The minor in astronomy allows students pursuing a bachelor’s degree to enhance their knowledge about the workings of the universe along with added practical experience. The minor will give students an overall qualitative overview of astronomy and physics as well as a deeper understanding of some aspects of astrophysics and cosmology.
An important component of the minor is a planetarium internship course. Students will learn how to operate the planetarium and will have the opportunity to write, edit and modify content for planetarium shows and presentations. In addition, they will learn to provide technical support and creative assistance. Students will gain an overall knowledge about the theoretical and practical aspects of astronomy: a true liberal arts experience.
Students with a minor in Astronomy will develop skills essential to a variety of professions including teaching and managing astronomical facilities. Students will be well-versed in instrumentation and handling of a telescope. They will also be prepared to pursue further studies relating to physics and astronomy. Astronomers working in planetariums, science museums, newspapers, magazines or in other public service positions provide an important link between the world of astronomy and the general public. These jobs require a broad range of astronomy knowledge and the ability to communicate effectively with the public.
Jobs are also available in secondary schools teaching physics or earth sciences, as well as in the science journalism field. The aforementioned positions generally do not require an advanced degree, although such a degree might prove useful at the more technical levels. The minor can serve as the foundation for graduate degrees and is also excellent preparation for laboratory technicians, computer programmers and science journalists.