Astronomy, the oldest of the sciences, for the last several decades has been one of the most exciting fields of modern scientific research. New discoveries concerning the solar system, stars, galaxies, and the origin of the universe continue to be made by both ground and space telescopes. To understand and pursue modern astronomy, one must have a solid background in physics and mathematics as well as in astronomy.
The astronomy–physics major, administered by the Department of Astronomy, provides undergraduates the opportunity to appreciate our current understanding of the astronomical universe, while developing the necessary physics and math background. Students who intend to continue astronomy in a graduate program are strongly encouraged to do a Senior Thesis (ASTRON 681 Senior Honors Thesis/ASTRON 682 Senior Honors Thesis (honors) or ASTRON 691 Senior Thesis/ASTRON 692 Senior Thesis). The experiences of actual research and of writing a major paper develop both technical and writing skills.