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Graduate Minors

The Astronomy Minor

Formally, all PhD students in our program select both a major and a minor subject. For most, both are astronomy. However, it is possible for the minor to be in one of the other science or engineering disciplines. The course requirement is set by the minor department, but usually at least three of the required elective courses are graduate courses in the minor department. At least one representative from the minor department should participate on the preliminary and final oral (thesis defense) exams.

The astronomy department allows graduate students whose PhD major is in another department to minor in astronomy. We require that they pass nine units of coursework that the department considers acceptable for this purpose, preferably "core" courses, and that one astronomy faculty member participate in the preliminary and final oral exams.

See the Graduate Catalogue and the "Handbook for Completing the Steps to Your Degree" for more information. These publications also contain requirements involving the dissertation, as does also the Manual for Theses and Dissertations.


The Astrobiology Minor

The Department of Astronomy and the Department of Planetary Sciences jointly offer a graduate minor in Astrobiology. This minor is recommended for astronomy or other students with strong interests in astrobiology, exoplanets, planet formation, or planetary sciences. The minor allows students to develop a strong core of understanding in astrobiology, enhancing their specific research in astronomy, biosciences, earth sciences, etc. The minor requires nine credits from among the following courses: Astrochemistry 588A (3 credits), Planetary Astrobiology (3 credits), Key Concepts in Biology (MCB315, 3 credits), and Geoastronomy (3 credits).