Astronomy is the scientific discipline dedicated to the study of everything in the universe outside the Earth's atmosphere. The undergraduate major leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in astronomy/planetary sciences prepares a student for graduate and professional work. Graduates with a degree in astronomy teach in secondary schools, work in academic, government, and industrial laboratories, and teach and conduct research at colleges and universities.
Course requirements for the B.S. program are listed below and are summarized in the accompanying chart. When the student declares the Astronomy major, the director of undergraduate studies assigns a faculty advisor to the student. This advisor assists the student in the selection of courses. Students should consult frequently with their faculty advisors regarding their progress and regarding appropriate science courses. Because the position of the scientist in society is responsible and complex, the student is cautioned to pay careful attention to general education in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
The major in Astronomy leads to the Bachelor of Science degree. Up to three astronomy or physics courses passed with a C- may be applied to the major; all other courses offered for the major must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher.
Completion of the major requires 63 to 66 credits.
A. Required Astronomy Courses:
B. Required Physics Courses:
C. Eight credits of astronomy-related courses that complement an astronomy major’s education are required. The intent is to add courses, especially in other quantitative sciences, which prepare the student for successful employment in research, education or industry. Any course beyond those required for the astronomy major that is required by the student’s minor, second major or master’s degree (for students in a combined degree program) is automatically included in the list of related courses. Additional related courses are listed under the related courses for the physics major (except the AST courses). Any course at the 300-level or above on this list may be used. In addition any physics course at the 300-level or above not required for the astronomy major may also be used.
D. Mathematics Requirements:
E. Upper-Division Writing Requirement:
Students are certified as satisfying the upper-division writing requirement by registering for the 0-credit AST 459 and completing writing projects within their major. All students majoring in Astronomy/ Planetary Sciences must submit two papers (term papers or independent research papers) to the Astronomy coordinator for Department evaluation by the end of the junior year. If this evaluation is satisfactory, the student will have fulfilled the upper- division writing requirement. Papers should be written in the form of a journal article. All papers must consist of an abstract, introduction, main content, and references. References should be cited throughout the text. Any figures should be numbered and have an appropriate caption. If you are using a lab report for the basis of this requirement, you should expand upon the introduction and describe the connection to topical scientific research.
A typical length should be 10 pages (double spaced, 11-point font) plus references, preferably written in LaTeX.
Students should consult with the department advisor to ensure that their plan for completing the Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent with university graduation requirements for General Education. Students completing the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) must complete a course that satisfies the "Write Effectively within One's Discipline" (WRTD) learning objective to graduate. The Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent in most cases with the SBC learning outcomes for WRTD.
1. The following physics courses are alternatives to PHY 131/PHY 133 + labs PHY 132/PHY 134 (collectively called the PHY 131-Sequence): PHY 125, 126, 127, with labs PHY 133 and 134 (collectively called the PHY 125-Sequence) or PHY 141/133 and 142/134 (Collectively called the PHY 141-Sequence).
2. The following alternate beginning calculus sequences may be substituted for MAT 131, MAT 132 in major requirements or prerequisites: MAT 125 (or MAT 130/MAT 125), MAT 126, MAT 127 or MAT 141, MAT 142 or MAT 171. Equivalency for MAT courses achieved by earning the appropriate score on the Mathematics Placement Examination will be accepted as fulfillment of the requirement without the necessity of substituting other credits. For detailed information about the various calculus sequences, see the alphabetical listing for Mathematics, especially "Beginning Mathematics Courses," and the course descriptions.
Honors Program in Astronomy/Planetary Sciences
Students in the Astronomy/Planetary Sciences major who have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 through the junior year in courses required for the major may apply to the Department to become candidates for Departmental honors in astronomy/planetary sciences.
In addition to the academic program, the student must complete an honors thesis while enrolled in AST 447 or AST 487. The thesis is evaluated by a committee composed of the student's advisor and two other science faculty members including one from outside of the Department. If the honors program is completed with distinction and the student has maintained a minimum 3.30 grade point average in all coursework in natural sciences and mathematics, honors are conferred.
All courses offered for the minor must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher. Completion of the minor requires 23 to 24 credits.
|First Year Seminar 101||1|
|PHY 131/PHY 133 or PHY 141/PHY 133||4|
|MAT 131 or MAT 141||4|
|First Year Seminar 102||1|
|PHY 132/PHY 134 or PHY 142/PHY 134||4|
|MAT 132 or MAT 142||4|
|PHY 251/PHY 252||4|
|MAT 203 or MAT 307 or AMS 261||3-4|
|MAT 303 or MAT 308 or AMS 361||3-4|
|AST 341 or AST 443||3-4|
|AST 390 or AST 346||3|
|AST 443 or AST 347||3-4|
|AST 346 or AST 390||3|
Major and Minor in Astronomy/Planetary Sciences
Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Arts and Sciences
Chair: Chang-Kee Jung
Astronomy Director of Undergraduate Studies: Michael Zingale
Department Administrator: Nathan Leoce-Schappin
Assistant to the Director: Diane Diaferia
Office: P-110 Graduate Physics
Phone: (631) 632-8100
Minors of particular interest to students majoring in Astronomy: Electrical Engineering (ESE), Mathematics (MAT), Optics (OPT)