What will I learn?

The Department of Physics & Astronomy offers majors in both physics and astronomy, serves a variety of other majors in the sciences and education, and offers general education courses to a wide range of students.

The Physics major provides a broad base of fundamentals, yet gives you the opportunity to get specialized training. First, you take two-semester introductory courses that survey physics, chemistry, and calculus. Then, you follow up with courses covering classical and modern physics, computational physics, and applied mathematics. The capstone experience is a senior project. If you would like, you can pursue topics of interest to you through independent study. An adviser works closely with you to plan what's best for your situation.

New in Fall 2012 is a 49-credit astronomy major leading to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. Astronomy is a field that captures the popular imagination. Many of us are eager to explore the science of stars, galaxies, and the solar system and to extend our understanding of the physical nature of the universe. The study of astronomy engages this natural curiosity about the cosmos while strengthening the student's scientific and technological literacy. Students have ample opportunity to study one or more other academic areas and may choose to declare a second major or to minor in a field that supports their career goals.

Required Astronomy courses......................9 credits
PHY205 Exploring the Solar System (3)
PHY340 Introduction to Astrophysics (3)
PHY341 Observational Astronomy (3)

Elective Astronomy courses*.......................9 credits
PHY342 Planetarium Operation (3)
PHY343 Solar Physics (3)
PHY344 Extraterrestrial Life (3)

*Other elective offerings to come

Physics courses...........................................15 credits
PHY201 General Physics I (3)
PHY211 Physics I Lab (1)
PHY202 General Physics II (3)
PHY212 General Physics II Lab (1)
PHY306 Mechanics I (3)
PHY308 Modern Physics I (3)
PHY310 Modern Physics I Lab (1)

Cognate courses..........................................16 credits
CHE201 General Chemistry I (3)
CHE211 General Chemistry I Lab (1)
CHE202 General Chemistry II (3)
CHE212 General Chemistry II Lab (1)
MAT251 Calculus I (4)
MAT252 Calculus II (4)

Which department am I in?

School of Science and Engineering

Study options

Full Time (8 semesters)

Tuition fees
$17,998.00 (13,51,201) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Application deadline

1 December 2021, 1 May 2022

Start date

24 January 2022, 29 August 2022


School of Science and Engineering

Science Hall, Room 153, SUNY New Paltz,

1 Hawk Drive,


New York,

12561, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

To qualify for the BS in Computer Engineering + MS in Electrical Engineering program, students must have completed the first semester of their junior year in residence at SUNY New Paltz with an overall SUNY New Paltz GPA of at least 3.0.

For international students

Students must have a high school degree and a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale (or an 85% grade average or higher).

English Language Proficiency: TOEFL iBT – 80; IELTS - 6.5; PTE Academic – 58; Duolingo English Test – 105. Application Deadlines: December 1 for Spring semester (January start); May 1 for Fall semester (August start).

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About State University of New York at New Paltz

The State University of New York at New Paltz is an affordable yet high-quality university offering a diverse range of programs.

  • Affordable, high-quality university
  • Small class sizes with a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Builds future professionals with lasting skills
  • Academic English pathway program available