Astronomy is the science dedicated to the study of the organization, behavior and evolution of matter and energy in the universe. Specific areas of study include the nature and formation of planets, stars and galaxies, as well as the significances of the grand scale structure of the entire universe.

Astronomy courses are intended for any student with an interest in the subject. All are taught with an emphasis on conceptual understanding, although laboratory exercises do involve some use of basic algebra.

Degree Options

Astronomy degrees at the bachelor's level are generally offered by physics departments. Students interested in pursuing astronomy as a major after transfer to a baccalaureate institution should obtain an Associate in Science (AS) Degree - Option II, following the course sequence specified for physics majors. (See AS Option II in the Degrees section of the catalog.)


Career Opportunities

    Astronomy bachelor's or master's degree holders often enter a field unrelated to astronomy, and they are qualified to work in planetariums running science shows, to assist astronomers doing research, and to operate space-based and ground-based telescopes and other astronomical instrumentation.

    Persons with only a bachelor's degree in physics or astronomy are not qualified to enter most physicist or astronomer research jobs but may qualify for a wide range of positions related to engineering, mathematics, computer science, and environmental science. Those who meet state certification requirements can become high school physics teachers, an occupation in strong demand in many school districts. Most states require new teachers to obtain a master's degree in education.



The Science Division seeks to provide students with a diverse array of physical and life science classes through which they will develop an increased awareness and understanding of scientific knowledge and the scientific method of investigation by which this knowledge has been gained.

Program Outcomes

  • An understanding of discipline specific terminology and methods.
  • An ability to correctly use discipline specific tools and /or techniques.
  • Critical thinking skills necessary in science including appropriate study techniques, problem solving skills and the use of data to assess the validity of claims.
  • The ability to research, interpret and communicate concepts obtained from scientific literature.
  • An understanding of the relationships between course concepts and society, including the impact of course specific technology.