BS in Physics with Emphasis in Astronomy

Degree Program Description

Physics is the science that studies the structure and properties of matter and transformations of energy. With math as the language and experimental verification as a guide, physical study has established the fundamental laws of nature that are the foundation of all natural science and technology. The study of physics includes learning the general principles and the phenomena that have been discovered and developing the skills that enable such knowledge to be advanced through research.  An emphasis area in astronomy is excellent preparation also for science teachers, laboratory technicians, computer programmers, and science journalists. It can also serve as the basis for graduate degrees in other fields, such as law or medical school. People with a degree (or background) in Physics with and emphasis in astronomy find jobs in planetariums, science museums, national observatories, national laboratories, federal agencies, universities, business or private industry.

Major Program Requirements

Students interested in astronomy may pursue a BS in Physics with an Emphasis in Astronomy. For this option, students must take the same required courses as the students pursuing a regular BS degree and take all their physics electives in astronomy. One of the 4 required astronomy electives is ASTRON 3010 Introduction to Modern Astrophysics. If successfully completed, the emphasis in Astronomy will be recorded on the student’s diploma.

In addition, students must complete all College of Arts and Science and University graduation requirements, including University general education.

ASTRON 3010Introduction to Modern Astrophysics3
PHYSCS 2800Undergraduate Seminar in Physics2
University Physics I
and University Physics II
PHYSCS 3150Introduction to Modern Physics3
PHYSCS 4060Advanced Physics Laboratory I3
PHYSCS 4100Electricity and Magnetism I3
PHYSCS 4120Introduction to Thermodynamics3
PHYSCS 4140Mechanics3
PHYSCS 4800Introduction to Quantum Mechanics I3
PHYSCS 4810Introduction to Quantum Mechanics II3
MATH 1500
MATH 1700
MATH 2300
Analytic Geometry and Calculus I
and Calculus II
and Calculus III
MATH 4100Differential Equations3
CHEM 1320College Chemistry I4
Additional Astronomy9
Additional math6
Total Credits71

Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
MATH 1500^5MATH 1700^5
General Education*3PHYSCS 2750^5
ENGLSH 1000*3General Education*3
PHYSCS 28002 
CHEM 1320^4 
 17 13
Second Year
MATH 2300^3MATH 4100^3
General Education*3PHYSCS 4140^3
General Education*3General Education*3
PHYSCS 2760^5Specialized/Foreign Language3
 PHYSCS 3150^3
 14 15
Third Year
PHYSCS 4100^3PHYSCS 4120^3
ATRON Elective^3Math Elective^3
MATH 4500^3General Education*3
PHYSCS 4060^3Specialized/ Foreign Language*3
Specialized/Foreign Language*3ASTRON Elective^3
 15 15
Fourth Year
PHYSCS 4800^3PHYSCS 4810^3
ASTRON Elective^3PHYSCS 4985^3
ASTRON Elective^3ASTRON Elective^3
Specialized/Foreign Language*3Electives/Research3
 12 12
Total Credits: 113

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Degree Audit


The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner.  Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, by clicking on the Request Degree Audit link. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.  This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success Center.  No appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.


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