With the goal of understanding the physical processes that govern the universe, its constituents, and their origins and evolution, astronomy uses the apparatus and methodology of physics to gather and interpret data. Theoretical work and technology development round out astrophysics. In what follows, we use the terms "astronomy" and "astrophysics" interchangeably.
The astrophysics option is designed to give the student an understanding of the basic facts and concepts of astronomy today, to stimulate his or her interest in research, and to provide a basis for graduate work in astronomy/astrophysics. It is desirable for a student to gain as broad a background as possible in related fields of science and engineering.