Astronomy Transfer Program

The Astronomy program is a transfer program that is approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education and ICCB. The program gives an overall view of modern astronomy with emphasis on an understanding of the structure and properties of the universe, from the earth to the most distant galaxies discernible. In addition, there are laboratory experiments embedded within the curriculum that allow the students to have a real feel of what astronomy entails. At the end of the program, students will have earned an AS.


The mission of the Astronomy program is to prepare students for a seamless transfer into a four-year institution to earn a BS or higher degree in applied Astronomy that will enable them to become the next pioneers and researchers of the galaxy.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify actual and apparent motions of the stars, sun, moon, and planets.
  • Explain presently accepted ideas for the age, formation, and composition of our solar system.
  • Describe the physical makeup of each of the planets (both terrestrial and jovian), their satellites, the asteroids, etc.
  • Describe the possible size and extent of our universe.
  • Describe the electromagnetic spectrum and explain how the universe is studied using its various wavelengths.
  • Describe the various types of stars, their differing makeups, and how Astronomers categorize them.
  • Demonstrate a general knowledge of blackholes and warped spacetime.
  • Discuss their own beliefs regarding the possibilities of life elsewhere in the universe.

Recommended AS Transfer Curriculum for Astronomy

This is only a suggested transfer program and might not be appropriate for every student. Some four-year institutions accept more than 62 credit hours in transfer to fulfill requirements in astronomy. Consult the Transfer Center for help in selecting courses appropriate for the program at the college or university where you plan to transfer.

Faculty are available during scheduled office hours to advise students about their program and career opportunities. Peruse some of the offerings in the Physical Sciences Department.

All full-time transfer students are required to take OCS 121.

Overview for College Success Credits
OCS 121 Overview for College Success 1
Overview for College Success (OCS 121) is a class that will help you plan and assist you in becoming a better student and support you in your work/life balance. OCS 121 credit is not calculated in the course minimum credit totals listed in this section.

Minimum General Education (45)

Communications (9) Semester Hours
ENG 101 Composition and Rhetoric 3
ENG 102 Composition and Research 3
SPE 108 Oral Communication 3
Humanities and Fine Arts (9) 9
Select from Group II 9
Social and Behavioral Science (9) 9
Select from Group III 9
Mathematics (5) 5
MTH 190 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I 5
Physical and Life Science (8) 8
CHM 113 General Chemistry I 5
Select Life Science 4
Area of Concentration/Electives (22)
AST 101 Introduction to Astronomy 5
CHM 114 General Chemistry II 5
PHY 210 University Physics I 4
PHY 211 University Physics II
(Many four-year institutions may also require PHY212.)
MTH 203 Calculus and Analytic Geometry II
(Many four-year institutions require MTH204.)
The selected electives listed above may satisfy the additional Math and Physical or Life Science courses required for the AS.
Minimum for AS Degree 62