Astronomy Minor

Everything around you is influenced or governed by physics — the study of matter, energy, and their interactions with one another. Physics seeks to understand the way the universe “works,” from the smallest neutrinos to the structure of the cosmos. It is the foundation of all other natural sciences, including chemistry, biology, oceanography, geography, and radiography.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers eight degree tracks:

  • B.A. Physics
    • Physics
    • Astronomy
    • Computational Physics
    • Energy
    • Medical and Biological Physics
    • Quantitative Finance
  • B.S. Physics
    • Physics 
    • Astrophysics

Consider a B.A. degree if you’re interested in physics but want to apply your training toward a wider variety of career paths after graduation. Students who completed this program have launched careers as lab researchers, application engineers, data scientists, and financial analysts, among other occupations. Some have also pursued an advanced degree in physics, medical physics, business, law, or computer science.

Consider a B.S. degree if you intend to pursue graduate study in physics, astronomy, or a related field, or a career practicing physics.

Requirements 

In addition to the program requirements listed below, students must:

  • take at least nine hours of their minor "core" requirements at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 in the minor core requirements. Some programs may require higher standards for minor or specific courses.

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

The minor in astronomy consists of five courses:

Core Requirements
ASTR 100IDEAs in Action General Education logo Understanding the Universe3
or ASTR 101 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Astronomy: The Solar System
or ASTR 102 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies & Cosmology
or ASTR 103 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Alien Life in the Universe
ASTR 100LIDEAs in Action General Education logo Astronomy with Skynet: Our Place in Space1
or ASTR 111 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Educational Research in Radio Astronomy
ASTR 202Introduction to Astrophysics 13
PHYS 118IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity 2, F4
PHYS 119IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Electromagnetism and Quanta 3, F4
Total Hours15
F

FY-Launch class sections may be available. A FY-Launch section fulfills the same requirements as a standard section of that course, but also fulfills the FY-SEMINAR/FY-LAUNCH First-Year Foundations requirement. Students can search for FY-Launch sections in ConnectCarolina using the FY-LAUNCH attribute.

1

Fall course.

2

Prerequisite, MATH 231; pre- or corequisite, MATH 232; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisites.

3

Prerequisites, MATH 232 and PHYS 118; pre- or corequisite, MATH 233; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisites.

See program page here for special opportunities.

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Visit Program Website

Phillips Hall, CB# 3255

(919) 962-2078

Chair

Frank Tsui

ftsui@physics.unc.edu

Academic Affairs Coordinator

Jacob Hurst

hurstj@unc.edu

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Tamara Branca

rtbranca@unc.edu

Physics Advisor (Students with Last Names Beginning with A–G)

Lu-Chang Qin

lcqin@email.unc.edu

Physics Advisor (Students with Last Names Beginning with H–L, and Astrophysics and Astronomy Majors and Minors with Last Names Beginning with A-G)

Adrienne Erickcek

erickcek@physics.unc.edu

Physics Advisor (Students with Last Names Beginning with M-N)

Jennifer Weinberg-Wolf

jweinber@physics.unc.edu

Physics Advisor (Students with Last Names Beginning with O-R, and Astrophysics and Astronomy Majors and Minors with Last Names Beginning with H-Z)

Dan Reichart

reichart@physics.unc.edu

Physics Advisor (Students with Last Names Beginning with S–Z, and Quantitative Finance Majors)

Stefan Jeglinski

jeglin@physics.unc.edu