BA in Astronomy

For students interested in astronomy but also have a wider range of career goals

Why pursue an astronomy degree?

This undergraduate major provides a flexible program for students interested in astronomy but who also have a wider range of career goals.

Students might want to become science teachers or become involved with the vast astronomical enterprise. The BA in astronomy could lead to a career supporting observatories as a technician, engineer or designer of astronomical equipment or software.

This program is also a solid choice for science writers, journalists or data scientists when combined with a second undergraduate degree or graduate degree.  Degree requirements are listed below and on the UH Manoa Catalog.

Course map for the BA in Astronomy

The overall course sequence is available as a pdf

Course Descriptions

Individual course descriptions with sample syllabi

Learning Objectives

Detailed learning objectives

BS in astrophysics

 Students interested in a more rigorous program, as preparation for graduate work in astronomy or physics

Minor in Astronomy or Minor in Astrophysics

For students interested in gaining exposure to astronomy as a supplement to a different major


Below are listed the core courses and elective options for the BA in astronomy.  Course information can be found in the UH Mānoa Course catalog. If you have any questions, please contact


Astronomy and Physics Core Courses

ASTR 110 Survey of Astronomy

ASTR 210 Foundations of Astronomy

ASTR 300/300L  Observational Astronomy and lab

ASTR 301 Observational Projects

ASTR 320 Astronomical Spectroscopy

ASTR 399 Directed Study (minimum one semester, maximum of 3 credits)

ASTR 494 Senior Research Project (one semester)

PHYS 151/151L College Physics I and lab

PHYS 152/152L College Physics II and lab

PHYS 485 Professional Ethics


Elective Requirements (minimum of 21 credits)

Astronomy (three courses, including at least six upper division credits and three 400-level credits)

ASTR 130 Archaeoastronomy

ASTR 150 Voyage Through the Solar System (cross-listed as GG 105)

ASTR 280 Evolution of the Universe

ASTR 281 Astrobiology

ASTR 380 Cosmos in Western Culture

ASTR 426 Galaxies & Cosmology

ASTR 430 The Solar System

ASTR 494 Senior Research Project (additional semester, senior year requirement)

Related Subjects (four courses, including at least three upper-division credits)

CHEM 272 Organic Chemistry

ECON 321 Introduction to Statistics

EE 160 Programming for Engineers

GG 101 (or 170) Dynamic Earth (or Physical Geology)

GG 200-level or above (any NI Geo course worth three or more credits)

ICS 111 Introduction to Computer Science I

ICS 211 Introduction to Computer Science II

MATH 243 or 253A Calculus III

MATH 244 Calculus IV

MATH 300-level or above (any UD Math course worth three or more credits)

PHYS 274 General Physics III

PHYS 300-level or above (any UD Physics course worth three or more credits)


Foundational Requirements

CHEM 161/161L or 171/171L or 181A/181L General Chemistry I and lab

CHEM 162/162L General Chemistry II and lab

MATH 215, 241 or 251A Calculus I

MATH 242 or 252A Calculus II

Institute for Astronomy