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College of Arts & Sciences

The Astronomy Department offers a full curriculum that covers planetary astronomy, stellar structure and evolution, interstellar matter, Milky Way structure, galaxies and cosmology, all of which build on associated coursework in physics and mathematics. The BS in Astronomy also emphasizes skill building in computational techniques (including data science), writing, public speaking for both science and public outreach and astronomical observations with our 30-inch telescope in central Washington. The department encourages close working relationships between faculty and students and fosters undergraduate engagement in scientific research for motivated students. Students may tailor their upper-level coursework and research to suit a range of career goals, both in industry and academia. Recent graduates work in fields such as data science, telescope operational support and science education; some are pursuing graduate degrees.

Major category: Capacity-constrained

Topic(s): Natural and environmental sciences

Degree requirements

Applicant type

Applicant type

Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).

Astronomy is a capacity-constrained major. An additional application is required after you enroll at the UW, and admission may be competitive. Visit the department website for more information.

Quarters of general admisson to UW: autumn / winter (U.S. applicants only) / spring / summer

Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission.

  • Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree
  • Visit MyPlan to run a degree audit.
  • Use the UW Equivalency Guide to find out how courses taken at a Washington state community or technical college will transfer to the UW.
  • UW college and school graduation requirements

Department admission information

Departmental application deadline: April 5 for summer or autumn quarters. October 5 for winter quarter.
Please contact the department for details about the application process.

This major is capacity-constrained. Completion of prerequisites does not guarantee admission.
    • May be presently enrolled in PHYS 123
    • Cumulative 2.00 GPA in physics classes
    • May be presently enrolled in MATH 126
    • Transfer students must submit a departmental application for the same quarter they submit an application to the University.
    • Consult the department’s website for additional application information.


Read more about applying to the UW as a transfer student.

Courses required for the major:

  • PHYS 121 NSc RSN – Mechanics
  • PHYS 122 NSc – Electromagnetism
  • PHYS 123 NSc – Waves, Light, and Heat
  • One of the following MATH series: MATH 124 NSc RSN – Calculus with Analytic Geometry I, MATH 125 NSc – Calculus with Analytic Geometry II, MATH 126 NSc – Calculus with Analytic Geometry III OR MATH 134 NSc RSN – Accelerated [Honors] Calculus, MATH 135 NSc – Accelerated [Honors] Calculus,  MATH 136 NSc – Accelerated [Honors] Calculus


Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 70
Total from Washington community colleges: 9

Career outcomes

See list of all majors