In order to be successful independent researchers, students in astrophysics need to have a strong foundation in fundamental physics, significant experience in the specifics of their individual research area, and a broad general knowledge of astronomy and astrophysics. The physics courses overlap with a standard physics curriculum; our specialized astrophysics courses are listed below. Most low level courses are offered one semester per year, while most of the higher-level courses are offered every other or every few years.

**AST** **1002.** **Planets, Stars, and Galaxies (3)**. This course provides general acquaintance with some of the facts, concepts and scientific methods of astronomy. As a liberal study course, the goal is to help students learn some basic facts of astronomy as well as gain an appreciation of astronomy as a science, the universe, and the current scientific ideas about its history and its future.

**AST** **1002L.** **Planets, Stars, and Galaxies Laboratory (1)**. Corequisite: AST 1002. This course, which consists of outdoor and indoor labs, provides a hands-on introduction to astronomy as an observational science. In the outdoor labs students learn how to make observations and measurements of planetary, stellar and galactic objects using either your unaided eyes, binoculars or a telescope. The indoor labs acquaint them with the telescope, the coordinate system used to locate astronomical objects on the sky, the motion of objects in the sky and other basic concepts of astronomy.

**AST** **3721L.** **Astrophysics Laboratory (2)**. Prerequisite: PHY 3101. This course offers an introduction to experimental methodology, data analysis and interpretation, calibration techniques, scientific model validation, as well as data presentation and communication of results. The laboratory experiments have astrophysical relevance.

**AST** **4211.** **Introduction to Astrophysics (3)**. Prerequisites: MAC 2312 and PHY 2049C; science majors only. This introductory course covers key aspects and concepts of modern astronomy and astrophysics, including coordinate systems, instrumentation, our sun and planets, stars and stellar evolution, binary systems and variable stars, stellar explosions, as well as galaxies and the evolution of the universe.

**AST** **4217.** **The Physics of Stars (3)**. Prerequisites: PHY 3101 and PHY 3221. This course serves as an introduction to star formation, evolution, and death through simple theoretical modeling and through a strong emphasis on the underlying physics concepts.

**AST** **4341.** **Hydrodynamics and Plasma for Astrophysics (3)**. Prerequisites: PHY 3221 and PHZ 3113; or instructor permission. This course is an introduction to the hydrodynamics, plasma physics, and magneto-hydrodynamics (MHD) necessary for an understanding of astrophysical processes. No prior knowledge of hydrodynamics is required.

**AST** **4414.** **Cosmology and Structure Formation (3)**. Prerequisites: AST 4211 and PHY 3101. This course covers the evolution of the universe from the "Hot Big Bang" to the current epoch. Topics include cosmological expansion, the Hubble constant and other cosmological parameters, the microwave background radiation, early universe nucleosynthesis, the growth of large-scale structure, the "dark ages" and the re-ionization of the universe, the horizon and other fine-tuning problems, distance determinations, redshift surveys, inflation, cosmological acceleration, as well as dark matter and dark energy.

**AST** **4419.** **Extragalactic Astronomy (3)**. Prerequisite: AST 4211. This course offers a survey of the physics and phenomenology of galaxies and galaxy structures. Topics include stellar populations, classifications systems, interstellar and intergalactic material, chemical abundances and evolution, galaxy formation, structure, dynamics and evolution, extragalactic distance determination, interacting systems, as well as active galactic nuclei.

**AST** **4722.** **Observational Techniques in Astrophysics (3)**. Prerequisite: AST 4211. This course covers principles and techniques used in obtaining modern astronomical data. Includes an overview of current and next-generation astronomical instrumentation, discussion of calibration schemes and observing strategies, and an introduction to analysis techniques.

**PHZ** **4316.** **Nuclear Astrophysics (3)**. Prerequisite: AST 4211. Corequisite: PHY 4604. This course offers an introduction to the role of nuclear reactions and decays in astrophysics. Topics cover the origin of elements in the context of Big Bang, major burning stages in the life of a star, stellar explosions, and processes in interstellar matter.

**PHZ** **4601.** **Special and General Relativity (3)**. Prerequisite: PHY 3221. Corequisite: PHY 4323. This course examines the special theory of relativity, tensor analysis and curvature, general theory of relativity, experimental tests, black holes, gravitational radiation, and cosmology.

