What is Astrophysics and How Many Subjects Does it Include?

Astrophysics is a branch of science that deals with outer space and the application of the laws of physics and chemistry to explain the birth of the universe, the birth, life and death of planets, stars, nebulae, galaxies and other celestial objects. Astrophysicists use mathematics and physics to research and understand how the universe and the life cycles of stars and planets work. The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the OU offers students a strong combination of astronomy and physics courses and rich experience for a variety of jobs in corporations as large as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. To graduate with this major, students must complete all college, college, and major requirements.

BOX 112055 211 BRYANT SPACE SCIENCE CENTER GAINESVILLE FL 32611-2055Map The knowledge gained and the analytical skills developed provide excellent broad-based training for careers in industry, education and government, as well as preparation for graduate studies in astronomy and astrophysics, education scientific, engineering, law and medicine. The Department of Astronomy offers two Bachelor's Degree Options: a Bachelor of Arts (B. A.) in Astronomy and a Bachelor of Science (B. S.) in Astrophysics.

The B. A. is broader and less specialized than the B. S., designed for students who intend to pursue careers in a scientific or technical field by continuing to study astronomy, astrophysics or physics at the graduate level or to begin studies in a related field such as planetary sciences.

All students must take 10 core courses in mathematics, physics and astronomy; a total of 41 credits is required in astronomy for the B. A., while a minimum of 62 credits is required for the B. S., with fewer additional astronomy and physics courses required, offering greater flexibility to take courses in other disciplines. All required courses must be completed with minimum grades of C.In addition to these degree options, there is also an opportunity for students interested in becoming high school science teachers to join the UFTeach program.

UFTeach students can complete the UFTeach specialty in science teaching along with their B. A./B. S. in Astronomy/Astrophysics and have the coursework and preparation for professional teacher certification in Florida when they graduate. Astronomy/Astrophysics provides knowledge of basic concepts, theories and observational findings related to the structure and evolution of planetary systems, stars, star systems such as galaxies, and cosmology.

Students will learn scientific methodology and its application in specific contexts, the use of observations in test hypotheses and the limitations of astronomical observations, as well as how to critically evaluate them. The Bachelor of Arts in Astronomy enables students to become familiar with modern physics and understand mathematics including calculus; while the Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics enables students to understand the basic concepts, theories, and experimental findings in modern physics, electricity and magnetism, mechanics in its application to astronomy/astrophysics. This added to the body of evidence of the (then) surprising conclusion that the heavens and the Earth are subject to the same physical laws. Because astrophysics is a very broad subject, astrophysicists apply concepts and methods from many disciplines of physics and chemistry including classical mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, relativity, nuclear/particle physics, atomic/molecular physics. In conclusion, Astrophysics is an expansive field that covers many different subjects from mathematics to physics to chemistry. It requires a deep understanding of these subjects as well as an understanding of how they all interact with each other.