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Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers opportunities for study in astronomy at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. For information on advanced degrees, see graduate Astronomy.

Major Specialization

Major (0030): Astronomy (ASTR)

First Year
Communication Requirement1 6
CHEM 121 (111)2 4
MATH 100 (102 or 104 or 110 or 180 or 184, or 120)3 3
MATH 101 (103 or 105 or 121)3 3
PHYS 117 (101 or 107)4 3
PHYS 118, 119 (or 102) (or 108, 109)4 4
Electives5 7
Total Credits 30
Second Year6
ASTR 200, 205 6
MATH 200, 3177 6
MATH 221 (223)8, 215 6
PHYS 200, 219, 229 7
PHYS 2109 3
Electives5 2
Total Credits 30
Third Year10
ASTR 300 3
MATH 316 or PHYS 312 3
PHYS 203 4
PHYS 301, 216 6
PHYS 408 4
Electives5 10
Total Credits 30
Fourth Year10
ASTR 406 or ASTR 407 3
ASTR 404, 405 6
PHYS 304, 403 6
Electives5 15
Total Credits 30
Total Credits for Degree 120
1 For a full list of acceptable courses see Communication Requirement.
2 Students without Chemistry 12 must take CHEM 111. Students interested in senior chemistry courses or who are planning to enter a career in teaching should take a second introductory chemistry course as an elective.
3 MATH 110 is 6 credits, MATH 120 and 121 are 4 credits; the extra credit counts as electives so students should adjust electives accordingly.
4 Students without Physics 12 must take PHYS 100 prior to other PHYS courses. Qualified students are encouraged to take PHYS 107/108/109. PHYS 102 is 3 credits; students should adjust electives accordingly. Students are advised to take PHYS 117 in second year if they did not take it or PHYS 107 in first year.
5 The number of elective credits in each year is chosen to make the yearly total be 30. Some course alternatives have different credit values. Students are permitted to move elective credits between years. At least 24 credits must be completed each year for majors, 30 for honours. Electives must be taken to ensure that all Faculty of Science requirements are met: (a) At least 3 credits of biology for students without Biology 11 or 12 (see Biology Requirement); (b) At least 12 credits must be from the Faculty of Arts, in addition to Arts credits used to satisfy the Faculty of Science Communication Requirements (see Arts Requirement); (c) An additional 9 credits must be from Arts or Science outside the field of major to satisfy the Breadth Requirement; (d) At least 120 total credits, including at most 18 credits from faculties other than Science or Arts. At least 48 upper-level credits, including at least 30 upper-level credits from the Faculty of Science (see General Degree Requirements).
6 For admission to the specialization, students must be in good standing and should be competent in MATH and PHYS. It is advisable that a student entering any specialization in Physics or Astronomy have a minimum average of 60% in first-year PHYS and 60% in first-year MATH. See also Second Year Application, Promotion to Second Year, and Admission as a Post-Secondary Transfer.
7 Qualified students may take MATH 217 and 2 credits of electives instead of MATH 200 and MATH 317, by requesting permission to register for more than 18 credits in the term.
8 Students with credit for MATH 152 prior to entering this specialization can substitute it for MATH 221. MATH 221 or MATH 223 can be taken in first year.
9 Computing skills at the level of PHYS 210 are required in the specialization. With written permission of an Undergraduate Physics and Astronomy Advisor, students who already have these skills may replace PHYS 210 with 3 credits of electives.
10 Consultation with an Astronomy advisor is recommended before entering third- and fourth-year. See also Promotion Requirements and Courses Required for Promotion.

Combined Honours in Physics and Astronomy

See Physics.

Minor (3192): Astronomy (ASTR)

The Minor consists of one of PHYS 200 or PHYS 250 plus 12 upper-level credits of ASTR and a further 6 upper-level credits of ASTR and/or PHYS courses. Note that MATH 215 is a prerequisite for many upper-level physics courses.

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