Astronomy Courses

The Department of Natural Science offers a regular selection of courses in astronomy, designed to meet the needs of all students. Beginning students and non-science majors will be interested in our introductory courses. More advanced science, mathematics, and engineering students maybe interested in our upper level courses. Those who desire an in-depth understanding of astronomy may wish to consider our Astronomy Minor.

Introductory Courses:

These courses partially fulfill science distribution requirements in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters and the College of Business. Students in the College of Engineering and the School of Education are strongly encouraged to consider the study of astronomy, but should consult their academic advisor to see how these courses would fit in their degree program.

Introduction to Astronomy - ASTR 130
Offered Fall, Winter, and Summer II Terms
3 Credits

A one-term introduction for those interested in learning about the present state of knowledge of the Universe, its origin, evolution, organization, and ultimate fate. Exciting new discoveries concerning extrasolar planets, star birth, supermassive black holes, dark matter/dark energy, and cosmology are discussed. Two years of high school math or its equivalent recommended.

Introduction to Astronomy Lab- ASTR 131
Offered Fall and Winter Terms
1 Credit

An introduction to some of the important observational techniques and analytical methods used by astronomers. Ground-based and satellite data will be used to reveal physical and chemical properties of the moon, planets, stars, and the Milky Way. Outdoor exercises involving telescopic observation of the sun, variable stars, nebulae, and external galaxies are also included. Constellation identification will be taught using off-campus planetarium facilities.

Upper Level Courses:

These courses are designed for students who desire a more in-depth understanding of astronomy and astrophysics. In general these courses are offered once every other year. Please check the schedule of classes for availability.

ASTR 301 Astrophysical Concepts
3 credits

ASTR 330 Measuring the Universe - The Cosmic Distance Scale
3 credits

ASTR 361 Observational Techniques
3 credits

ASTR/GEOL 407/507 Planetary Geology
3 credits

ASTR/PHYS 421 Stellar Astrophysics
3 credits

ASTR/PHYS 440 Galaxies and Cosmology
3 credits

Astronomy Minor:

Students who successfully complete PHYS 305 or ASTR 301 and 9 hours of upper-level course work in astronomy may receive a Minor in Astronomy. This minor is appropriate for students who wish to pursue a post graduate degree in astronomy or physics, students pursuing a secondary education physics certification, or any student with a deep interest in the field.

Additional information about the requirements for the astronomy minor can be found in this flyer, or contact:

Dr. Don Bord (


Dr. Will Clarkson (