Astronomy and Astrophysics

This is a program focused on astronomical and astrophysical study and research. The course requirements are matched to excel in these disciplines. Students with a B.S. in Physics, Mathematics, Engineering or other Physical Sciences are encouraged to apply to the program. The goal of the concentration in Astronomy and Astrophysics (A&A) is to provide students with a broad interdisciplinary education in the astronomical sciences that emphasizes modern computational and data analysis skills. The program accepts students for both the M.S. and the Ph.D. studies. 
 
Master of Science in Physics with Concentration in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Requirements for the M.S.
The curriculum includes traditional astronomical courses; computational and data analysis courses; a research and writing course to develop skills related to astronomical research and communication. The students are required to exhibit mastery of key concepts and demonstrate a clear understanding of astrophysical concepts. 
  1. Three quarters of residency
  2. Courses as listed below:
Core five courses of the concentration:
Quantum Mechanics
Electromagnetic Theory
Radiative Processes in Astrophysics
Astrophysics Fundamentals
Physics and Astronomy Communication Skills
Select six courses from the following list of 17 electives with at least two courses from PHYSICS 240A to PHYSICS 241E:
Classical Mechanics
Statistical Physics
Quantum Mechanics
Machine Learning and Statistics
Elementary Particle Physics
Advanced Elementary Particle Physics
PHYSICS 235A
Quantum Field Theory
PHYSICS 235B
Advanced Quantum Field Theory
PHYSICS 239A
Introduction to Plasma Physics
PHYSICS 240A
Galactic Astrophysics
PHYSICS 240B
Cosmology
PHYSICS 241A
Planetary Systems
PHYSICS 241B
Stellar Astrophysics
PHYSICS 241C
Extragalactic Astrophysics
PHYSICS 241D
Early Universe
PHYSICS 241E
Astrophysics of the Interstellar Medium
PHYSICS 255
General Relativity
And
  1. Select Option A or Option B below:
Option A. Research project and written thesis (three quarters)
Experimental Research
Theoretical Research
Option B. Comprehensive examination in the astronomy and astrophysics concentration
 
Students interested in astro-particle physics, theoretical cosmology, and early universe physics are advised to take P215B Quantum Mechanics as the first elective during the Winter quarter of first year of study. More advanced electives can be chosen in consultation with the Program Director and/or research advisor.
 
Students interested in observational astronomy and experimental cosmology are advised to take the astronomy series beginning with either P240A or P241C. More advanced electives can be chosen in consultation with the Program Director and/or research advisor.
 
Doctor of Philosophy in Physics with Concentration in Astronomy and Astrophysics
The principal requirements for the Ph.D. are a minimum of six quarters of residence, passage of a written and an oral examination, and successful completion and defense of a dissertation reporting results of original research. In addition, the Ph.D. candidate must complete certain graduate course requirements. There is no foreign language requirement.
 
Students who do not have a prior Master’s degree (or other equivalent degree) in Physics or Astronomy from UCI or another institution must take a minimum of 11 quarter courses. The required courses include five core courses and six electives as follows:
  1. Three quarters of residency
  2. Courses as listed below:
Core five courses of the concentration:
PHYSICS 215A
Quantum Mechanics
PHYSICS 213A
Electromagnetic Theory
PHYSICS 240C
Radiative Processes in Astrophysics
PHYSICS 242
Astrophysics Fundamentals
PHYSICS 250
Physics and Astronomy Communication Skills
Select six courses from the following list of 17 electives with at least two courses from PHYSICS 240A to PHYSICS 241E:
PHYSICS 211
Classical Mechanics
PHYSICS 214A
Statistical Physics
PHYSICS 215B
Quantum Mechanics
PHYSICS 223
Machine Learning and Statistics
PHYSICS 234A
Elementary Particle Physics
PHYSICS 234B
Advanced Elementary Particle Physics
PHYSICS 235A
Quantum Field Theory
PHYSICS 235B
Advanced Quantum Field Theory
PHYSICS 239A
Introduction to Plasma Physics
PHYSICS 240A
Galactic Astrophysics
PHYSICS 240B
Cosmology
PHYSICS 241A
Planetary Systems
PHYSICS 241B
Stellar Astrophysics
PHYSICS 241C
Extragalactic Astrophysics
PHYSICS 241D
Early Universe
PHYSICS 241E
Astrophysics of the Interstellar Medium
PHYSICS 255
General Relativity
 
All courses must be passed with a grade B or better.
 
Students interested in astroparticle physics, theoretical cosmology, and early universe physics are advised to take P215B Quantum Mechanics as the first elective during the Winter quarter of first year of study. More advanced electives can be chosen with consultation with the Program Director and research advisor.
 
Students interested in observational astronomy and experimental cosmology are advised to take the astronomy series beginning with either P240A or P241C. More advanced electives can be chosen with consultation with the Program Director and research advisor.
Progress toward the Ph.D. is assessed by a comprehensive examination usually take  during the second year of studies. The comprehensive examination covers broad knowledge in astronomy and astrophysics, based on a written project of a topic in astronomy and astrophysics chosen by the Program Director in consultation with the Departmental Committee on Astrophysics Qualifying Exam, and an oral examination of the written document by a committee.
 
Participants in the Ph.D. program also take an examination for formal advancement to candidacy. It is typically taken within one year of successful completion of the comprehensive examination. To satisfy normative progress toward the degree, it must be taken by the end of the student’s third year. The examination is an oral report on research accomplished and plans for completion of the Ph.D. dissertation.

 

 

 

10.21.19