Astronomy Major College
Advisers:Suzan Edwards, James Lowenthal
The astronomy major is designed to provide a good foundation in modern science with a focus on astronomy. Taken alone, it is suited for students who wish to apply scientific training in a broad general context. If coupled with a major in physics, the astronomy major provides the foundation to pursue a career as a professional astronomer. Advanced courses in mathematics and a facility in computer programming are strongly encouraged.
Many astronomy majors conduct independent research projects, experiencing both the discipline and the excitement of making astronomical discoveries. Recent senior thesis projects "Studying Accretion and Winds in Young Stars with Spectroscopy" by Jenny Podel '14 and "Revisiting Forbidden Lines in T Tauri Stars, " by Wanda Feng '15 won the Five College Astronomy Mary Dailey Irvine Prize for best undergraduate thesis.
Eleven courses (44 credits), which will normally include the following 8 courses:
- Three astronomy courses at the 200 level, including 228 plus 224 or 225
- One astronomy course at the 300 level
- PHY 115/117 and 118
- Three additional courses at 200/300 level**
*Students with especially strong background in physics or astronomy may, in consultation with your adviser, replace 111 with a more advanced course
** Up to two of the additional three courses may, after consultation with and approval by your adviser, be selected from 200– or higher–level courses in a related discipline such as mathematics, physics, geology, computer science, or the history or philosophy of science.