Lower-Division Undergraduate Courses

ASTR 101: Principles of Astronomy (3 units)
Prerequisite: None
Description: Discover the universe: planets, stars, galaxies, and our place in the cosmos; the Big Bang; how stars shine; comets, meteors, nebulae, the Milky Way; black holes and other exotic objects. Not open to students with credit in Astronomy 201.

ASTR 109: Astronomy Laboratory (1 units)
Prerequisite: Credit or concurrent registration in Astr 101 or 201.
Description: Demonstration of astronomical principles through observations with astronomical instruments and analysis of astronomical data.

ASTR 201: Astronomy for Science Majors (3 units)
Prerequisite: Satisfaction of the entry-level mathematics requirement.
Description: Directed toward students with a strong interest in science and mathematics. Understanding the night sky, introduction to the solar system, star formation and evolution, extrasolar planets, nature of the Milky Way and other galaxies, origin and fate of the universe. Students with credit in Astronomy 101 and 201 will receive a total of three units of credit toward graduation.

Upper-Division Undergraduate Courses

ASTR 303: A Walk Through the Stellar Graveyard  (3 units) [GE]
Prerequisites: Completion of the General Education requirement in Foundations of Learning II. A. 1. Physical Sciences or II.A.4 Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning.
Description: Deaths of stars and their exotic corpses to include black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs.  User-friendly introduction to Einstein’s relativity theories, gravitational waves, and warped space-time.

ASTR 310: Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life  (3 units)
Prerequisites: Completion of the General Education requirement in Foundations of Learning II. A. 1. Physical Sciences or II.A.2 Life Sciences.
Description: The search for extraterrestrial life in our Solar System and other planetary systems; the formation of stars and planets; UFOs and SETI; origin and evolution of life on Earth; life in extreme environments; cosmology and the structure of the Universe.

ASTR 320: Solar System Astronomy  (3 units)
Prerequisites: Astr 201 and Phys 197, 197L.
Description: Study of the structures of the planets, their atmospheres and satellite systems, asteroids, comets, and meteoroids, and the interplanetary medium, including the Sun’s influence in the system.

ASTR 350: Astronomical Techniques  (3 units)
Prerequisites: Astr 201, Mathematics 342A, and Physics 197.
Description: Techniques and procedures for astronomical observing, with an emphasis on optical detectors, imaging, spectroscopy, and photometry.

ASTR 440: Astrophysics of Stars  (3 units)
Prerequisites: Credit or concurrent registration in Math 342A and Phys 354.
Description: Radiative transfer, theory of the structures of the atmospheres and interiors of stars, stellar pulsations, production of the stellar spectrum, evolution of stars.

ASTR 450: Astrophysics of Star Systems  (3 units)
Prerequisites: Credit or concurrent registration in Math 342A and Phys 354.
Description: Applications of physics in the study of binary stars, star clusters, the interstellar medium and galactic structure, galaxies, and cosmology.

ASTR 498A: Senior Project  (1 units)
Prerequisites: A student’s academic program must demonstrate that they are on track to graduate within one academic year.
Description: Consists of the selection and design of an individual research project with the advice of a faculty advisor.

ASTR 498B: Senior Project  (2 units)
Prerequisites: Astr 498A
Description: The execution of an individual research project. A final written report of this work is required.

ASTR 499: Special Study (1-3 units)
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.
Description: Individual study.  Maximum credit six units.

Upper-Division Undergraduate Courses Acceptable for Credit Towards Graduate Degree

ASTR 510: Exoplanets (3 units)
Prerequisites: ASTR 350 and ASTR 440, or PHYS 350 and PHYS 354 with a minimum grade of B-, and consent of instructor.
Description: Extrasolar planet detection; mass and radius determination; transits and eclipses; orbital dynamics and transit timing variations; internal and atmospheric characteristics; the exoplanet population and formation scenarios.  Credit for ASTR 596 applicable to a Master’s degree with approval of the Graduate Adviser.

ASTR 596: Advanced Topics in Astronomy (2-3 Units)
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.
Description: Selected topics in astronomy or astrophysics. May be repeated with new content upon approval of instructor. See Class Schedule for specific content. Credit for ASTR 596 applicable to a Master’s degree with approval of the Graduate Adviser.

Graduate Courses

ASTR 610: Binary Stars (3 units)
Prerequisites: ASTR 450
Description: Visual, spectroscopic, and eclipsing binary stars. Review of observational techniques. Methods of orbital analysis with applications emphasizing determination of fundamental stellar properties, such as mass, radius, temperature, and luminosity. Implications for stellar evolution.

ASTR 630: Stellar Atmospheres and Interiors (3 units)
Prerequisites: ASTR 440 and MATH 342A
Description: Gas thermodynamics and equations of state. Production of stellar continuum radiation and spectral lines. Theories of radiative and convective energy transport. Interior structure and evolution of stars.

ASTR 650: Galactic Structure and Evolution (3 units)
Prerequisites: ASTR 680
Description: Stellar and gaseous structures of the Milky Way and external galaxies.  Properties to include chemical evolution, color distributions, luminosity functions, mass-to-light ratios, scaling relations, and surface brightness profiles.  Dark matter halos, gravitational collapse models, and hierarchical structure formation.  Contents and physical state of interstellar and circumgalactic media.

ASTR 670: Foundations of Modern Cosmology (3 units)
Prerequisites: ASTR 680
Description: Big Bang nucleosynthesis, cosmic microwave background, early universe, expansion dynamics, extragalactic distance scale, large-scale structure, Newtonian and relativistic cosmology.  Observational constraints on cosmological parameters and equation of state.

ASTR 680: Astronomical Techniques (3 units)
Prerequisites: ASTR 350 and ASTR 450
Description: Basic methods of data acquisition and analysis.  Emphasis is given to direct CCD imaging, spectroscopy, and photometry.  Direct experience with telescopes and instruments at Mount Laguna Observatory, as well as with the department computing and image processing facility.

ASTR 797: Research (1-3 units, Cr/NC/RP grade)
Prerequisites: Classified graduate standing.
Description: Research in one of the fields of astronomy. Maximum credit six units applicable to a master’s degree.

ASTR 798: Special Study (1-3 units, Cr/NC/RP grade)
Prerequisites: Consent of staff; to be arranged with department chair and instructor.
Description: Individual study. Maximum credit six units applicable to a master’s degree.

ASTR 799A: Thesis (3 units, Cr/NC/RP grade)
Prerequisites: An officially appointed thesis committee and advancement to candidacy
Description: Preparation of a project or thesis for the master’s degree.

ASTR 799B: Thesis (0 units, Cr/NC grade)
Prerequisites: Prior registration in Thesis 799A with an assigned grade symbol of RP
Description: Registration required in any semester or term following assignment of RP in Course 799A in which the student expects to use the facilities and resources of the University; also student must be registered in the course when the completed thesis is granted final approval.