Astronomy and Cosmologies

Spring 2016 quarter

Taught by


Proficiency with algebra; strong reading and writing skills.

Our goal in this program is to learn beginning to intermediate astronomy through lectures, discussions, interactive workshops, and observation using the naked eye, binoculars, and telescopes. We will learn about the evolution and structure of our universe and its celestial bodies. Students will build and take home astronomical tools such as spectrometers and position finders. Students will also research a topic of interest via observations and reading and share their research with classmates.

In our seminars, we will discuss the idea of cosmologies: how people across cultures and throughout history have understood, modeled, and ordered the universe they perceived. We will study creation stories and worldviews, from those of ancient peoples to modern astrophysicists. Students will meet in small teams for pre-seminar discussion and write essays and responses to the readings.

Students taking this program must be willing to work in teams and use computers for online assignments. They are invited to help organize an observation field trip to regions with clear skies.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

astronomy, physics, mythology, education, natural sciences, history, and philosophy of science.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Evening


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Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning

More information about online learning.

Special Expenses

Approximately $40 for materials; $200-$300 for binoculars and a tripod; and up to $300 for a possible field trip.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Sophomore–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 25


Course Reference Numbers

So (16 credits): 30082
Jr (16 credits): 30083
Sr (16 credits): 30084

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