**AST** **5210.** **Introduction to Astrophysics (3)**. Prerequisites: MAC2312 and PHY2049C. This course introduces science majors to key aspects and concepts of modern astronomy and astrophysics. Topics cover coordinate systems, instrumentation, our sun and planets, stars and stellar evolution, binary systems and variable stars, stellar explosions, galaxies, as well as the evolution of the universe.

**AST** **5219r.** **Astrophysics Seminar (1)**. Prerequisite: AST 5210. This seminar introduces students to current research topics in astronomy and astrophysics through the presentation and discussion of recently published research papers, own research work, and occasional review publications. Topics cover observational and theoretical astrophysics alike. May be repeated to a maximum of two semester hours.

**AST** **5245.** **Radiative Processes in Astronomy (3)**. Prerequisite: AST 5210. Corequisite: PHY 4604. This course provides an introduction to radiation processes and their applications to astrophysical phenomena and space science for senior or first-year graduate students. Topics cover radiative transfer theory, radiation hydrodynamics and matter-light interactions in the interstellar medium and star-forming regions, stellar atmospheres, exploding stars, as well as galaxies.

**AST** **5342.** **Hydrodynamics and Plasma for Astrophysics (3)**. This course is an introduction to the hydrodynamics, plasma physics, and magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) necessary for an understanding of astrophysical processes. No prior knowledge of hydrodynamics is needed.

**AST** **5416.** **Cosmology and Structure Formation (3)**. Prerequisites: AST 4211 and PHY 3101. This course covers the evolution of the universe from the "Hot Big Bang" to the current epoch. Topics include cosmological expansion, the Hubble constant and other cosmological parameters, the microwave-background radiation, early universe nucleosynthesis, the growth of large-scale structure, the "dark ages" and the re-ionization of the universe, the horizon and other fine-tuning problems, distance determinations, redshift surveys, inflation, cosmological acceleration, as well as dark matter and dark energy.

**AST** **5418.** **Extragalactic Astronomy (3)**. Prerequisite: AST 4211. This course offers a survey of the physics and phenomenology of galaxies and galaxy structures. Topics include stellar populations, classification systems, interstellar and intergalactic material, chemical abundances and evolution, galaxy formation, structure, dynamics and evolution, extragalactic distance determination, interacting systems, as well as active galactic nuclei.

**AST** **5725.** **Observational Techniques in Astrophysics (3)**. Prerequisite: AST 4211. This course covers principles and techniques used in obtaining modern astronomical data. Includes an overview of current and next-generation astronomical instrumentation, discussion of calibration schemes and observing strategies, and an introduction to analysis techniques.

**AST** **5760.** **Computational Astrophysics (3)**. Prerequisite: AST 5210. Corequisites: CGS 3406 or PHY 4151C. This course offers an introduction to numerical methods in the context of observational and theoretical astrophysics. Topics cover interpolation approximation, minimization and optimization, solution of linear systems of equations, random number generation, function integration, numerical differentiation, numerical integration of ordinary differential equations, stiff systems of ODEs, as well as a survey of methods for partial differential equations, such as Poisson equation, heat diffusion, and hydrodynamics.

**AST** **5765.** **Advanced Analysis Techniques in Astronomy (3)**. Prerequisite: AST 4722 and AST 4211. This course offers a survey of advanced data-analysis and statistical techniques available to modern astronomical researchers. Topics include subpixel imaging, image deconvolution, point-spread function modeling, crowded field photometry, survey completeness, Malmquist and other statistical biases, automated data mining, image differencing techniques, astrometric solutions, working with low-signal-to-noise data, fitting models to data, modeling synthetic data, as well as real-world error determination.

**PHZ** **5315.** **Nuclear Astrophysics (3)**. Prerequisite: AST 5210. Corequisite: PHY 4604. This course offers an introduction to the role of nuclear reactions and decay in astrophysics. Topics cover the origin of elements in the context of Big Bang, major burning stages in the life of a star, stellar explosions, as well as processes in interstellar matter.

**PHZ** **5606.** **Special and General Relativity (3)**. Prerequisites: PHY 5226, 5326. This course examines the following topics: special theory of relativity, tensor analysis and curvature, general theory of relativity, experimental tests, black holes, gravitational radiation, and cosmology.