Astrophysics Major and Minor

Astrophysics Major

Undergraduates wishing to major in Astrophysics must complete the following courses in the Astronomy Department: 

Optional Astro 7A/7B
Python/IDL DeCal
Required (one of the following): Astro 120 (lab course)
Astro 121 (lab course)
Required (two of the following): Astro 160
Astro C161
Astro C162
Required (as needed) Upper division electives so that the total is 30 units for a single major and 24 units for a double major

Important Notes:

  • Astro 7A and 7B are recommended prerequisites for all upper-division courses.
  • The 30 unit requirement (or 24 units for double majors with another major) is the sum of astronomy upper division courses and the electives.
  • Lower-divison prerequisites must be satisfied (please see list on our Declaring the Major page). 

Astrophysics Minor

Undergraduates wishing to minor in Astrophysics must complete the following courses in the Astronomy Department:

Optional Astro 7A
Astro 7B
Required (two of the following):

Astro 120
Astro 121
Astro 160
Astro C161
Astro C162

Required (three of the following): Upper division electives

Important Notes:

  • Astro 7A and 7B are recommended for the minor, but are not required.
  • Lower-divison prerequisites must be satisfied (please see list on our Declaring the Major page). 

Course List and Prerequisites

The following is a list of course prerequisites for the Astrophysics major and minor required courses.

Courses Required Prerequisites Recommended Prerequisites
Astro 7A* Physics 7A/B**
Math 1A/B
 
Astro 7B*

Physics 7A/B/C**
Math 1A/B

 
Astro 120

Physics 7A/B/C
Math 54**

Astro 7A/B
Python/IDL DeCal

Astro 121

Physics 7A/B/C
Math 54**
 

Astro 7A/B
Python/IDL DeCal
Physics 110A/B

Astro 160 Physics 112**
 
Astro 7A
Physics 137A
Astro C161 Physics 7A/B/C Astro 7B
Physics 112
Physics 137A/B
Astro C162 Physics 7A/B/C Astro 7A
Physics 112
Python/IDL DeCal* None  

* These courses are not required but strongly recommended for anyone considering the Astrophysics major. Please consult with the Undergraduate Adviser.
** Prerequisite Course can be taken concurrently.


Summary of Upper-Division Electives

Below is a list of elective courses applicable to the study of Astrophysics.

DEPARTMENT COURSES
Physics
  • 105 Analytical Mechanics
  • 110A/B Electromagnetism and Optics
  • 111 Modern Physics and Advanced Electrical Laboratory
  • 112 Introduction to Statistical and Thermal Physics
  • 124 Introductory Nuclear Physics
  • 129A/B Particle Physics
  • 137A/B Quantum Mechanics
  • 142 Introduction to Plasma Physics
  • 150 Introduction to Atmospheric and Space Sciences 
Mathematics
  • 104 Introduction to Analysis
  • 110 Linear Algebra
  • 121A/B Mathematical Tools for the Physical Sciences
  • 128A/B Numerical Analysis
  • 160 History of Mathematics [req Math 113]
  • 185 Introduction to Complex Analysis [req Math 104] 
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • 150 Components and Design Techniques for Digital Systems [req 61C or EE 40 or 42]
  • 160 User Interface Design and Development [req 61B]
  • 164 Programming Languages and Compilers [req 61B/C]
  • 169 Software Engineering [req 61B/C]
  • 184 Foundations of Computer Graphics [req 61B]
  • 186 Introduction to Database Systems [req 61B/C]
  • 188 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence [req 61A/B] 
Statistics
  • 101 Introduction to the Theory of Probability
  • 102 Introduction to the Theory of Statistics [req 101] 134 Concepts of Probabilty
  • 135 Concepts of Statistics [req 101 or 134]
  • 153 Introduction to Time Series [req 101 or 134] 
Earth and Planetary Science
  • 108 Geodynamics
  • 121 Geophysics [req GEO 108]
  • 122 Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors [req PHY 105] 
Geography
  • 146 Applied Physical Climatology 
Chemistry
  • 104A/B Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
  • 105 Instrumental Methods of Analysis [req 104A]
  • 108 Inorganic Synthesis and Reactions [req 104A/B]
  • 112A/B Organic Chemistry
  • 120A/B Physical Chemistry
  • 122 Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy [req 120A/B]
  • 125 Physical Chemistry Laboratory [req 120A/B]
  • 142 Nuclear Chemistry