Memo to Undergraduate Astronomy Students Regarding Astronomy Courses

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Welcome to this undergraduate Astronomy course. To prevent misunderstandings, we wish to clarify the ground rules set by the Astronomy Department for our undergraduate courses. These courses operate with mutual responsibilities between faculty and students.

For each of our classes:

Note that our undergraduate courses are taught by faculty, who are also professional astronomers. In addition to their obligations to you and the other students in this and other courses, our faculty have responsibilities to their graduate students and to remain professionally competent through individual research. As a consequence, your instructor may occasionally need to be away conducting research or attending a scientific meeting. Usually a faculty member will conduct the class when the regular instructor is absent.

We expect, and usually find, honesty in our students. Your instructor will explain any special rules, such as the encouragement of genuine collaboration (not copying!) among students on homework assignments and projects. However, submission of another's work or cheating on examinations are automatically grounds for failure in the course and reporting to the Dean of Students.

If you have any complaints or problems, please try to work out a solution with your instructor first. If you and your instructor cannot find an amicable solution, then please see either:

Milos Milosavljevic
Chair of the Astronomy
Undergraduate Studies Committee
(Office: RLM 17.220, Phone: 471-3397)


Dan Jaffe
Chair of the Astronomy Department
(Office: RLM 15.218, Phone: 471-3302)

For general questions about undergraduate courses, please consult Rachel Walker in the Astronomy Student Office, RLM 15.202AA, This office handles many student matters including adds at the beginning of the semester.

Finally, all students enrolled in undergraduate Astronomy courses are encouraged to attend our free Astronomy events (e.g. star parties, public lectures) and/or visit the 9-inch telescope on the roof of Painter Hall and the 16-inch one on the roof of RLM. For more information, read the flyers posted on the 4th floor of R.L. Moore Hall, call our Skywatchers' Report at 471-5007, or check the Astronomy Department webpages at

Upon request The University of Texas at Austin provides appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TTY.