Program of Study

The following requirements are in addition to those of a student's major department. By appropriate choice of courses, a student may satisfy both the program and major requirements, as well as University distribution requirements.  For the certificate, the core course (AST/CHM/EEB/GEO 255) and cognate courses may not be taken as P/D/F.

1.  Students must take the core course AST/CHM/EEB/GEO 255.  This is the only specifically required course.

2.  Students must take an additional four cognate courses. The intent is to provide students with a breadth of experience in the general topic of astrobiology, while at the same time affording them flexibility in the selection of cognate courses.  In this spirit, cognate courses will be approved on a case-by-case basis with the student's mentor, in consultation (if necessary) with the program director and executive committee.  Importantly, all courses and sample programs shown on the website are merely suggestions and in no way constitute a list of all possible courses.  Moreover, only two of the cognate courses can be in the student's major department (though exceptions can be considered on a case-by-case basis). Students are encouraged to discuss their choices with their mentors in the early stages of their planning.

3.  To qualify for the certificate, an A.B. student must do at least one of his/her JP's on an astrobiology topic and devote a chapter of his/her senior thesis 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 of the program director in consultation with executive committee members.

4.  The relevant content of the student's senior thesis or senior independent work will be presented at a special Planets and Life Symposium session at the end of their senior year.