Physics and Astronomy

Astrophysics BS

Learning Outcomes

The Astrophysics major has the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrated mastery of fundamental principles and applications of classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, and thermodynamics
  • Demonstrated mastery of necessary mathematical skills in differential equations, analysis, and linear algebra
  • Understanding of astronomy and astrophysics including planets, stars, galaxies, cosmology, and the underlying physical processes that govern these systems
  • Demonstrated proficiency in basic laboratory skills, including understanding and use of modern instrumentation and computers
  • Development of critical scientific thinking
  • Ability to retrieve and organize scientific information
  • Ability to apply scientific methodology to qualitative and quantitative analysis of physical phenomena
  • Ability to present clear written and oral accounts of scientific results

Preparation for the Major

Required: Astronomy 81, 82; Physics 1A or 1AH, 1B or 1BH, 1C or 1CH, 4AL, 4BL, 17, 18L; Mathematics 31A, 31B, 32A, 32B, 33A, 33B; Program in Computing 10A or demonstrated ability to program. Systematic study of astrophysics should begin with Astronomy 81 and 82, taken in the second year. Recommended: Chemistry and Biochemistry 20A.

Transfer Students

Transfer applicants to the Astrophysics major with 90 or more units must complete as many of the following introductory courses as possible prior to admission to UCLA: two astrophysics courses, two years of calculus, one and one half years of calculus-based physics with laboratory for majors, and one programming course.

Refer to the UCLA transfer admission guide for up-to-date information regarding transfer selection for admission.

The Major

Required: Astronomy 115, 117, 127, 140, 180; Physics 105A, 105B, 110A, 110B, 115A, 115B, 115C, 131. Recommended: Physics 108, M122, 124, 132, 140A, 140B.

Honors Program

Senior majors in Astrophysics with a 3.5 grade-point average in all astronomy, mathematics, and physics courses are eligible for the honors program in astrophysics. In addition to completing all courses required for the major, students must complete two terms of Astronomy 199. To receive honors and highest honors at graduation, the grade-point average must remain at 3.5 and 3.75 or better, respectively, and work in course 199 must reflect original research and be accepted by the departmental honors committee.