Astronomy and Astrophysics | UCI Physics and Astronomy

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Astronomy and Astrophysics | UCI Physics and Astronomy

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

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.

 

 

 

12.3.19


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