Indiana University
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Undergraduate Program

The Department of Astronomy (AST) offers 100-level courses for non-astronomy majors, a minor in astronomy and astrophysics, and B.A. and B.S. degrees in astronomy and astrophysics. Topics covered in courses and research programs include our solar system (Sun, planets, asteroids, Kuiper belt objects, and comets), the life cycles of stars, exoplanets, star clusters, our Milky Way galaxy, other galaxies and clusters of galaxies, the large-scale distribution of both luminous and dark matter in the universe, and cosmology.

Students in Astronomy confront fundamental questions about the nature of our universe and our place in it. All astronomy majors use telescopes at campus observatories as part of their coursework. Students involved in faculty-supervised research projects have the opportunity to analyze data from the Wisconsin-Indiana-Yale-NOAO (WIYN) Observatories, other ground-based observatories, and space-borne observatories such the Hubble Space Telescope. Students also use the extensive computing facilities in Swain Hall and on the IUB campus. The B.A. major is designed for students who are interested in astronomy as the subject of a liberal arts education, and allows great flexibility in the selection of courses. The focus of the B.A. is on breadth of knowledge rather than on depth or specialization. The B.S. degree focuses more on depth of knowledge, and as such prepares students for graduate study and a subsequent career in astronomy and astrophysics, and also for careers in related technical fields.

Our courses and degree programs offer training in creative, disciplined, and quantitative analytical thinking that is valuable for a great variety of careers. For example, our recent graduates have pursued careers in astronomy, physics, science writing, science education and outreach, computing and data science, medicine, nursing, imaging science, petroleum, the military, law, and business.

Interested in Studying Astronomy?

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