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A graduate student in our program earns a PhD in Physics, but through a Planetary Science Track. An undergraduate student earns a BS in Physics, but through an Astronomy Specialization. Details about our PhD program and our Astronomy Specialization are on separate pages. You can also look at pages on the Physics Department's webpage about graduate and undergraduate degrees. This page describes astronomy- and planetary science-relevant coursework.
AST 5154 Advanced Planetary Geophysics
This course covers the physics of planetary evolution, of planetary interiors, and of planetary surface processes. Offered approximately every even fall. Taught by Prof. Britt.
This course covers the basics of atmospheric physics and chemistry, and applies it to planets (including Earth) and satellites in our solar system as well as those orbiting other stars. Offered approximately every even spring. Taught by Prof. Harrington.
This course covers experimental designs and experimental techniques in astrophysics, spherical astronomy, the physics of telescopes and of common astronomical detectors, and error analysis. Offered approximately every even spring. Taught by Prof. Fernandez.
AST 5334 Extrasolar Planets and Brown Dwarfs
This course covers the physics of substellar-mass objects, their formation, evolution, dynamics, detection, and environments. Offered approximately every odd spring. Taught occasionally.
This course covers concepts on advanced astronomical data formation and acquisition, detector physics, measurement extraction, error analysis, modeling, computer programming, statistics, interpretation, and written and oral presentation of results. Offered approximately every fall. Taught by Prof. Harrington.
AST 6112 Origin and Evolution of Planetary Systems
This course covers the observations and properties of extrasolar planets and circumstellar disks through physics of disk evolution and planet formation. It also covers the dynamical evolution of planetary systems. Offered approximately every odd spring. Taught by Prof. Colwell.
AST 5XXX Asteroids Comets Meteors
This course covers the physical, compositional, and structural properties of solar system small bodies, and their interrelationships. Offered approximately odd spring. Permanent course number forthcoming. Taught by Prof. Campins.
AST 6XXX Astrobiology
This course covers the physics, chemistry, and biology of life on Earth as they relate to astrophysical concepts. Offered approximately every even spring. Permanent course number forthcoming. Taught occasionally.
AST 2002 Astronomy
General education, covers all of astronomy and planetary sciences at the introductory level. Taught by many faculty.
This course covers important concepts regarding the actual planning of telescopic experiments in astronomy. Students gain a more detailed and more elaborate understanding of how our rotating platform of Earth constrains what we can see in the Universe at any given time. Students also learn the physics behind telescopes, detectors, and other astronomical equipment. Taught by Prof. Fernández.
This course covers astronomical data formation and
acquisition, detector physics, measurement extraction, error analysis,
modeling, computer programming, statistics, interpretation, and written
and oral presentation of results. Offered approximately every fall. It meets with AST 5765 but has a project and homework appropriate for the undergraduate level. Taught by Prof. Harrington.
An introduction to the history, physics, and dynamics of the Earth's climate. There are no prerequisites for this course. Offered approximately every Spring. Taught by Prof. Britt.