Program Courses - Overview

The Department of Astronomy Offers a Full Spectrum of Transferable Astronomy Courses and AS/AA Degrees


Our Mission:

  • Deliver quality lower-division lecture/laboratory based courses for transfer students in Astronomy and Astrophysics.
  • Provide general education courses in Astronomy for students of all majors and interests.  We offer Astronomy 20, 21 and 25 courses (see below) that can be taken by any student.  These courses have no prerequisites and do not require any advanced math skills.
  • Increase student retention rate and transfer rate to universities and other four year colleges by affording students with expert instructors and diverse class schedules.
  • Allow non-science majors an engaging and manageable alternative to fulfill their G.E. science lab requirement.

Courses Offered:


Astronomy 20 - An introductory course covering the development of astronomy and our current understanding of the cosmos. Topics include the study of the solar system, the nature and evolution of stars and galaxies along with various other astronomical objects and phenomena. It also provides a general overview of cosmology (the study of the origins of our universe).

Astronomy 21 - An in depth look at the origins and evolution of our local solar system. This includes a detailed comparison of the composition, surface geological processes, and atmospheric and thermal characteristics of the planets (both terrestrial and Jovian) as well as their major satellites.

Astronomy 25 - A course in observational astronomy covering various astronomical targets (the planets, moon, galaxies and nebula), types of telescope and methods of observation. This course provides hand-on experience with telescopes through observation and experimentation. Students have access to the school's considerable inventory of quality telescopes (including the college's state of the art observatory and its uncommon 10" refractor) to observe the sun, moon, planets, stars, nebulae and galaxies.  The class culminates with a night field trip to a remote desert location to view objects under dark skies with a large portable telescopes.

Taken in conjunction with either Astro 20 or Astro 21, Astro 25 satisfies the General Education Science Lab Requirements. Units are transferable to both the CSU and UC systems.  Additionally, many students take astronomy for personal enrichment.

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