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Undergraduate Students

Department and
Student Goals

Goals of the Department:

  • To train excellent quantitative problem solvers in physics/astrophysics, provide a global view of the content of the universe and its physical laws, and develop the ability to communicate these concepts in oral and written form.
  • To provide credentials and background knowledge so that the successful graduate can attain admission to graduate school or find an appropriate job, depending on their personal goals, and achieve success in that venture.


Goals of Students:

  • Students should demonstrate mastery of the problems required for their homework assignments and exams.
  • Students should be able to give clear presentations of advanced concepts in essays and oral presentations, and should have demonstrated the ability to convey knowledge and enthusiasm for astronomy to a public audience.
  • Students desiring admission to graduate school should be able to score better than about the 50th percentile on the physics GRE if they have a GPA greater than about 3.5, and should do well in graduate school.
  • Students with a GPA > 2.5 who desire employment should be able to secure suitable positions, generally before graduation, but at least within a few months afterwards, and should feel prepared those positions.
  • Students will be knowledgeable about realistic career options at every stage of their education.

A detailed guide to the undergraduate program in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics is found in the Undergraduate Student Handbook.