Sep 22, 2023  
Rensselaer Catalog 2023-2024 
Rensselaer Catalog 2023-2024

Astronomy M.S.

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Completion of the M.S. in astronomy requires 30 credits of graduate work beyond the bachelor’s degree, including a minimum of 21 credits in course work. At least 15 credits must be at the 6000 level or above. The cumulative GPA for all courses applied towards a master’s degree must be 3.0 or higher.

Course work should meet the needs of the individual student, but must include:

  1.  One course from: PHYS 6410  (Electrodynamics), PHYS 6510  (Quantum Mechanics), PHYS 6520  (Quantum Mechanics II), PHYS 6590  (Statistical Physics).
  2. Eight credits from: ASTR 4120  (Observational Astronomy), ASTR 4220  (Astrophysics), ASTR 4240  (Gravitation and Cosmology), ASTR 4510  / ERTH 4510 (Origins of Life: A Cosmic Perspective), ASTR 6940  (Readings in Astronomy and Astrophysics), ASTR 6960  (Special Topics in Astronomy and Astrophysics).
  3. A 6- to 9-credit formally presented thesis, or a multiple-semester project in astronomy or astrophysics (ASTR 6970  - Professional Project).

Outcomes of the Graduate Curriculum

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • demonstrate mastery of graduate-level courses covering a relevant selection of core fields of Physics, including Quantum Mechanics, Electrodynamics, or Statistical Physics.
  • demonstrate mastery of modern topics in astronomy or astrophysics through coursework.

  • demonstrate knowledge and research skills in astronomy or astrophysics through completion of a project or thesis.

  • clearly communicate their ideas and results to general and specialized audiences, both orally and in writing.


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