Astronomy Undergraduate Program

Astronomy B.A. Requirements

KU Core requirements not met by major requirements (~24 credits or equivalent experiences)

Estimated Hours

Goal 2

Written (2 units) and Oral Communication  (1 unit)


Goal 3A 3B

Fundamental knowledge in Humanities, Social Sciences (1 unit each area)


Goal 4

Human Diversity and Cultural Understanding and Global Awareness (2 units)


Goal 5

Social responsibility and ethical behavior  ( 1 unit)


Goals 1 & 3C

Met by foundational courses in mathematics and physics


CLAS BA requirements not met by major requirements:


Foreign Language

Fourth semester proficiency or 3rd semester proficiency plus one semester of another foreign language


Writing Courses

Credit (not exemption) for TWO writing courses:

  • If  not exempt from ENGL 101 due to ACT/SAT score, then this is fulfilled by completing ENGL 101 AND ENGL 102
  • If exempt from ENGL 101 due to ACT/SAT score, then this is fulfilled by completing ENGL 102/105 AND ENGL 203/205/211 or other Goal 2.1 approved course.


Additional general science requirement:



CHEM 130 (or 190) Foundations of Chemistry


Foundational Mathematics (10 credits)


MATH 125

Calculus I


MATH 126

Calculus II


Foundational Physics for major (9.5 credits)


PHSX 150

Seminar in Physics, Astronomy and Engineering Physics


PHSX 211 or 213

General Physics I (213 is honors/majors equivalent, 5 credits, includes lab)


PHSX 212 or 214

General Physics II (214 is honors/majors equivalent, 4 credits, includes lab)


PHSX 216

General Physics I Laboratory


PHSX 236

General Physics II Laboratory


Astronomy requirements for major (11 credits, all at jr/sr level)


ASTR 391

Physical Astronomy


ASTR 591

Stellar Astronomy


ASTR 596

Observational Astrophysics


ASTR 592

Galactic & Extragalactic Astronomy


Additional astronomy, astrophysics or physics coursework required for major


In addition to the above specifically required courses, Astronomy BA candidates must complete at least 5 additional credits in physics or astronomy at the 300+ level. Students may enroll in ASTR 390 for undergraduate problems for 1 or more credit hours and in ASTR 503 (501 honors) for research credit. ASTR 394 is highly recommended.  Other recommended courses include ASTR 691 and 692, PHSX 594, GEOL 572, PHSX 313/316 and other PHSX courses 500 and above; most of these course have pre-requisites that may require additional preparation in mathematics and/or  physics.    

≥ 5

Additional Notes:

  • Students may satisfy the Integrative Knowledge (Goal 6) requirement by
    • participating in research for credit (ASTR 501/503) in addition to ASTR 596 completion
    • satisfying requirements for more than one major or a major and minor combination
    • satisfying requirements for Research Experience Certification
  • 24 credits in the major are required by Regents’ rules for a major.  The Foundational Physics and Astronomy requirements total 25.5 credits at minimum.
  • 120 credits are required for graduation, of which 45 must be at junior/senior level (courses numbered 300 or higher). Specific requirements for the astronomy BA include at least 16 jr/sr credit hours; students must take 29 additional credit hours at the junior senior level to satisfy the regents’ requirement.

Department Communications
Paper of the Week

Baldenegro Barrera, Baringer, Bean, Boren, Bowen, Bylinkin, Isidori, Khalil, King, Krintiras, Kropivnitskaya, Lindsey, Majumder, Mcbrayer, Minafra, Murray, Rogan, Royon, Sanders, Schmitz, Tapia Takaki, Wilson & CMS Collaboration

See previous papers

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