Computer Science & Astronomy

What Is It?:

The LAS major in Computer Science & Astronomy is a flexible program for students who plan to pursue technical or professional careers in arts and sciences areas requiring a sound grounding in computer science.This major allows students to combine study of computer science with training in Astronomy to offer students novel perspectives in interdisciplinary work. Students can use the supporting coursework to prepare for employment immediately upon graduation or for pursuing graduate study in a wide variety of fields or to complete a significant body of courses in a single area, such as a double major or minor. Students who plan to pursue graduate study in Astronomy or Astrophysics will be well-served by pursuing an double major in Physics.

Students are strongly encouraged to get involved in undergraduate research through independent studies and funded research experiences, with the goal of learning from the University of Illinois CS and LAS internationally recognized scholars outside the classroom and participating in the exciting quest for new contributions to the field.

Courses That Introduce the Major:

  • CS 125 - Intro to Computer Science
  • CS 173 - Discrete Structures 
  • MATH 220/221, 231, 241 - Calculus sequence
  • ASTR 210 - Introduction to Astrophysics

Possible Career Opportunities:

  • Software systems
  • Data networking
  • Digital art
  • Inventory management
  • Imaging
  • Networking
  • Site monitoring
  • Data collection

Common Career Titles Related to this Major:

(Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree)

  • Experience Researcher 
  • Data Scientist
  • Coder
  • Computer Engineer
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computer Systems Manager
  • Database Manager
  • Electronic Data Processing Auditor
  • Software Engineer
  • Special Effects (FX) Specialist

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Join a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • iRoboticsA community of students interested in competing in CARD and other robotics competitions, as well as spreading the word of science and technology to the community.
    • Women in Computer Scinece (WCS)Women in Computer Science is a non-profit, educational, service organization dedicated to supporting the efforts of young women who are considering pursuit of a career in computer science or show an overall interest in computers.
    • Astronomical Society at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIAS): To interest and educate students, faculty, staff, and the community about the wonders of astronomy.

Related Skills:

  • Ability to analyze & interpret data
  • Advanced quantitative skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Critical thinking
  • Efficient
  • Logical thinking
  • Numerical computation
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem solving
  • Systemizing skills
  • Team skills
  • Testing skills

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in Computer Sc ience & Astronomy, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major.

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Computer Science and Anthropology. Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Computer Science & Astronomy. These organizations include American Astronomical Society and American Association for Artifical Intelligence.

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in Computer Science & Astronomy, visit Undergraduate Programs.