Minor In Astronomy

This minor is designed to provide students with a background in astronomy that focuses on answering the fundamental questions about our origins that humans have pondered over the ages. Building on an introductory survey of astronomy, students will explore topics in planetary science such as asteroid collisions with the Earth or the science of extrasolar planets as viewed through the lens of science fiction. The upper level requirements will offer students the choice of focusing on the origin and evolution of stars, astronomy in the media, our Solar System, our universe, and life elsewhere in the universe.

Minor Requirements (15-17 credits):

Two Lower Level Requirements (6-7 credits)

  1. Completion of a course or sequence that provides an overview of the universe.
    Options include any one of the following:

    1. ASTR 100 (Introduction to Astronomy) (3 credits)
    2. ASTR 101 (General Astronomy) (4 credits)
    3. or equivalent transfer course(s)

  2. Completion of one course from among the following:
    1. ASTR 220 (Collisions in Space - The Threat of Asteroid Impact) (3 credits)
    2. ASTR 230 (The Science and Fiction of Planetary Systems) (3 credits)

Upper Level Requirements (9-10 credits)

Completion of three courses from among the following:

  1. ASTR 300 (Stars and Stellar Systems) (3 credits)
  2. ASTR 305 (Astronomy and the Media) (3 credits)
  3. ASTR 315 (Astronomy in Practice) (4 credits)
  4. ASTR 330 (Solar System Astronomy) (3 credits)
  5. ASTR 340 (Origin of the Universe) (3 credits)
  6. ASTR 350 (Black Holes) (3 credits)
  7. ASTR 380 (Life in the Universe) (3 credits)
  8. or an upper level astronomy course approved by the advisor.

No course with an earned grade below "C-" may count toward a minor. This minor is not open to astronomy, physics, or physical sciences majors. A student may use a maximum of six credits (two courses) to satisfy the requirements of both a major and minor. No more than six of the required credits (two courses) may be taken at an institution other than the University of Maryland, College Park. At least six upper division credits applied to the minor must be taken at this university.

Procedure for Earning the Astronomy Minor:

  • Email the Astronomy Undergraduate Advisors at astro-ug@umd.edu to ask any questions about the minor requirements and/or to request that the Astronomy minor be added to your record electronically. The minor should be added BEFORE YOUR FINAL 30 CREDITS ARE ATTEMPTED (i.e., before your senior year).
  • Complete all course work with a grade of C- or better.
  • Any revisions to your program must be approved by the Astronomy Minor Advisor. Requests for substitutions for minor requirements will normally not be accepted if the student is in their last two semesters.
  • Receive recognition on your transcript after graduation.