Astrophysics is an important and well-represented subdiscipline of physics. It includes the study of the solar system, galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, as well as cosmology. A minor in this field combines a theoretical approach with observational analysis. There is also the opportunity to do research in this field.

The physics department offers minors in physics, biophysics, and astrophysics. However, it is not possible to receive a minor in more than one of these fields.  Also, physics majors may elect to receive the astrophysics or biophysics minor from the department, but not the physics minor.

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the astrophysics advisor, meet physics faculty engaged in Astrophysics research, attend departmental astrophysics-related seminars, and explore ways that astrophysics relates to research undertaken by faculty in other disciplines.

For more information, contact:

Alberto Sadun (Astrophysics Minor Advisor)

Office: North Classroom 3809


Bodhi Rogers (Physics advisor)    

Office: North Classroom 3123B

These degree requirements are subject to periodic revision by the academic department, and the College reserves the right to make exceptions and substitutions as judged necessary in individual cases. Therefore, the College strongly urges students to consult regularly with their major advisor and CLAS advisor to confirm the best plans of study before finalizing them.

Program Delivery

This is an on-campus program.

Declaring This Minor

Please see your advisor.

General Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements.

  • CU Denver General Graduation Requirements  
  • Click here for information about Academic Policies

Program Requirements

  • Students must complete a minimum of 17 PHYS credit hours.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 6 upper-division (3000-level and above) PHYS credit hours.
  • Students must earn a minimum grade of C-(1.7) in all minor courses taken at CU Denver and must achieve a minimum cumulative minor GPA of 2.0. All graded attempts in required and elective courses are calculated in the minor GPA. Students cannot complete minor or ancillary course requirements as pass/fail.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 9 PHYS credit hours with CU Denver faculty.

Program Restrictions, Allowances and Recommendations

Requirements for the minor in astrophysics may be used to fulfill the requirements of the major in physics.

The introductory labs, PHYS 2351 and PHYS 2361, are required for all physics majors. If the department is unable to offer one or both of these labs then PHYS 2321 may be substituted for PHYS 2351 and PHYS 2341 may be substituted for PHYS 2361, upon prior advisor approval.

A student majoring in physics who wants to minor in astrophysics cannot use the 3000-level and above courses applied to the Astrophysics minor for their Physics Major requirements.

Required Courses

Astrophysics minors must take the following course:

PHYS 1052 - General Astronomy I


Astrophysics minors must take all of the courses in one of the following four-course Physics lecture/lab sequences:

Course Code Course Title
PHYS 2010 College Physics I
PHYS 2321 Intro Experimental Phys Lab I
PHYS 2020 College Physics II
PHYS 2341 Intro Experimental Phys Lab II


Course Code Course Title
PHYS 2311
General Physics I: Calculus-Based
PHYS 2321*
Intro Experimental Phys Lab I
PHYS 2351
Applied Physics Lab I
PHYS 2331 General Physics II: Calculus-Based
PHYS 2341*
Intro Experimental Phys Lab II
*ALT PHYS 2361 Applied Physics Lab II


Astrophysics minors must take one of the following courses:

PHYS 3050 - General Astronomy II

PHYS 3070 - Physical Cosmology

PHYS 3082 - Energy and the Environment

PHYS 3411 - Thermal Physics

*  PHYS 3840 - Independent Study: PHYS

PHYS 3939 - Internship

PHYS 4510 - Optics

PHYS 4550 - Astrophysics

*  PHYS 4840 - Independent Study: PHYS

*  PHYS 4920 - Advanced Undergraduate Seminar

*  PHYS 4980 - Advanced Physics Topics

*Topics in these classes vary, as do the number of credits that can be earned. See departmental advisor for approval.