Skip to Content

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Home > Undergraduate Program > Physics and Astronomy Minors

Physics and Astronomy Minors

Left Column Content That will appear on ALL PAGES.

This left column text will ONLY APPEAR ON THIS PAGE. Edit to replace with your own text!

enter side content

The minor in physics and the minor in astronomy are suitable for students who wish to supplement a related discipline or simply have a general interest in the field. Note that research done through Independent Study (3860) or Directed Study (3840)  is not a requirement of either minor but is permitted and encouraged. Students must obtain approval from a faculty research supervisor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies before enrolling in either of these classes.

Students seeking a minor will be assigned an advisor from the list of faculty given at the link Advisors for PHYS Majors. Students are encouraged to seek advice about physics and/or astronomy and be mentored by any faculty member in the department. The official advisors listed below are particularly knowledgeable on curricular matters and support systems at Vanderbilt University. They are also the ones who have the authority to sign official paperwork.

Minor in Physics

Any first-semester physics class (1501, 1601, 1911, or 2051) 4-5 hours
Any first-semester physics laboratory (1501L, 1601L, 1912L, 2052)  
Any second-semester physics class  (1502, 1602, 1912 or 2053) 4-5 hours
Any second-semester physics laboratory (1502L, 1602L, 2255L, 2054)  
Physics 2250W, 2260W, 2255, or 3651 3-4 hours
Two 2000-level or higher-level physics courses or a three credit-hour non-PHYS course, the latter if approved by the Undergraduate Program Committee (e.g., ASTR 3000, ESS 4650).  Electives may include up to three credit hours of research (3840, 3850, 3851, 3860, 4998). 6 hours
Total Hours: 17-20 hours


Minor in Astronomy

Astronomy 1010 and either 1010L or 1020L; or 1210 4 hours
ASTR 2110 3 hours
ASTR 3000 3 hours
 Two other astronomy courses, one of which may be a three credit hour one semester research project (3840, 3850, 3851, 3860, 4998).  Note that only Physics majors pursuing Honors in Astronomy are eligible to enroll in 4998.  6
Total Hours: 16 hours

Note that rules for Minor in Physics and the Minor in Astronomy changed for academic year 2017-2018.  Students already enrolled at Vanderbilt prior to this academic year can satisfy the old rules for the minor if they wish.  Students in the Classes of 201should consult the DUS for advice as to which set of rules make the most sense for them.