Astrophysics is an important and well-represented sub discipline in 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 opportunity to do research in this field as well.

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.

A minor requires a total of 17 credit hours in which no grade below a C (2.0) may be used to meet the requirements for the minor. At least six credit hours of the requirements for the minor must be completed at CU Denver. Requirements for the minor in Astrophysics may be used to fulfill the requirements of the major in physics. However, a major in physics who wants to minor in astrophysics needs to take 15 credits in astrophysics that does not include college physics, general physics or the associated labs.

Requirements are (with individual course semester hours in parentheses):

Introductory Lecture and Lab Sequence                                       10 semester hours

PHYSICS 2010 (4), 2030 (1)(lab) , 2020 (4), and 2040  (1)(lab) (algebra-based)


PHYSICS 2311 (4), 2321 (1)(lab),  2331 (4), and 2341 (1)(lab) (calculus-based - recommended)

Astronomy courses                                                                           7 semester hours minimum

PHYS 1052 (4) General Astronomy I 

ASTROPHYSICS upper division elective (3) from approved list on the back side

Approved Astrophysics upper division elective list:

PHYS 3050 (3) General Astronomy II

PHYS 3070 (3) Physical Cosmology

PHYS 3082 (3) Energy and the Environment

PHYS 3411 (3) Thermal Physics

PHYS 3820 (3) Subatomic Physics

PHYS 3840 (1 – 3) Independent Study*

PHYS 3939 (1 – 3) Internship/Cooperative Education*

PHYS 4510 (3) Optics

PHYS 4550 (3) Astrophysics

PHYS 4840 (1 – 3) Independent Study*

PHYS 4920 (1) Advanced Undergraduate Seminar*

PHYS 4931 (2 – 4) Internship in Applied Physics*

PHYS 4980 (3) Advanced Physics Topics

*Topics in these classes vary. See departmental advisor for approval.

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:

Clyde Zaidins (Physics advisor)

Office: North Classroom 3123B