What degree does an astrophysicist need

Astronomy study requirements, aptitude test and difference to astrology

We have put together important information for everyone who is interested in studying astronomy. There is also an astronomy quiz here and we explain the differences to astrology.

What is astronomy

The word astronomy comes from the Greek and means something like “observation of the stars”. Objects in the universe are examined on a scientific basis. The findings of astronomy help us to understand how the universe came into being and how it was structured. Furthermore, the possibility of living beings on other planets is examined in astronomy.

Difference Between Astronomy and Astrology

Before the Middle Ages, astronomy (as knowledge about the universe) and astrology (star interpretation - the position and course of objects in space transferred to earthly events) belonged to one and the same discipline. With the increasing scientific observation of the universe, these two disciplines separated from each other. Due to a lack of scientific evidence, astrology is now only of religious and cultural importance in science. In contrast, astronomy and astrophysics have a permanent place in the scientific disciplines.

Requirements for studying astronomy

The prerequisite for studying physics with a focus on astronomy at a university is a general higher education entrance qualification (Abitur). At most universities, the physics course has no admission and is therefore not linked to the Abitur grade. All prospective students should be interested in mathematics and the natural sciences such as physics and chemistry.

Studying astronomy in Germany - universities

Anyone interested in astronomy should take a look at the physics courses at German universities. Because astronomy and astrophysics have become integral parts of the physical sciences. During a physics degree, astrophysics or astronomy can be chosen at many universities. Heidelberg University, for example, has its own faculty for physics and astronomy. Classes are held there in German and English. Other well-known physics universities in Germany include the University of Rostock, University of Würzburg, University of Halle-Wittenberg, Jacobs University in Bremen, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the University of Potsdam.

Astronomy - course content

Astronomy is one of the natural science courses. That is why graduates of physics specializing in astronomy receive a Bachelor of Science degree (B. Sc.). The course content is divided into subjects, for example according to the type of objects, or according to whether the knowledge was obtained scientifically or observationally. The basic course includes subjects such as physics (mechanics, optics, heat, atomic physics, quantum mechanics), mathematics, chemistry (inorganic and organic chemistry) and computer science (programming). The main course is divided into experimental, theoretical and applied physics. It is not for nothing that many universities call the subject astrophysics instead of astronomy.