Astronomy and Physics
Offered by the Physics and Astronomy department.

Major in Astronomy and Physics

Astronomy major worksheet

This interdisciplinary major, requiring at least 10 courses, provides an opportunity for students to pursue their interest in astronomy at a deeper level than is possible through the minor in astronomy by taking courses in physics that provide additional perspective on the fundamental principles underlying astronomical research. This major is not recommended for students planning to do graduate work in astronomy; such students should major in physics.

Required courses

AST 130 The Universe
AST 140 The Solar System
AST 202 Frontiers of Astronomy
AST 305 Observational Astronomy
PHYS 225 Modern Physics
PHYS 350 Experimental Physics

Two of the following courses:
AST 250 Ancient Astronomies
AST 272 Introduction to Astrophysics
AST 302 Advanced Astrophysics
AST 303 Astrobiology

One of the following courses:
PHYS 170 Introductory Physics I
PHYS 171 Introductory Physics II
PHYS 180 Enhanced Introductory Physics I
PHYS 181 Introductory Physics II (Enhanced)

One additional 300-level PHYS or AST course.

Physics and Engineering: Dual Degree

Students who are interested in using physics as a base to pursue an engineering career should consider participating in a Wheaton dual-degree program in engineering. This program allows students completing three years at Wheaton and two or more additional years at another institution to earn a bachelor of arts degree from Wheaton and a bachelor’s degree in Engineering.

Departmental honors

Departmental honors will be awarded to students who successfully complete the Senior Honors Thesis and have an average of B+ or better in the major and an average of B or better overall.

Timothy Barker

Professor of Astronomy

Geoffrey Collins

Professor of Geology

Dipankar Maitra

Associate Professor of Physics/Astronomy