UNC-Chapel Hill students may take ERIRA for experiential-education (EE) and laboratory credit as ASTR 111L.

ASTR 111L is a one-credit course designed to give undergraduates an exciting, hands-on introduction to the research process, and to radio astronomy. Although the course is administered in the fall semester, the bulk of the work takes place the summer before, during ERIRA at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Green Bank, West Virginia. Dates for the trip are usually known by February 1st.

ASTR 111L may only be taken by students who have completed ERIRA. Admission to ERIRA is competitive and a short application is required. However, there are no other prerequisites and no background in astronomy is required: Majors, potential majors, and non-majors are equally encouraged to apply.

ASTR 111L may also be used as a substitute for ASTR 101L.


50% of the grade is for participation in ERIRA, including final presentations at the end of the week. 25% of the grade is for an approximately 10-page paper primarily on the mapping project that all of the students carry out in the first half of the week. 25% of the grade is for an approximately 5-page paper on the smaller, more research-oriented project in which each student is most involved. Papers are due on October 15th and December 1st, respectively.  The class does not meet during the fall semester.