Facuty of Science - Astronomy
Faculty of Science

Program description

Astronomy and astrophysics examine the universe, galaxies and stars as well as phenomena such as the birth of stars, how explosions of stars create fast moving cosmic ray particles and pulsars, and how the rotation of a galaxy reveals the presence of dark matter. A planetarium and two astronomical observatories enhance this program.  

Program options

Degree options

B. Sc. Bachelor of Science, Honours Physics and Astronomy – 4 years
B. Sc. Bachelor of Science, Major Physics and Astronomy – 4 years
B. Sc. Bachelor of Science, General - Physics & Astronomy – 3 years

Program options

B. Sc. Joint Honours Programs:
    Physics/Chemistry 
    Physics/Computer Science with Co-op option
    Physics/Mathematics

B.Sc. Double Honours:
    Physics/Biochemistry
    Other Double Honours options are available.  Please consult with the Department of Physics and Astronomy for more information.

Visit Programs in Science to learn about more program options.

Interesting courses and unique opportunities

  • General Astronomy I & II (surveys of the universe)
  • Perspective on the Universe (for those with few math skills)
  • Observational Astronomy (hands-on telescope experience)
  • Stars
  • Phenomenology of Galaxies
  • Astronomy Project

Professional opportunities

  • Engineer (process and instrumentation development, software development)
  • Telescope Operator
  • Data Analyst
  • Quantitative Analyst (finance / banking)
  • Computer scientist
  • Teacher / Instructor
  • Science Journalist (Astronomy writer)
  • Science policy-maker
  • Manager
  • Administrator

Students who go on to complete Ph.D. studies aim eventually to become professional astronomers engaged in research (pure or applied) in Government facilities and Universities


Admission Requirements

Visit the Science Direct Entry (high school applicants) or Advanced Entry (post-secondary applicants) application for admission page to learn more about admission requirements, application dates and how to apply.


What is unique about this program at the U of M?

Beyond first year the classroom sizes are intimate, allowing superb training of our students in a collegial atmosphere. Our hands-on observing course occurs earlier in the program than is typical and our telescopes are supported by a planetarium on campus, which is rare.   Many of our students find exciting summer astronomy research jobs in our department.

The Physics and Astronomy Department, which celebrated its centenary in 2004, is a medium-sized research intensive department. Graduates from its various programs currently hold prestigious positions in institutions in North America and Europe. The expertise of its 22 full-time faculty members is recognized by the role they play in numerous committees of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and the granting arm of NATO, and those of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP), the International Astronomical Union, and the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA). At present they attract in excess of $2.5 million in annual funding from a variety of sources including NSERC, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), both the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Canadian Space Agency among others. These funds help underwrite the support offered to graduate students in numerous areas, both experimental and theoretical, ranging from studies in the star and planet formation regimes, through the high energy physics of stellar explosions and the acceleration of cosmic rays, and galaxy evolution.


Important Links

Faculty of Science
Programs in Science
Physics and Astronomy
Graduate Programs