Astronomy / Physics

Academic Year: 2009 – 2010

The Astronomy-Physics option provides courses and laboratory work in astronomy and physics, featuring an astronomical observatory with one eight-inch and one 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, an eight-inch Newtonian telescope, an eight-inch fixed focal point telescope for persons with disabilities, two spectrographs, a hydrogen-alpha filter, an objective prism, and two charge-coupled devices (CCD). A 20-inch telescope and a 16-inch telescope are installed under dark skies at a site remote from the campus. They are used for training advanced students and for research work in photometry and spectroscopy. Opportunities are provided for students to do research with Astronomy-Physics faculty.


Courses are open to undergraduate and master’s degree students. In 400-level courses, however, graduate students are expected to do additional work, including reading selected primary sources and, when appropriate, completing additional observatory/laboratory work.

Degree Opportunities

Students may pursue an individualized B.A. or M.A. degree that includes astronomy-physics through UIS’ Liberal and Integrative Studies Department. A typical core group of courses for a degree might include:

ASP 201 University Physics I

ASP 202 University Physics II

ASP 303 Modern Astronomy

ASP 404 Astrophysics

ASP 406 Modern Cosmology

ASP 407 Practical Astronomy

ASP 408 Observational Astronomy

ASP 409 Galaxies: Structure and Evolution

Students should ask Astronomy-Physics faculty for advice about courses related to degree work through the Liberal Studies Department. Contact the Astronomy-Physics Department for further information.


Thematic Activity


Faculty: John Martin
Emeritus Faculty: Charles Schweighauser
Associated Faculty: Hei-Chi Chan
Adjunct Faculty: Dawn Jacobs, Jennifer Thomas


Phone: 217/206-6721