Introductory Astronomy

When you gaze at the night sky are you filled with questions about how it all works? Ever wondered what a black hole is? Are there other planets in the universe like Earth? Answers to questions like these and more will be explored if you pick up a minor in astronomy.

The introductory astronomy minor will provide you with a strong background in astronomy necessary for science teachers, planetarium directors or jobs in science museums. A general review of modern astronomy will be followed by an observational astronomy course and opportunities for more detailed studies and projects.

We offer a number of astronomy courses to non-science majors. Introduction to Astronomy: A Study of the Solar System and Beyond (ASTR 100) and The Sun and Stars (ASTR 120) are Tier 1 courses in the Natural Science domain of the University Core Curriculum (UCC). Either of these courses is a suitable entry-level course for non-science majors. The Solar System (ASTR 124 is a Tier 2 course in the Natural Science domain for UCC and carries a “technology” WISER+ designation. It has no pre-requisites. Stellar Evolution, Galaxies and Cosmology (ASTR 122) and Observational Astronomy (ASTR 302) are astronomy electives which require ASTR 120 as a pre-requisite.

If you are interested in a career in astronomy or astrophysics, you should complete a bachelor's degree in physics. Our physics major with the applied physics option provides the technical background needed for the master's or doctoral programs in astronomy or astrophysics.

Courses designed for pre-service teachers are offered during the academic year.

  • ASTR 100 – Introductory Astronomy: A Study of the Solar System and Beyond (3 credit hours – UCC Tier 1)
  • ASTR 120 – The Sun and Stars (3 credit hours – UCC Tier 1)
  • ASTR 122 – Stellar Evolution, Galaxies and Cosmology (3 credit hours)
  • ASTR 124 – The Solar System (3 credit hours – UCC Tier 2 [technology])

To review complete course information, see the undergraduate catalog.

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Ball State University
Cooper Physical Science Building, room 101
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday (Summer Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Phone: 765-285-8860
Fax: 765-285-5674
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