Program of Study

The following requirements are in addition to those of a student’s department of concentration.  By appropriate choice of courses, a student may satisfy the program and the concentration requirements, as well as University distribution requirements.  For the certificate, the core course and cognate courses may not be taken as P/D/F.

  1. Students must take the core course AST/CHM/EEB/GEO 255.
  2. Students must take an additional four cognate courses. Only two of the cognate courses can be in the student’s department of concentration or be requirements of their majors (though exceptions can be considered on a case-by-case basis); The cognate course must be approved by the program chairperson and students are encouraged to discuss their choices in the early stages of their planning.
  3. Juniors and seniors would participate in a noncredit, Planets and Life Undergraduate Colloquium that is designed to assist students in carrying out their junior and senior thesis research, assist them with identifying resources and with writing, and expose them to senior thesis research related to astrobiology that is being carried out in other departments on campus.  Each student will present a report on their junior paper or senior thesis research to their classmates.  In any given year the colloquium will be run by the program director or a member of the executive committee. 
  4. To qualify for the certificate, an A.B. student must do at least one of his/her JP's on an astrobiology topic and as part of his/her senior thesis devote a chapter to an astrobiology topic, both subject to approval by the program director in consultation with executive committee members. Engineering students must devote one chapter of their senior independent work to an astrobiology topic, again subject to approval by the program chairperson in consultation with executive committee members. The relevant content of the student’s senior thesis or senior independent work will be presented at a special Planets and Life poster session at the end of their senior year. The student should also participate in at least one semester of the Planets and Life Undergraduate Colloquium.