Majors and Minors in Astronomy

We offer a BS in Astronomy as well as a minor.  Astronomy is the oldest science. Since astronomy studies how the universe works, it is a sub-specialty of physics.  So in addition to astronomy, majors take upper-level courses in physics and mathematics. For the astronomy major we offer courses in general astronomy and astrophysics, the solar system, and observational techniques. Our students gain practical teaching experience as laboratory assistants and tutors. Our diverse faculty specializes in solar system astronomy, interstellar medium, stellar evolution, active galaxies, and cosmology.

CHECKLIST for Astronomy Majors


 

What can you do with a degree in Astronomy?

Graduates of the astronomy program at Valdosta State University have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in astronomy, physics, and atmospheric physics. Others have embarked on rewarding careers in aerospace and related industry or have become planetarium directors or research assistants at national observatories. Others have specialized in science teaching for high school and middle school. Careers open to people with a Bachelor of Science degree in astronomy include:

  • science or technical writer
  • data analyst (for NSA, CIA, NASA)
  • observatory scheduler
  • telescope operator at national observatories
  • data quality specialist for large space-based-observatory ground facilities
  • aerospace engineers
  • Naval or Air Force Officer
  • planetarium program director
  • NASA employee


 

VSU's Astronomy Facilities



 

Courses We Offer in Astronomy

Core Courses:

ASTR 1000 - Introduction to the Universe - a survey course of general astronomy, including celestial motion, the solar system, stars, galaxies, origin and fate of the Universe.

ASTR 1010K and 1020K - Astronomy of the Solar System (1010) and Stars and Galaxies (1020) - introductory courses with a lab about the basic physics of astronomical topics, such as: celestial motion, light, gravity, and the solar system (in I) and stars, stellar evolution.

ASTR 2010 - Tools of Astronomy



Courses for the Major:

ASTR 1000 - Introduction to the Universe - a survey course of general astronomy, including celestial motion, the solar system, stars, galaxies, origin and fate of the Universe.

ASTR 1010K and 1020K - Astronomy of the Solar System (1010) and Stars and Galaxies (1020) - introductory courses with a lab about the basic physics of astronomical topics, such as: celestial motion, light, gravity, and the solar system (in I) and stars, stellar evolution.

ASTR 2010 - Tools of Astronomy

ASTR 3800 - Astrobiology is the study of the origin of life on Earth and techniques to find life elsewhere in the Universe. This is the only upper-level course that does not require calculus-based physics.  (see catalog)

ASTR 4101 - Observational Techniques - a laboratory course in which you study many aspects of instrumental and observational astronomy, including optics, spectroscopy, photography, photometry, electronics, CCDs, as well as modeling and analysis of data.

ASTR 4410 - Astrophysics - In modern times, there is no difference between astronomy and astrophysics. Old time astronomy dealt mostly with astrometry and planetary motion. Modern astronomy,as a subspecialty of physics, is much broader. In this course you will be introduced to radiative transfer, stellar interiors and atmospheres, stellar evolution, gaseous nebulae and cosmology. 

ASTR - Physics of the Solar System

ASTR - Planetary Geology

ASTR 4800 "Internship in Astronomy" (see catalog)

ASTR 4900 "Special Topics in Astronomy" (see catalog) 

ASTR 4950 "Directed Study in Astronomy" (see catalog)