Undergraduate Program

The UMass Astronomy Department offers students a wide variety of courses, innovative learning styles, and research experiences and facilities.

What are the possibilities with an Astronomy degree?

Continue to an Advanced Degree. Our department offers an extensive program in astrophysics to prepare students who want to become professional astronomers. This includes a thorough background in physics, and advanced courses in astronomical observations and astrophysical theory.

Careers in the Space Sciences. Many astronomy majors go directly into positions at NASA research centers and industry. We offer a flexible program tailored to your specific interests and goals, highlighted by a strong technical preparation in research, computing, and laboratory skills.

Science Teaching and other Careers. Astronomy incorporates elements of all the sciences, providing an excellent basis for science education, science writing, and work at museums and planetariums. The skills of scientific deduction developed in astronomy even make it an interesting alternative to prepare for medical or law school.

Astronomy Majors Handbook

Astronomy Majors Handbook is definitive information about the requirements and options for students pursuing a bachelor's degree in astronomy. Also includes information about honors degrees and the astronomy minor.

Major and Minor requirements

Astronomy department offers three different sub-plans for astronomy majors and one astronomy minor program. Detailed descriptions of each sub-plan and their requirements are found in the documents linked below. The requirements for our B.S. & B.A. degrees have recently changed. Therefore, students starting before Fall 2023 have requirements that are different from students that are starting after Fall 2023. 

BS in Astrophysics (students starting before Fall 2023).                    BS in Astrophysics (students starting Fall 2023 and later)

This track is recommended for students who want to eventually pursue a Ph.D. degree in astrophysics in a related field.

BS in Space Science (students starting before Fall 2023)                  BS in Space Science (students starting Fall 2023 and later)

Recommended for students pursuing an astronomy-related professional career after graduation. Majors in this track must develop a plan to complete course requirements with their advisor.

BA in Astronomy (students starting before Fall 2023)                        BA in Astronomy (students starting Fall 2023 and later)

This track is designed for students seeking careers in science-related fields such as teaching, museum work, science writing, and pre-med. Majors in this track must develop a plan to complete course requirements with their advisor. 

Minor in Astronomy: The course requirements for Astronomy Minor include ASTRON 228 and four additional courses at the 200+ level.

For futher information, contact:

Professor Ron Snell