quantitatively about global issues, such as the accelerating pace of global change and planetary habitability. Interested students should consult the program director as early as possible to plan an appropriate sequence of courses, since many of the required courses have prerequisites.

Major Requirements

The requirements for the major are as follows:

Advanced Courses

  • One additional advanced astronomy course (300 or higher)
  • Three additional advanced courses chosen from the following:
    • physics or astronomy (300 or higher)
    • at least one course from geology (250 or higher)
    • chemistry (300 or higher)

Students should select these courses in consultation with the academic adviser and/or the astrogeophysics program director. These courses are to provide depth and rigor to the student’s academic program, but students are given freedom to tailor their astrogeophysics program to match particular interests.

Honors and High Honors

To qualify for graduation with honors, a student must (a) complete one additional advanced course in astronomy, geology, or physics beyond the basic requirements; (b) earn a minimum GPA of 3.50 in advanced courses required for the major; and (c) complete and successfully defend an honors thesis. Normally the thesis is based on the candidate’s senior research. High honors are awarded at the joint discretion of the Department of Geology and the Department of Physics and Astronomy on the basis of GPA and, in particular, for outstanding achievement in senior research. 

Physics and Astronomy department

For more information about the department, including Faculty, transfer credit, awards, etc., please visit the Physics and Astronomy department  catalogue page.

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