Physical and Earth Sciences

All Rows (L to R of image): Robert Kojima, John Malinky, Soheila Beladi, Lisa Will, Gene Terray, Lisa Chaddock, Nancy Crispen, Gay Olivier-Lilley, James Covalt, Richard Mellinger, Jessica Woods, Shane Haggard, Lorenza Levy, James Hinton, Tim Ziegler, Brodne Fitzgerald, James Avila, Jerry Scappaticci, Wei-Hao Huang, Ed Sebring, Ram Gurumurthy, Frank Barish

Program Description

Earth and physical sciences, including astronomy, chemistry, geography, geographic information systems, geology, and physics are disciplines classified as natural sciences. They generally involve nonliving materials and the principles of fundamental relationships and laws in the universe.

Program Emphasis

These programs are designed to prepare students with basic concepts in astronomy, chemistry, geography, geology and physics which provide the foundation for upper division study in a baccalaureate institution and also satisfy general education requirements.


Most careers in earth and physical sciences fields require education beyond the associate degree and many require a graduate degree. A brief list of career options in the physical sciences includes: astronomer, biophysicist, biochemist, chemist, earth scientist, environmentalist, geographer, geologist, geophysicist, meteorologist, oceanographer, paleontologist, physicist and physical science instructor.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the scientific method.
  • Communicate an understanding of the connections between science and other human activities.
  • Examine the universe in a variety of courses.
  • Utilize critical thinking skills in a variety of scientific applications.