Astronomy Major


Total credit requirements for an Astronomy major: A student who enters Whitman College with no prior experience in Astronomy will need to complete 35 credits in Astronomy, 8 credits in Physics, and 10 credits in Mathematics and Statistics.

  • Required Astronomy Courses
    • Astronomy 177, 178, 179, 310, 320, and 330
    • At least seven credits from Astronomy courses numbered 200-392; one course from a related area may be approved by the department to count toward this requirement.
    • At least four credits in Astronomy 490 and/or 498
  • Required Supporting Science Courses
    • Physics 145 or 155
    • Physics 156, 245, and 255
    • Mathematics 124 or 125
    • Mathematics 126 and 225
  • Senior Requirements
    • Astronomy 490 and/or 498
      • Students must submit a proposal and be approved for Astronomy 490 in the spring of their junior year.
    • Comprehensive written exam
    • One-hour oral exam
  • Honors
    • Students submit an “Honors in Major Study Application” to their department.
    • Students must submit a proposal for their thesis or project within the first six weeks of the two-semester period in which they are eligible.
    • Accumulated at least 87 credits
    • Completed two semesters of residency at Whitman
    • Major GPA of at least 3.500
    • Complete a written thesis or research project prepared exclusively for the satisfaction of this program.
    • Earn a grade of at least A- on the honors thesis or project and the honors thesis course.
    • Pass the senior assessment with distinction.
    • The department will submit the honors applications to the Registrar’s Office of students pursuing honors by the specified deadline.
    • The department will submit the “Senior Assessment/Major Study Certificate” to the Registrar’s Office no later than Reading Day.
    • An acceptable digital copy of the honors thesis must be submitted to Penrose Library no later than Reading Day.
  • Notes
    • Courses in Geology and Computer Science are strongly recommended.
    • No courses may be taken P-D-F after the major is declared.
Total Credits