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Program Description

Astronomy is the study of the universe. Various branches of astronomy include: cosmology, planetary, geology, space plasma physics, and image analysis, amongst others. Astronomy is focused on understanding the fundamental laws of the universe.

The astronomy program serves two goals: 1) To serve as a science literacy and general education course, and 2) to provide a foundation for upper division study in a baccalaureate institution in preparation for transfer.

Course Catalog Description

Click here for course description from Catalog

Who takes astronomy classes?

Our students range from high school students to lifelong learners. Some students take our astronomy classes because they satisfy general education requirements, others because they satisfy their intellectual curiosity. We offer our ASTR 101 and ASTR 102 classes in a state-of-the-art planetarium to improve the educational experience.  These classes also help you decide if you want to pursue a career in astronomy!

What do astronomers do?

Pursuing a degree in astronomy leads to lots of job options! Some astronomers work at universities and research laboratories. Others work in science museums, planetariums, and K-12 facilities. Most positions require advanced degrees, but others (such as observatory technicians and science journalists) do not.

What is the career outlook?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected employment growth for astronomers is 7% from 2014 to 2024. The median annual salary for astronomers is $104,740 in May 2016.

For more information about astronomy-related careers, visit the American Astronomical Society's Careers website. 

Program 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.

Related Majors/Degrees/Certificates


Any questions?

Please contact the Physical Sciences Department Chair, Dr. James Covalt.


San Diego City College is home to a Spitz SciDomeHD planetarium.

When you take ASTR 101 with us, your classroom is a planetarium!

City's astronomy faculty members also perform planetarium shows as part of the college's many cultural programs, such as World Cultures.

The SDCC planetarium is also available for outreach to both the campus community and the public. Please join us to share in the wonder of the universe! Contact City College's Outreach office ( or Dr. Lisa M. Will ( for more information.