Bachelor of Science: Physics - Astronomy Emphasis

University Requirements

General Education

UMKC Essentials is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete. The 30-credit hour program includes a First Year Experience course; three critical thinking courses in the areas of Arts & Humanities, Natural & Physical Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences; a Culture and Diversity course; a Civic & Urban Engagement course; two courses in Written Composition and one course in Oral Communication; and a Math Pathway course. Transfer students entering UMKC will elect from the UMKC Essentials General Education Program or the Missouri Core 42 General Education Curriculum.  Academic advisors will meet with incoming transfer students to determine which option best serves the student’s educational needs. More information about General Education may be found here: https://catalog.umkc.edu/undergraduate-academic-regulations-information/general-education-requirements/

Constitution Course 

Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination

In accordance with Missouri Senate Bill 807 (section 170.013.1), 'any student entering a public institution of higher education for the first time after July 2019 who is pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree from such institution shall successfully pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics with a score of seventy percent or greater as a condition of graduation from such institution'.  To satisfy this requirement at UMKC, students access the exam through the Canvas site. This requirement will be listed in the degree audit system as, 'Take State Mandated Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination', and listed on the transcript as 'Missouri Civics Examination'.   

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Have a functional knowledge of the basic areas of astronomy, astrophysics, and physics.
  • Be able to integrate their knowledge with critical thinking skills in order to become quantitative problem solvers.
  • Be able to clearly articulate scientific information, both orally and in writing.
  • Be able to effectively use the scientific literature.

Description of the Bachelor of Science Program with an Emphasis in Astronomy

The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Physics with an Emphasis in Astronomy is recommended for students that are seeking to continue their academic careers in graduate school or for those that are interested in seeking career employment in industrial, governmental, or private organizations that require a strong scientific background.

Astronomy advising questions should be directed to Professor Daniel McIntosh (McIntoshDH@umkc.edu).

Students graduating with a BS degree in Physics with an Emphasis in Astronomy will be prepared for entry into graduate programs or the job market for career employment.

Program Requirements

UMKC Essentials

First Semester Experience Course (GEFSE)3
Written Communication:
ENGLISH 110Introduction to Academic Prose3
ENGLISH 225English II: Intermediate Academic Prose3
Oral Communication (choose one of the following):3
Fundamentals of Effective Speaking and Listening
Introduction to Communication
Argumentation And Debate (offered via dual credit only)
Interpersonal Communication
Math Pathway (satisfied in major requirements below)
Critical Thinking in Arts & Humanities (GECRT-AH)3
Critical Thinking in Natural & Physical Sciences (GECRT-SC)3
Critical Thinking in Social & Behavioral Sciences (GECRT-SS)3
Culture & Diversity Course (GECDV)3
Civic & Urban Engagement Course (GECUE)3
Total Credits27

Constitution Course Requirement

Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.” 

Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:

Choose one of the following:3
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
U.S. History to 1877
U.S. History Since 1877
Honors American Government
American Government
Total Credits3

There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:

  • Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
  • Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
  • Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.

Major Requirements

Students must successfully complete the major requirements below with at least 12 hours of the noted upper division (300+) course requirements completed at UMKC.

ASTR/PHYSICS 353Practical Astronomy3
ASTR/PHYSICS 355Stellar Astrophysics3
ASTR/PHYSICS 356Galaxies3
ASTR/PHYSICS 465Cosmology3
COMP-SCI 101Problem Solving and Programming I3
CHEM 211
211L
General Chemistry I
and Experimental General Chemistry I
5
MATH 120Precalculus5
MATH 210Calculus I4
MATH 220Calculus II4
MATH 250Calculus III4
PHYSICS 240
PHYSICS 250
Physics For Scientists and Engineers I
and Physics For Scientists and Engineers II
10
PHYSICS 310
PHYSICS 311
Mechanics I
and Mechanics II
6
PHYSICS 330Methods Of Theoretical Physics I3
PHYSICS 350Modern Physics With Engineering Applications3
PHYSICS 410Thermal Physics3
PHYSICS 460
PHYSICS 461
Electricity And Magnetism I
and Electricity And Magnetism II
6
PHYSICS 472Introduction To Quantum Mechanics3
PHYSICS 476LWAdvanced Laboratory3
or PHYSICS 395L Computer Interfacing Laboratory
Total Credits74

Math and Science Requirements

The Bachelor of Science degree requires a minimum of 60 hours in math and science coursework. The number of credit hours needed to meet this minimum requirement are listed below.

Additional Math/Science Coursework (Satisfied in program requirements above)

General Electives

Students must take elective credit hours to meet the minimum credit hour requirement for their degree, including at least 36 credit hours of coursework at the 300-level or above. The minimum required by the university is 120 credit hours, of which at least 30 credit hours must be taken at UMKC, but some degree programs require more.

General Electives16

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Total Credit Hours: 120

Formulating a Plan of Study

In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for astronomy (Professor Dan McIntosh, mcintoshdh@umkc.edu) before beginning the major.

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years.  Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”.  In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major. Please see the tab above to view the major map for this program.

UMKC’s Transfer Guides provide detailed guidance on recommended transfer coursework, plans of study, transfer timelines, and transfer contact information. To ensure a seamless transfer experience, students are encouraged to work with both their community college advisor and a UMKC advisor when planning their coursework.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Audit’ degree audit system provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for students' officially recorded (Office of Registration and Records) and “what if” exploratory plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Plans’ degree planning tool enables students to develop a personalized semester by semester plan of study towards completion of degree requirements for student’s officially recorded (Office of Registration and Records) and “what if” exploratory plans of study. Update and edit your full plan to degree completion each term and confirm accuracy each semester with your Academic Advisor(s).