Astronomy and Astrophysics

Astronomy is the scientific study of celestial objects. Astronomers explore and strive to understand the universe beyond the earth.

The introductory level astronomy courses provide a non-technical overview of the scientific approach to questions and our current understanding. At the more advanced level a quantitative physical understanding of astrophysical systems is developed.


Admission Information

  • Apply to the Physical & Mathematical Science admission category on the St. George campus
  • Six Grade 12 U or M courses, including English and Calculus and Vectors are required
  • Senior high school Physics is required preparation for first-year courses
  • A background in chemistry is strongly recommended, but not required
  • Computer programming knowledge is also important
  • Students outside of Ontario should have the equivalent senior high school credits


Honours Bachelor of Science Programs

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics (major and minor options)
  • Astronomy and Physics (specialist)
  • Planetary Science (specialist)


First-Year Courses

  • AST 101H1 - The Sun and Its Neighbours
  • AST 121H1 - Origin and Evolution of the Universe


Advice for First Year

The required first-year courses for the astronomy and physics specialist program are MAT 137Y1 – Calculus!, either of two algebra courses (MAT 223H1 or MAT 240H1) and PHY 151H1 and PHY 152H1 – Foundations of Physics (two halfcourses). For the astronomy and astrophysics program, students must take either of two calculus courses (MAT 135Y1 – Calculus I or MAT 137Y1), and either sets of the two physics half- courses PHY 131H1 and PHY 132H1 - Introduction to Physics, or PHY 151H1 or PHY 152H1.



An undergraduate degree in astronomy and astrophysics may prepare you for a career in teaching or for work in a planetarium or science museum.

If you want to become a professional astronomer, you should take post-graduate studies.

Some of our graduates have chosen careers in other disciplines such as computer science, biophysics, geophysics, atmospheric physics, aerospace studies and remote sensing.




Learn more about the Faculty of Arts & Science by reading our Viewbook


First Year