Astrophysics Major and Minor

Lower Division Requirements for the Astrophysics Major and Minor

Required courses:

  • Math 1A/1B
  • Math 53/54*
  • Physics 7A/B/C or Physics 5A, 5B/5BL, 5C/5CL

The lower-division courses highly recommended but not required are:

  • Astro 7A & Astro 7B
  • Astro 98 (Python DeCal)
    • OR Data 8 CS 61A/Physics 77/Physics 88

All required prerequisites need to be taken for a letter grade, with a minimum 2.0 GPA. We require a C- or better in all our required lower division classes.

* Please note: Physics 89 is a requirement for the physics major (replaces Math 54). Therefore, students who are planning a double major or a minor with Astrophysics and Physics are required to complete Physics 89 in lieu of Math 54.  

Astrophysics Major Upper Division Requirements

30 units of required upper division courses; 24 units for double majors

All upper division courses must be taken for a letter grade and with an overall 2.0 GPA

Undergraduates majoring in Astrophysics must complete the following courses (check the course catalog for class descriptions):

Required (choose one):

Astro 120
Astro 121
Astro 128

Required (choose two):

Astro 160
Astro C161
Astro C162

Required (take a minimum of 18 units OR 12 units if you are a double major):

Upper division electives (see below for complete list of eligible courses; astro courses listed above may also be used)

Astrophysics Minor Upper Division Requirements

17-20 units of required upper division courses

Undergraduates wishing to minor in Astrophysics must complete the following courses (check the course catalog for class descriptions):

Required (take a minimum of two):

Astro 120
Astro 121
Astro 128
Astro 160
Astro C161
Astro C162

Required (take as many as needed to reach 17-20 total units of upper division courses):

Upper division electives (see below for complete list of eligible courses; astro courses listed above may also be used)

Summary of Upper-Division Electives

Below is a list of elective courses applicable to the study of Astrophysics (check the course catalog for any prerequisites or other requirements):

DEPARTMENT

COURSES

Astronomy

  • C101 Order-Of-Magnitude Physics

Chemistry

  • 104A/B Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
  • 105 Instrumental Methods of Analysis 
  • 108 Inorganic Synthesis and Reactions 
  • 12A/B Organic Chemistry
  • 120A/B Physical Chemistry
  • 122 Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy 
  • 125 Physical Chemistry Laboratory 
  • 143 Nuclear Chemistry 

Computer Science

Enrollment restrictions apply. See the Academic Guide for more information.

  • 160 User Interface Design and Development 
  • 164 Programming Languages and Compilers
  • 169 Software Engineering 
  • 184 Foundations of Computer Graphics 
  • 186 Introduction to Database Systems 
  • 188 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence 
  • 189 Introduction to Machine Learning

Data Science

  • C100 Principles & Techniques of Data Science
  • C140 Probability for Data Science

Earth and Planetary Science

  • 102 History and Evolution of Planet Earth
  • 108 Geodynamics
  • 109 Computer Simulations in Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • 113 Biological Oceanography and Biogeochemistry
  • 117 Geomorphology
  • 122 Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 
  • 124 Isotopic Geochemistry
  • C181:  Atmospheric Physics and Dynamics

Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences

  • 118 Introduction to Optical Engineering
  • 120 Signals and Systems 
  • 126 Probability and Random Processing

Mathematics

  • 104 Introduction to Analysis
  • 110 Linear Algebra
  • 113 Introduction to Abstract Algebra
  • 121A/B Mathematical Tools for the Physical Sciences
  • 128A/B Numerical Analysis
  • 160 History of Mathematics 
  • 185 Introduction to Complex Analysis 

Mechanical Engineering

  • 106 Fluid Mechanics
  • C162 Introduction to Flight Mechanics
  • 163 Engineering Aerodynamics

Nuclear Engineering

  • 100 Introduction to Nuclear Engineering and Technology
  • 101 Nuclear Reactions and Radiation

Physics

  • 105 Analytical Mechanics
  • 110A/B Electromagnetism and Optics
  • 111 Modern Physics and Advanced Electrical Laboratory
  • 112 Introduction to Statistical and Thermal Physics
  • 129 Particle Physics
  • 137A/B Quantum Mechanics
  • 139 Special Relativity and General Relativity
  • 141A/B Solid State Physics
  • 142 Introduction to Plasma Physics
  • 151 Special Topics
  • 188 Bayesian Data Analysis and Machine Learning for Physical Sciences (previously 151)

Statistics

  • 134 Concepts of Probability
  • 135 Concepts of Statistics 
  • C140 Probability for Data Science 
  • 153 Introduction to Time Series  
  • 154 Modern Statistical Prediction and Machine Learning
  • 159 Reproducible and Collaborative Statistical Data Science

Undergraduate Advising

Major Advisor

Brianna Franklin, the Department of Astronomy’s Undergraduate Advisor, is available to answer your questions about the Astrophysics major and other undergraduate matters.

Email: bfranklin@berkeley.edu
Office: 501 Campbell Hall
Advising: Please use CalCentral to make an appointment with Brianna!

Ask questions via our Advising Discord

Faculty Advisors

Eugene Chiang and Courtney Dressing are the Department of Astronomy’s Undergraduate Faculty Advisors. They are available to assist with issues that arise during your time as an undergraduate student in the Astrophysics program; they are also a great resource for explanations pertaining to the content of courses.

Email: echiang@astro.berkeley.edu; dressing@berkeley.edu 

Drop-In Advising: Eugene – Fridays 10-11am (CH 355); Courtney – Tuesdays 2-3pm (CH 355)

Peer Advisors

Astronomy Peer Advisors are current Astrophysics that are here to answer your questions about the major and the department in general. You can connect with the Astronomy Peer Advisors on our Advising Discord or during drop-in advising hours along with Brianna, Eugene, or Courtney.

Fall ’23 Astronomy Peer Advisors: Joanna Hardesty & Sophie Willis

Undergraduate FAQs

Prospective and current students! Find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions here: FAQs

Still have questions? Reach out to undergraduate advisor, Brianna Franklin, at bfranklin@berkeley.edu