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What is Astrophysics?

Astrophysicists study the way the solar system and the earth were formed and the functions of the planets and other celestial bodies. Students use math and physics skills to research and determine the way the universe works and the life cycles of stars and planets. OU's Department of Physics and Astronomy gives students a strong mixture of astronomy and physics courses and a rich background for a variety of jobs with such large corporations as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon.

Students in the astrophysics program have the opportunity to participate in research and hands-on experiences within the program. In their final course, students work in groups to improve their public speaking skills and scientific reasoning. Students also work one-on-one with professors to prepare them for their future careers.

Metal heliocentric system

So, what's my degree?

An astrophysics student graduates with a Bachelor of Science in astrophysics degree. Students can then choose to continue their education and pursue a Master of Science or a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

Many astrophysics students continue their education by pursuing graduate-level studies.

Do my interests fit?

Astrophysics students typically have interests in:

  • Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Astronomy
  • Problem solving
  • Stars, galaxies, planets, black holes, telescopes, cosmology 

High school preparation should include math and science courses, especially physics.

What courses will I take?

Astrophysics courses include:

  • Introductory Astrophysics 
  • Stars
  • Galaxies and Cosmology
  • Stellar Astrophysics 
  • Introductory Physics
  • Physical Mechanics
  • Electricity & Magnetism
  • Intro to Quantum Mechanics
  • Statistical Physics & Thermodynamics

How can I study abroad?

OU has numerous study abroad opportunities for students of all majors. Whether you want to take electives, lower-division courses, or major requirements, be sure to check out what education abroad opportunities are available to you through the College of International Studies

What kind of career could I pursue?

  • Aerospace industry
  • Engineering firms
  • Government agencies
  • Laboratories
  • Private corporations
  • Universities
  • Research

How much will I make?

Visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website to explore the median pay for jobs you can pursue with this degree. 

Contact Us

Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences The University of Oklahoma

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Phone: (405) 325-3961