Degree in Astronomy - Majors & Programs | Benedictine College


Bachelor of Science, Department of Physics and Astronomy

A student looks through a telescope in Astronomy class

Department Overview

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a wide variety of courses and programs that examine and employ the laws of nature from both theoretical and applied perspectives. The courses are of value and importance to all liberally educated persons.

The department emphasizes hands-on experience and laboratory work in its programs.

Degree Overview

The major course work provides an overview of the entire field of astronomy, more detailed work in specific areas of astronomical importance, and the solid background in physics and mathematics that is needed to pursue graduate study.

Students may participate in ongoing research projects in both observational astronomy or theoretical astrophysics using facilities at the college. Currently, work is being done in stellar astronomy and includes work on pulsating stars, star clusters, and nearby galaxies.

Career Opportunities

  • Overall employment of physicists and astronomers is projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.*
  • The median annual wage for astronomers was $104,740 in May 2016.*

* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Physicists and Astronomers, on the Internet here.


Dr. Ryan Maderak
Associate Professor, Chair
Contact by Email

Westerman Hall

Department Website

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  • Scott R. Baird, Ph.D.
    Professor Emeritus
  • Douglas Brothers, Ph.D.
  • Ryan Maderak, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor and Chair
  • Max Sayler, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
  • Georgiy Shcherbatyuk, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
  • Christopher Shingledecker, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor

Freshman Year

PHYS-2100Classical Physics I4
ASTR-1300Sun & Solar System4
MATH-1300Calculus I4
CHEM-1200General Chemistry I3
CHEM-1201General Chemistry I Lab1
GNST-1000BC Experience1
PHYS-2110Classical Physics II4
ASTR-1400Stars & Stellar Systems4
MATH-1350Calculus II4
CHEM-1210General Chemistry II3
CHEM-1211General Chemistry II Lab1

Sophomore Year

ASTR-3000Observational Astronomy3
EXSC-1115Wellness for Life1
MATH-2300Calculus III4
Foreign Language4
PHYS-3200Relativity & Atomic Physics3
PHYS-3201Modern Physics Lab I1
EXSCFitness Course1
PHIL-1750Principles of Nature3
THEO-1100Introduction to Theology3
MATH-3100Differential Equations3
Foreign Language4
PHYS-3210Nuc. & Elem. Particle Physics2
PHYS-3211Modern Physics Lab II1

Junior Year

ASTR-4100Introduction to Astrophysics3
PHYS-4100Mechanics I3
Person and Community Foundation3
PHYS-4900Physics Colloquiumcr
Faith Foundation3
ENGL-1010English Composition3
Philosophical Inquiry Foundation3
ASTR-4300Galaxies & Cosmology3
CSCI-2300Programming for Scientists & Engineers3
Aesthetic Experience Foundation3
PHYS-4110Mechanics II3
PHYS-4301Optics Lab1
PHYS-4901Physics Colloquiumcr

Senior Year

ASTR-4200Solar System Astrophysics3
Historical Inquiry Foundation3
PHYS-4600Electricity & Magnetism I3
PHYS-4800Quantum Mechanics3
PHYS-4902Physics Colloquiumcr
ASTR-4910Physics & Astronomy Research1
PHYS-4610Electricity & Magnetism II3
Philosophical Inquiry Foundation3
PHYS-4903Physics Colloquiumcr
Faith Foundation3
Aesthetic Experience Foundation3
Historical Inquiry Foundation3
ASTR-COMPSenior Comprehensivecr

Other Department Offerings

  • Major and Minor in Physics
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics
  • Certification for Physics teaching grades 6-12