two students working with a professor
Physics and astronomy students at UA learn by doing, often in classes that combine lecture and lab work. Shown here: Dr. Dawn Williams (right).

Major and Minor Programs

The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a major program in physics, with the option to complete the astrophysics track. Although we don’t offer an undergraduate major in solely astronomy, undergraduates interested in astronomy, astrophysics, or space science find what they’re looking for in the astrophysics track. More information on the physics major and the astrophysics track can be found on our Major Requirements page.

We also offer a minor in astronomy, open to students in any major program.

General information about UA’s physics programs is available on the University’s website.

The department also offers a high school physics teacher certification program and a second-major curriculum for engineering majors.

The department also offers an accelerated Masters program for gifted and highly motivated undergrads. General information can be found at the University Scholars website.

In addition, the University of Alabama offers undergraduate students opportunities to participate in (a) cooperative exchange programs and (b) 1-2 semester national exchange program. Details on both programs can be found at the University’s Special Academic programs website.


The department offers a good selection of courses at the lower, middle and upper undergraduate levels. Detailed course descriptions, including information about which courses are best for majors vs. nonmajors, are available through these links:

Students are also encouraged to undertake research with faculty members, either formally as an Independent Study course (AY 491, AY492) or informally. Students should contact faculty members about the possibility of conducting research before registering for AY491/AY492.

Sample syllabi and other course materials may also be found through our Course Resources page.