The ASTRONOMY MINOR degree option:

You can achieve a MINOR degree in PHYSICS or ASTRONOMY in several ways:
Any student who has completed GENERAL or UNIVERSITY PHYSICS with LABS should have earned 15 PHYS credits. Only 5 more credits are needed for the PHYSICS minor degree, and these can be obtained with ANY Physics or Astronomy 2000 or higher classes, including Astro Theory (Phys 2050), Astro Methods (Phys 2060), Advanced Topics (Phys 3709) and/or MtEvans/Indep Research (Phys2991, Phys 3995) among others.  Always consult with a Dept astronomy advisor.

Requires 20 quarter hours of astronomy coursework from the following list of options, but not including intro Physics credits but, yes, including:
Current course offerings (in rotation; *=required):
*Phys205x: ASTROPHYSICAL THEORY (3 course sequence * 4 cr.ea.)
	*2051: Bio-Astronomy of Solar Systems [Sept.] 
	*2052: Stellar Physics [alt.Jan.] 
	*2053: Galaxies & Cosmology [alt.Mar.]
*Phys206x: ASTRONOMICAL METHODS (2-3 course sequence * 3 cr.ea.)
	*2061: Telescopes & Instruments [alt.Jan.]
	*2062: Astronomy with Digital Cameras [alt.Mar.] 
	2063 [opt]: Observing Intensives [Mt.Evans, June or Aug] 
Phys3709: Adv. Special Topics in Astrophysics (3 credits)
	TBD/on demand
Phys3995: INDEPENDENT RESEARCH, such as *SENIOR THESIS report, and/or
	summer research work at Mt.Evans obs. or S.A.L.  
	(2 or more cr./qtr).

     *TOTAL 20 or more credits --> Astro Minor degree
For more info: email and/or and see the
Dept homepage, links to Undergraduate requirements.

The Theory and Methods classes are offered in rotation, normally for students who have completed their basic Physics and Math classes. You can enroll in any quarter, and not have to take all 2 or 3 quarters of it either.


There is a need for more instructors at the high school and community college level, and occasionaly for observing assistants locally. In addition, there are frequent requests: "how can I learn more about the subject I love?" Adult learners with serious interest in astronomy are invited to inquire about our plans for a new certificate program in astronomy. Note: other teaching credentials may be required for teaching at high school or The successful student will earn 20 college credits, a certificate and letters of recommendation from the first astronomy program in Colorado. The program is based on the six 10-week quarters of upper division astronomy classes listed above [Theory, Methods, project]. Summer tuition charges can be based on the non-degree program scales. For information, contact Professor Stencel at, 303-871-2135.
The certificate is awarded to students completing 20 or more credits from the classes listed, including Astro Theory and Astro Methods as required.
Summer observing at Mt.Evans is available via the Astronomical Methods and/or Independent Research courses, with instructor approval. Please see the Registrar's website for current schedule. Want info about our new Mt.Evans Observatory
Examples of current student research can be seen here.
What's involved in a career in Astronomy? Consult the Amer. Astron. Society Career Info Resources"

Prospective GRAD STUDENTS are asked to review our Dept. website info for graduate admissions, etc

For other information concerning upper division and graduate coursework in Physics & Astronomy, see our Departmental web pages, or contact Prof. Stencel by email!

Current/recent grad student astronomy projects:

Series of papers in eJAAVSO special issue on epsilon Aurigae (2013):   

Some recent thesis results:

PhD 2015: Richard Pearson "Thermal Phase Curve Study of the Disk in epsilon Aurigae" - see also our 2015 Astrophys.Journal article, 

PhD 2015: Kathleen Geise - "CFHT Spectropolarimetry of the epsilon Aurigae system" - 

PhD 2013: Alexa Hart -Celestial paleontology: The legacy of dying stars" - 

PhD 2012: Brian Kloppenborg "Interfoerometric Imaging of epsilon Aurigae" - including 2010 Nature paper on this topic.  Now working at Georgia State Univ/Center High Angular Res Astronomy, following a post-doc position with Max Planck Institute, Bonn Germany.  See and ApJ submitted (2015)

PhD 2005: Colby Jurgenson, "Astrophysical Spectropolarimetry"
Additional papers: SIFTIR instrument and
PDF of NGC7027 polarimetry paper
2006 at New Mexico Tech, MROI; 2012 at Yale Univ., Dept. Astronomy

PhD 1997: Michelle Creech-Eakman, "Silicate Feature Variation in LPV Stars"
Postdoc at CalTech and JPL prior to joining faculty, Dept.Physics, New Mexico Tech & the Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer

Master's Degrees [copies available on request]:

*2006: Ian McNabb, ISO and Spitzer imaging of debris disk star systems. 

*2002 Therese [Ostrowski] Fukuda "VLBA SiO maser studies of S Persei"
*2001 Michael Edwards "Stellar Infrared Excesses, Abundances and Planet-making in Nearby Stars" [USAF]
*1996 Mary Dahm "Mid-Infrared Imaging of Star Forming Regions" (Hughes)
cf. "A New IR Camera for the 10 and 20 micron Region", by Klebe, Dahm & Stencel, in Polarimetry of the interstellar medium. ASP Conf Ser; Vol. 97; June 1995; p.79
*1995 Jessica Reynolds "Infrared Spectra of the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Collision with Jupiter obtained at Mt.Evans Observatory" (CCHS)

Current undergrad student astronomy projects:

Rachel Matson, class of '06, Sr. Thesis on Open Star Clusters"
Anuradha Bhatia, class of '06, Sr. Thesis on Solar Photovoltaics
Matt Dahl, class of '08, Indep. Research - Transits in Open Clusters [AAS paper]
Ryan McDuffee, class of '09, Indep. Res. String Theory

Additional famous graduates (and their recent whereabouts):

*Winners of the William Herschel Womble Award for Outstanding astronomy Senior thesis or project:
*Jeff Stout, '05, "Spectro-Polarimetric Imaging in the Infrared" & RHODES SCHOLAR WINNER 2005
*2003: Engineering project by Y.Maes, S.Onen, S.Sutton & C.Williams
*Justin Carricuburu, '01, "The Orbits of Killer Asteroids"
*Therese Ostrowski, '00, "CCD Photometry of Hipparcos Variable Stars"
Reyco Henning, '98 (MIT)
Brian Lepore, '98 (Purdue)
Nathan Roskop, '97 Microwave link for Mt.Evans Observatory [BAE]
Emily Howard, '97 [Florida FIU]
Matti Jalakas, '97 (Estonia)

And some websites with FAQs about a career in astronomy:
American Astronomical Society's brochure about careers in astronomy

FAQs about a career in astronomy

yet another FAQ list

Especially for girls

& of course you can websearch on the terms _ astronomy _ career _