Computer Science & Astronomy

Major Description

Do you love pursuing and discovering new knowledge? Would you like to apply your problem-solving skills and computational expertise to big-impact mysteries like the origins of life and our universe? If you answered yes to either question, then you should consider the CS + Astronomy degree.

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 a 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 124—Intro to Computer Science 1
  • CS 128—Intro to Computer Science 2 
  • CS 173 - Discrete Structures 
  • MATH 220/221, 231, 241 - Calculus sequence
  • PHYS 211 - University Physics: Mechanics
  • ASTR 210 - Introduction to Astrophysics

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period.

Possible Career Opportunities:

After earning their CS + Astronomy degrees, our graduates are poised to launch their careers or pursue graduate studies in a wide variety of fields

  • Ability to analyze & interpret data
  • Advanced quantitative skills
  • Communication
  • Computer skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Data science
  • Experimental design
  • Gathering observations/data
  • Hardware systems
  • Logic and reasoning skills
  • Networking
  • Problem solving skills
  • Software systems
  • Teamwork
  • Technical writing
  • Applications Programmer
  • Artificial Intelligence Specialist
  • Astronomer
  • Astrophysicist
  • Computer Engineer
  • Computer Programmer
  • Computer Systems Manager
  • Data Scientist
  • Database Manager
  • Operating Systems Programmer
  • Operations Research Specialist
  • Professor
  • Research Associate
  • Research Programmer
  • Research Scientist
  • Scientist
  • Software Engineer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Systems Software Developer
  • Technical Writer

Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree.

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:
    • iRobotics: A 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.
Further Information:

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Computer Science and Astronomy. 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.