This information is part of the Colgate University catalog, 2020–21.
The astrogeophysics major is a multidisciplinary program for students interested in the study of the solar system and planetary matter. Drawing on astronomical observations, physical models, chemical constraints, and geological interpretations, students consider the Earth in its planetary context, the processes that have shaped Earth and other planets through time, and our place in the Universe. Students learn to appreciate or participate in the ongoing discovery of planets throughout the galaxy, and to reflect critically on their similarities with and differences from our own world. Astrogeophysics majors develop intellectual tools from across the physical sciences to reason qualitatively and quantitatively about global issues, such as the accelerating pace of global change and planetary habitability. Interested students should consult the program director as early as possible to plan an appropriate sequence of courses, since many of the required courses have prerequisites.
The requirements for the major are as follows:
One introductory course with a grade of C– or higher, from the following list:
- ASTR 101 - Solar System Astronomy
- ASTR 102 - Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe
- CHEM 101 - General Chemistry I and CHEM 101L
- CHEM 102 - General Chemistry II and CHEM 102L
- CHEM 111 - Chemical Principles and CHEM 111L
- GEOL 101 - Environmental Geology and GEOL 101L
- GEOL 105 - Megageology
- GEOL 115 - Evolution: Dinosaurs to Darwin
- GEOL 120 - The Geology of America's Parks (Extended Study)
- GEOL 135 - Oceanography and the Environment
- GEOL 190 - Evolution of Planet Earth and GEOL 190L
- PHYS 131 - Atoms and Waves and PHYS 131L
Two courses from the following:
- GEOL 201 - Mineralogy and Geochemistry and GEOL 201L
- GEOL 215 - Paleontology of Marine Life and GEOL 215L
- GEOL 225 - Sedimentology and Surficial Processes and GEOL 225L
- GEOL 235 - Tectonics and Earth Structure and GEOL 235L
All of the Following
All of the following:
- MATH 161 - Calculus I
- MATH 163 - Calculus III
- PHYS 232 - Introduction to Mechanics and PHYS 232L
PHYS 233 - Introduction to Electricity and Magnetism
and PHYS 233L
MATH 162 - Calculus II
- PHYS 205 - Mathematical Methods of Physics
One of the following courses:
- One additional advanced astronomy course (300 or higher)
- Three additional advanced courses chosen from the following:
- physics or astronomy (300 or higher)
- at least one course from geology (250 or higher)
- chemistry (300 or higher)
Students should select these courses in consultation with the academic adviser and/or the astrogeophysics program director. These courses are to provide depth and rigor to the student's academic program, but students are given freedom to tailor their astrogeophysics program to match particular interests.
Honors and High Honors
To qualify for graduation with honors, a student must (a) complete one additional advanced course in astronomy, geology, or physics beyond the basic requirements; (b) earn a minimum GPA of 3.50 in advanced courses required for the major; and (c) complete and successfully defend an honors thesis. Normally the thesis is based on the candidate's senior research. High honors are awarded at the joint discretion of the Department of Geology and the Department of Physics and Astronomy on the basis of GPA and, in particular, for outstanding achievement in senior research.
Physics and Astronomy department
For more information about the department, including Faculty, transfer credit, awards, etc., please visit the Physics and Astronomy department catalogue page.