The University announced the addition of a new astronomy program, which will extend from the physics department.
Dr. Daniel McIntosh, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, was assigned to develop an astronomy major and minor.
McIntosh said the physics department decided to expand because astronomy is an exciting area for research and it is hoping to draw new students.
After five years, McIntosh seemed satisfied to announce that the minor is already available and the major is in the process of approval with the Missouri Department of Higher Education, and should be available in 2014.
“So far two students have declared the minor,” stated McIntosh. “And about twenty different students will declare a major once the process has been approved.”
The requirements for the minor are similar to those of any other department minor.
“The minor requires eighteen units and half of them have to be upper division courses” said McIntosh. “The lower division requirements are two fundamental physics courses, which are 240 and 250 plus three upper division courses.”
The astronomy degree will offer classes that where both McIntosh and Dr. Mark Brodwin, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, will teach. Courses will include Stellar Astro-Physics, which emphasizes how stars work and Cosmology, which is a study of the universe.
Not every class will be lecture-based.
“We will also offer practical astronomy classes, which are essentially advanced lab classes,” McIntosh said.
Students not interested in majoring or minoring in astronomy can still access the UMKC observatory for free
“Any student can visit the telescope on our open Friday nights, which starts in March and goes all through the summer,” McInotsh said. “You can show up at dusk, which is when the sun goes down.”