Wayne State University

Aim Higher

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Wayne State University offers a large array of courses designed to support its undergraduate and graduate academic programs. There are also courses designed for non physics or non science majors desiring to acquire some background in science literacy and/or wishing to satisfy the University General Education Requirements in Science. Note that most of these courses are taught by our experienced Faculty. 

Browse the following links to learn more about our courses. Please contact us if you require additional information. 



Course syllabi are available here

Astronomy - Winter 2017

AST 2010 - (PS) Descriptive Astronomy

Lecture course that introduces the concepts and methods of modern astronomy, the solar system, stars, galaxies, and cosmology; recent discoveries about planets, moons, the sun, pulsars, quasars, and black holes. Credits: 4

AST 2011 - Descriptive Astronomy Laboratory

Laboratory exercises and observations; includes two late evening viewing sessions. Satisfies General Education Laboratory requirement when taken concurrently with AST 2010. Credits: 1

AST 4100 - Astronomical Techniques

Techniques of modern astrophysics. Detectors used in astronomy for optical and infrared photons, radio and microwaves, X- and gamma rays, and neutrinos. Techniques in imaging, photometry, spectroscopy, astrometry, polarimetry, and for analyzing public data available on the web. Credits: 3

AST 4200 - (WI) Astronomical Laboratory

Introduction to laboratory techniques of modern astrophysics. Optical astronomy, including measurement of the quantum efficiency of a CCD-based astronomical digital camera; measurement of the throughput as a function of wavelength of a set of standard astronomical filters; measurement of the HR diagram of a star cluster using the calibrated camera and filters. Credits: 2

AST 4300 - Planetary Astronomy and Space Science

Formation and evolution of the solar system: planetary surfaces, interiors, atmospheres, and magnetospheres; asteroids, comets, planetary satellites, and ring systems. Emphasis on using basic physics to understand observed properties of the solar system. Credits: 3

AST 5100 - Galaxies and the Universe

Exploration of the world of galaxies, starting with the Milky Way and moving outward to larger scales. Basic properties of galaxies: galaxy classification, structure, evolution, observations of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), Quasar, and Seyfert galaxies. Discovery of dark matter and black holes. Cosmology: origins of the universe in a hot big bang; its expansion history including recent evidence that the cosmic expansion is accelerating; the cosmic microwave background, and the ultimate fate of the universe. Capstone course for astronomy majors. Credits: 3