Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
As early as the first year of instruction at Tufts College (1854-55), physics was a required field of study in the four year curriculum, with students beginning study of the during the second half of their sophomore year. Under the heading of physics, courses in astronomy were also taught during this period. Prior to the 1891-92 academic year, no departments were designated, other than the Department of Engineering, however, physics is among the first liberal arts departments listed in the catalogue in 1891.
There has never been an autonomous Department of Astronomy. A major in the field was offered from 1966-1973, under the supervision of the Department of Mathematics. Following the shift from a major to an astronomy plan of study in 1973, astronomy courses fell under the jurisdiction of the Department of Physics. The department's name changed to Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1987.
Source: BTU [Arts and Sciences]