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Physics: Concentration in Astrophysics


This concentration will give physics students the opportunity to add another dimension to their studies at Clarion University.

  • Do you wonder what the Universe will be like 10 billion years from now?
  • Are you curious about the stars in the sky?
  • Have you wondered what it would be like to stand on the surface of Mars?

If so, astrophysics might be for you. The astrophysics program will allow you to find answers to these questions as well as give you the tools to ask questions that have never been asked before. Past students have attended astronomy meetings, collaborated with faculty on research projects, and collected data at McDonald Observatory in west Texas.

Together, students and faculty will explore the objects of the Universe using the principles of physics and the tools of astronomy. Learn more about:

  • The lives of the stars
  • Neutron stars and black holes
  • Nucleosynthesis
  • The nature of the planets, our nearest neighbors
  • The morphology of the Milky Way
  • The Large-scale structure of the Universe
  • Cosmology

This concentration is designed for physics students who are interested in applying the underlying principles of physics to the planets, stars, and galaxies. It is appropriate for all physics majors and strongly recommended for students planning to attend graduate school in either astronomy or astrophysics.


After completing this major, the student will receive a B.S. degree in physics with a concentration in astrophysics. The requirements are similar to those of the basic physics degree.

  • Two semesters of introductory physics
  • Two semesters of astronomy
  • One semester of geology or computational science
  • Two semesters of chemistry
  • Two semesters of astrophysics
  • Four semesters of calculus
  • Eight additional courses in physics, which can include independent research
  • A seminar in astrophysics


We believe that it's impossible to fully appreciate the elegance of a differential equation describing the atmosphere of Arcturus if you can't pick Arcturus out of the sky. Our equipment includes:

  • Three 8-inch Meade telescopes
  • High-quality binoculars for loan to astrophysics students
  • State-of-the-art planetarium
  • Workstation for computational astrophysics