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Astronomy Minor 


University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has launched an astronomy minor, becoming just the second comprehensive UW institution to offer such a program. The program includes in its core courses a new Observational Astronomy class that takes advantage of the newly upgraded and recently renamed Arthur J. Pejsa Observatory.

According to Brad Hinaus, chair of the UW-Stevens Point Department of Physics and Astronomy, “The astronomy minor provides students the opportunity to explore some of the most exciting topics in modern-age science, from the feasibility of colonizing Mars to the discovery of habitable planets orbiting other stars, from the exotic black holes lurking at the cores of large galaxies to the elusive neutrinos and gravitational waves that expand our view into the universe. Students minoring in astronomy gain exposure to the principles of astronomy, physics and mathematics. They learn to think critically and evaluate, interpret and solve problems related to the astronomical, as well as other technical and general scientific topics.”

The minor in astronomy will help prepare UW-Stevens Point students for entry into the competitive science, technology, engineering and mathematics workplace. The minor complements any science major, which can give students an advantage securing employment in education, industry, science museums and observatories, among other potential employers.

In addition to the Pejsa Observatory, students will also use the Allen F. Blocher Planetarium, which is used as an immersive instructional tool for most astronomy courses required to complete the minor.

For more information on the astronomy minor, contact Adriana Durbala at Adriana.Durbala@uwsp.edu or 715-346-3298, or contact Brad Hinaus at Brad.Hinaus@uwsp.edu or 715-346-4872.


The astronomy minor consists of a minimum of 24 credits as follows:

PHYS 203  - College Physics I (5 cr.)  or  PHYS 240 - University Physics I (5 cr.)

PHYS 204  - College Physics II (5 cr.)  or  PHYS 250 - University Physics II (5 cr.)

ASTR 205 - The Solar System (4 cr.)

ASTR 206 - Stars and Stellar Systems (4 cr.)

ASTR 306 - Observational Astronomy (3 cr.)

ASTR 305 - The History of Astronomy (3 cr.)  or  PHYS 384 - Astrophysics (3 cr.)

When you decide to minor in astronomy, register in the department office to be assured of proper advising. To be accepted as a minor you must have a minimum grade point average of 2.00, regardless of a declaration of academic bankruptcy. The department may grant exceptions. No more than one grade below C- in physics and astronomy courses numbered 300 or above may be applied to the minor.

To visit the UW-Stevens Point course catalog, click here.

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