University of Florida Homepage

Undergraduate Studies

The Department of Astronomy offers two Major and one Minor degree options, as well as a variety of General Education courses.

Astronomy Majors

Undergraduate students interested in majoring in astronomy can consider either a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. The former is designed for those who intend to further their education in graduate school in astrophysics. The latter is primarily designed for students who want to pursue careers in other fields.  For example, some recent B.A. graduates have gone onto careers in  journalism, law, finance, and education.

The B.Sc. curriculum combines studies in astronomy and astrophysics with a strong foundation in Physics and Mathematics. The B.Sc. degree track requires foundation courses in mathematics, physics, and astronomy that entails taking a variety of upper-level astronomy and physics courses. Advanced courses in mathematics and computer science are suggested but not required.  Further details about the B.Sc. program and requirements can be found here.

The B.A. in Astronomy is for students who are passionate about astronomy, but is tailored for those who have other vocations in mind. The B.A. requires a lesser focus in mathematics and physics compared to the B.Sc. degree. This gives the student more flexibility in choosing courses to fit in pre-professional courses in education, business, or medicine. If the student is simply looking for a liberal arts degree, they can instead take a broad range of courses in the sciences and/or humanities. Of course, the student can always take more astronomy courses than are required!  The Bachelor of Arts degree can also be combined with the UFTeach program which prepares students for careers as educators and has been specifically designed to allow students to become certified for teaching science in the state of Florida based on four years of undergraduate education.  Further details about the B.Sc. program and requirements can be found here and details about the UFTeach: Astronomy can be found here.

Both majors are for those who are comfortable with, and have some aptitude for physics, and mathematics. They both should develop the student’s analytical reasoning skills as well as expand their knowledge about the Universe.

Astronomy Minor

For undergraduate students not primarily interested in pursuing a major in astronomy, our department offers an astronomy minor. These courses provide a broad largely non-mathematical survey of the field of astronomy and its various sub-disciplines.

The Astronomy Minor requires a 15-credit coursework that afford the student an opportunity to get a taste of what the science of astronomy is about. The first part consists of the three introductory courses in basic theoretical and observational astronomy, and astrophysics; AST 3018-19, and 3722C. These are the same courses required for the astronomy major. They have calculus, and physics with calculus as prerequisites or corequisites. The final two courses in astronomy for the minor can be any two upper-division courses.