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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Astrophysics Minor

Astrophysics is an important and well-represented subdiscipline of physics. It includes the study of the solar system, galactic and extra-galactic astrophysics, as well as cosmology. A minor in this field combines a theoretical approach with observational analysis. There is also opportunity to do research in this field.

While the Department of Physics offers minors in both physics and astrophysics, it is not possible to receive minors in both fields. Physics majors may elect to receive only the astrophysics minor from the department.

General requirements

A minor requires a total of 17 credit hours, in which no grade below a C (2.0) may be used to meet the requirements for the minor. At least 6 credit hours taken for the minor must be completed at the downtown Denver campus. Requirements for the minor in astrophysics may be used to fulfill the requirements of the major in physics. However, a student majoring in physics who wants to minor in astrophysics needs to take 15 credit hours in astrophysics that do not overlap with the major.

Required Physics Courses (14 credit hours)

PHYS 1052. General Astronomy I, 4 credit hours

Either of these sequences:

  • PHYS 2010. College Physics I, 4 credit hours
  • PHYS 2020. College Physics II, 4 credit hours
  • PHYS 2030. College Physics Lab I, 1 credit hour
  • PHYS 2040. College Physics Lab II, 1 credit hour


  • PHYS 2311. General Physics I: Calculus-based, 4 credit hours
  • PHYS 2321. General Physics Lab I, 1 credit hour
  • PHYS 2331. General Physics II: Calculus-based, 4 credit hours
  • PHYS 2341. General Physics Lab II, 1 credit hour

Elective Physics Courses (3 credit hours)

Any approved elective in astrophysics from the following list:

  • GEOL 1302. Introduction to Astrogeology, 3 credit hours
  • PHYS 3040. Modern Cosmology, 3 credit hours
  • PHYS 3050. General Astronomy II, 3 credit hours
  • PHYS 3060. Astronomical Image Processing Lab, 3 credit hours
  • PHYS 3840. Independent Study*, 1-3 credit hours
  • PHYS 3939. Internship/Cooperative Education*, 1-3 credit hours
  • PHYS 4550 Astrophysics, 3 credit hours
  • PHYS 4840. Independent Study*, 1-3 credit hours
  • PHYS 4920. Advanced Undergraduate Seminar*, 1 credit hour
  • PHYS 4931. Internship in Applied Physics*, 2-4 credit hours
  • PHYS 4980. Advanced Physics Topics*, 3 credit hours

* Topics in these classes vary. See departmental advisor for approval.