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Associate in Science, Emphasis in Astronomy

The Associate in Science (AS), Emphasis in Astronomy provides the first two years of a four-year curriculum for students who intend to transfer to a four-year institution to specialize in Astronomy or a related field. Upon completion of a graduate degree, students may pursue a number of careers including astronomers, atmospheric and space scientists, physicists, and astronomy professors.


Details iconImportant information you’ll need when applying for admission:
Field of Interest
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Associate Degree
Associate in Science, Emphasis in Astronomy (DEG)
Total Credits Required
Students at any Maricopa Community College may need to complete courses at more than one of our colleges.
Effective term
Fall 2021

Students must earn a grade of C or better in all courses in the program.

What You'll Learn
  • Engage and develop your curiosity of the natural world. (AST111, AST112, PHY115, PHY116, PHY121, PHY131)
  • Utilize laboratory equipment, telescopes, and software to gather data, observations, measurements in order to find patterns, correlations, and relationships related to our origins and place in the Universe and the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. (AST111, AST112, [MA])
  • Clearly communicate scientific ideas to a diverse audience - qualitatively and quantitatively, in verbal, written, and visual formats, using an appropriate technical vocabulary. (AST111, AST112, PHY115, PHY116, PHY121, PHY131, (COM), [FYC], [HU], [L], [MA], [SB])
  • Implement a macro perspective to interpret, analyze, and engage with universal concepts. (AST111, AST112, PHY115, PHY116, PHY121, PHY131, [L], [FYC])
  • Critically assess problems using the principles, methodologies and perspectives of Astronomy. (AST111, AST112, PHY115, PHY116, PHY121, PHY131)
  • Evaluate published materials for scientific validity. (AST111, AST112, [FYC], [L])
  • Compare and contrast the perspectives of diverse societies and cultures. (AST111, AST112, [FYC], [L], [HU], [SB])
  • Demonstrate ethical practices in individual and collaborative work settings. (AST111, AST112, [L], [FYC], [HU], [MA], [SB])
  • Integrate and apply theory and observational data to develop solutions to societal problems. (AST111, AST112, [L], [FYC], [HU], [SB])
Career Opportunities
Required courses
Course #Course TitleCredits
AST111Introduction to Solar System Astronomy4
AST112Introduction to Stars, Galaxies & Cosmology4
MAT230Calculus with Analytic Geometry II (5) OR
MAT231Calculus with Analytic Geometry II (4)4-5
MAT240Calculus with Analytic Geometry III (5) OR
MAT241Calculus with Analytic Geometry III (4)4-5
MAT261Differential Equations (4) OR
MAT276Modern Differential Equations (4) OR
MAT277Modern Differential Equations (3)3-4
PHY115University Physics I (5) OR
PHY121University Physics I: Mechanics (4)4-5
PHY116University Physics II (5) OR
PHY131University Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism (4)4-5
Course Sequence by Term
Restricted Electives
Course #Course TitleCredits
The requirements for the transfer plan below are fulfilled upon completion of Required Courses, AGEC Curriculum, and MCCCD Additional Requirements. If this is not your intended transfer institution, please consult with Maricopa and transfer university advisor(s) to identify coursework that is applicable to your intended transfer program.
Transfer Plan 1: Arizona State University (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), Bachelor of Science, Earth and Space Exploration (Astrophysics)
No additional coursework needed.
Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC)
AGEC-SCredits: 22-32
A single course with an [HU], [SB], or [L] designation may also be used to satisfy the Oral Communication, Critical Reading, or Awareness Area ([C], [G] and/or [H]) requirement(s).
A single course with both the [HU] and [L] designations may be used to satisfy both of these areas.
A single course with both the [SB] and [L] designations may be used to satisfy both of these areas.

See the AGEC matrix on for course designations.
First-Year Composition [FYC]Credits: 6
ENG101First-Year Composition (3) OR
ENG107First-Year Composition for ESL (3) AND
ENG102First-Year Composition (3) OR
ENG108First-Year Composition for ESL (3)6
Literacy and Critical Inquiry [L]Credits: 0-3
Any approved general education course in the Literacy and Critical Inquiry [L] area.3
Recommend selecting a course that satisfies [L] Literacy and Critical Inquiry and [SB] Social-Behavioral Sciences or [L] Literacy and Critical Inquiry and [HU] Humanities, Arts & Design or [L] Literacy and Critical Inquiry and (COM) Oral Communications or [L] Literacy and Critical Inquiry and CRE101 requirements simultaneously.
Mathematics [MA]Credits: 4-5
MAT220Calculus with Analytic Geometry I (5) OR
MAT221Calculus with Analytic Geometry I (4) OR
Higher approved general education course in the Mathematical Applications [MA] area for which MAT22+ is a prerequisite. (4-5)4-5
Humanities, Arts and Design [HU]Credits: 6
Any approved general education courses in the Humanities, Arts and Design [HU] area.6
Social-Behavioral Sciences [SB]Credits: 6
Any approved general education courses in the Social-Behavioral Sciences [SB] area.6
Natural Sciences [SG]/[SQ]Credits: 0
Met by (PHY115 OR PHY121) AND (PHY116 OR PHY131) in Required Courses.
Subject OptionsCredits: 0
Met by (MAT230 OR MAT231) AND (MAT240 OR MAT241) in Required Courses.
Awareness AreasCredits: 0-6
These requirements may be shared with other AGEC requirements. See the AGEC matrix on for course designations.
Cultural Diversity in the US [C]Credits: 0-3
Historical/Global Awareness [H]/[G]Credits: 0-3
Any approved general education course with the Historical [H] or Global [G] awareness area designation.0-3
MCCCD Additional Requirements
MCCCD Additional RequirementsCredits: 0-6
Some courses in this area have [SB] and [L] designations and may also be applied to the corresponding AGEC requirements. See the AGEC matrix on for course designations.
Oral CommunicationCredits: 0-3
COM100Introduction to Human Communication (3) OR
COM110Interpersonal Communication (3) OR
COM225Public Speaking (3) OR
COM230Small Group Communication (3)0-3
Critical ReadingCredits: 0-3
CRE101College Critical Reading and Critical Thinking (3) OR
Equivalent as indicated by assessment (0)0-3
Course Area Key
General Electives
Course #Course TitleCredits
Select additional courses 100-level or higher to complete a minimum of 60 semester credits but no more than a total of 64 semester credits. Consult with a faculty advisor, program director, and/or academic advisor to identify coursework that best aligns with academic and professional goals.

At Maricopa, we strive to provide you with accurate and current information about our degree and certificate offerings. Due to the dynamic nature of the curriculum process, course and program information is subject to change. As a result, the course list associated with this degree or certificate on this site does not represent a contract, nor does it guarantee course availability. If you are interested in pursuing this degree or certificate, we encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss the requirements at your college for the appropriate catalog year.