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Major in the College of Natural Sciences

The undergraduate program in the Department of Astronomy provides exciting opportunities for students with an interest in astronomy, physics, mathematics, or related sciences.

Students can learn from, and conduct research with some of the world's top astronomers who are investigating the births of the first stars and galaxies, deciphering how proto-galaxies evolved into present-day systems like our own Milky Way, studying planets in extrasolar systems, and probing the nature of dark matter and dark energy. Students use the McDonald Observatory in West Texas, multi-wavelength telescopes all over the world, and data from NASA's space-based facilities, including the Spitzer Infrared Satellite, the Hubble Space Telescope, and Swift Gamma Ray Burst Explorer. Astronomy majors have career opportunities in education, government agencies, business, and private industries. Visit the American Astronomical Society site for additional information on careers related to Astronomy.

Declaration Requirements


Prospective University of Texas at Austin students should visit UT Admissions to learn about the application process and how to declare a major.

How to Declare


Step 1: Internal transfer students must apply to the College of Natural Sciences prior to completing 60 hours or four long semesters at UT. Applications are due to the College of Natural Sciences in the spring. Learn more about the college's internal transfer requirements.

Step 2: Once accepted into the College of Natural Sciences, all students will start as entry-level astronomy majors until they successfully complete the entry-level requirements.

Required Courses


Visit the Astronomy degree plan to view all required courses for the Astronomy major in the College of Natural Sciences. Visit a list of all lower and upper division Astronomy courses and information on the most current courses.



Astronomy majors typically start out as entry-level majors, from there they may choose:

  • B.A. Astronomy
  • B.S.A. Astronomy
  • B.S. Astronomy
    • Option I: Astronomy
    • Option II: Astronomy Honors (students must first be admitted to Dean's Scholars)



Astronomy majors are usually curious about the universe, studious and patient. Students may pursue their personal interests and passion through research and career opportunities.

Learn about the Astronomy Students Association.


  • Scientific reasoning and writing
  • Computer programming skills for data analysis and theoretical modeling
  • Ability to conduct research through detail oriented approach
  • Skillful in using telescopes to acquire data (acquired through courses)
  • Knowledgeable about the laws of physics
  • Proficient with mathematical equations

Your major does not always determine your career path. Many graduates pursue careers outside their field, depending on their interests and experiences.


It’s not just your major that matters! Make yourself marketable by gaining a variety of experiences in college. Read a few inspiring stories by professionals whose experiences led to great careers.

Contact a Texas Career Engagement career counselor today to find out how you can turn your major into a career.