Astrobiology Minor

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The Astrobiology Minor at Cornell is designed for students interested in astronomy, geophysics, biology and science communication. We encourage students to reach out to CSI members to do research in the different teams searching for life in the universe as part of their minor (independent study).

The Astrobiology Minor is designed for students who are interested in the search for life in the universe, the origin of life on Earth, the evolution of life on Earth, possible life in the Solar System and on Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. The minor provides a cross-disciplinary frame work linking selected Astronomy courses with appropriate courses in Earth and Atmospheric Science, Biology and Science Communication, including:

3 courses in Astronomy from the list below, at least 2 of which must be at or above the 3000 level.

  •        ASTRO 1101 – From New Worlds to Black Holes and
  •        ASTRO 1103 – From New Worlds to Black Holes
  •        ASTRO 2202 – A Spacecraft Tour of the Solar System: Science, Policy & Exploration
  •        ASTRO 2212 – The Solar System: Planets, Small Bodies and New Worlds
  •        ASTRO 2299 – Search for Life in the Universe
  •        ASTRO 3301 – [Exoplanets & Planetary Systems]
  •        ASTRO 3302 – The Life of Stars: From Birth to Death
  •        ASTRO 3310 – Planetary Image Processing
  •        ASTRO 3334 – Data Analysis and Research Techniques in Astronomy
  •        ASTRO 4410 – Experimental Astronomy

3 courses in other departments from the list below, at least 1 of which must be from the first 3 courses which are focused on Biology/Geobiology.

  • BIOMI 2900 – General Microbiology Lectures or
  • EAS 2500 – Meteorological Observations and Instruments or
  • EAS 3030 – Introduction to Biogeochemistry (crosslisted)
  • BIOMG 4380 – The RNA World
  • BIOMG 4810 – Population Genetics (crosslisted)
  • COMM 2850 – Communication, Environment, Science, and Health (crosslisted)
  • COMM 3020 – Science Writing for the Media (crosslisted)
  • EAS 3010 – Evolution of the Earth System
  • EAS 3050 – Climate Dynamics