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John Whitmer - Physical Sciences
Building 28, Room 236
If you are fascinated by the marvels of space, then consider a career in the field of astronomy.
In this area of study, you will take the classes you need to transfer to a four-year college or university as a junior to complete your bachelor’s degree in astronomy. You’ll learn astronomy, math and physics and complete general education requirements in areas such as English and the humanities. Some of your learning will take place in the SFCC state-of-the-art digital planetarium located on campus.
Studying astronomy could lead to a variety of excellent careers—from astronomer to science teacher to science journalist.
The major career paths in astronomy are professional research and teaching at a college or university (generally requiring a Master’s degree or PhD), scientific/technical support positions at observatories or planetariums and private industry jobs.
In order to pursue an astronomy degree an SFCC students should take a full year of calculus (MATH 151, 152, and 153) and a full year of calculus-based physics (PHYS 201, 202, and 203).
There are no undergraduate astronomy degrees at local universities in eastern Washington. Students would need to transfer to the University of Washington to pursue a BS in Astronomy. Astronomy admissions are typically highly competitive and students with strong backgrounds in physics and math have better chance of admission. If possible, seek out undergraduate research opportunities and summer internships to bolster your options.
ASTR& 100 — Survey of Astronomy — 5.0
This course provides a survey of astronomy that includes its history as a science, the motions of celestial objects, the solar system, the life cycles of stars, the Milky Way and other galaxies, and cosmology. This is a non-lab physical science course, and credit will not be granted for both ASTR& 100 and ASTR& 101.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes
ASTR& 101 — Intro to Astronomy — 5.0
This course provides an introduction to general astronomy topics such as patterns of motion in the sky, the physics of motion and light, the formation and characteristics of the solar system, stars and stellar evolution, galaxies, and cosmology. Weekly laboratory required. Credit will not be granted for both ASTR& 101 and ASTR& 100.View SFCC Course Learning Outcomes