Columbus State University Print Logo



Bachelor of Science
Earth and Space Science - Astrophysics and Planetary Geology Track

College of Letters and Sciences

Department of Earth and Space Science

Program Description

Astrophysics is the study of planets, stars, galaxies and the universe itself. Planetary Geology is the study of planets beyond Earth, and to an extent the study of Earth as a planet.

Career Opportunities

Majoring in a physical science, such as our Astrophysics and Planetary Geology degree, sets you up for a wealth of possible careers because you will become an excellent problem solver. Working for or with NASA as they move into the 2010s and beyond is only one of the many possibilities. People with similar degrees also work as writers, doctors, lawyers, and engineers.

* Physics degree holders are in the top 2 scoring groups of majors on the MCAT (2003 statistics)
* NASA expects not to have enough people to replace those who will be retiring in the next 20 years. NASA funds missions to study the Earth as well as astronomical objects.
* News outlets need science journalists, and movies often employ scientists as consultants.
* Staff for Members of Congress and patent lawyers need technical and scientific backgrounds.

Becoming an Astrophysics and Planetary Geology major will open up a world (or even a universe!) of possibilities for you after you leave Columbus.

Admission Requirements

Students are presumed to enter the program with the equivalent of MATH 1111 (College Algebra). Students without that background may need to take additional classes to meet course prerequisites.

Learning Outcomes

Students in this program will:

1. demonstrate a working knowledge of the major conceptual areas of astronomy and astrophysics.
2. demonstrate competence in the technical aspects of astronomical and planetary research, including collection and analysis of data, use of telescopes, and ability to interpret astronomical and geological data.
3. demonstrate critical thinking skills and the ability to communicate scientific information and appropriate interpretations of geological and/or astronomical data through written or verbal presentation.

Additional Program Requirements

There are no program specific academic regulations.

Program Of Study

Area A Essential Skills Required Hours: 9
ENGL 1101 (with a grade of "C" or better)
ENGL 1102 (with a grade of "C" or better)
MATH 1113 or MATH 1131*
*Extra hour applied to Area F

Area B Institutional Options Required Hours: 4
COMM 1110
Select one of the following courses:

Select one of the following courses: Foreign Language 1001, 1002, 2001, or 2002
Any Area C-E course with a study abroad component.

Note: the two extra hours may be used as electives.

Area C Humanities/Fine Arts/Ethics Required Hours: 6
Select one of the following humanities courses:

ITDS 1155
ITDS 2125
(Historical perspectives on the Philosophy of Science and Mathematics)
PHIL 2010
Select one of the following fine arts courses: *ITDS 1145, though listed under both humanities and fine arts, may be taken only once.

Area D Science/Math/Technology Required Hours: 11
Select two lab science courses from below:
CHEM 1211 Principles of Chemistry 1
CHEM 1211L Principles of Chemistry 1 Lab
CHEM 1212 Principles of Chemistry 2
CHEM 1212L Principles of Chemistry 2 Lab

Take one of the following courses:
MATH 1131* or MATH 1132*
*Extra hour applied to Area F

Area E Social Sciences Required Hours: 12
Select one course from the following two courses:
HIST 2111
HIST 2112

Take the following course:
POLS 1101
Select one behavioral science course from the following courses:

Select one world cultures course from the following courses:

Wellness Requirement Required Hours: 3 

PHED 1205
Select any one PEDS course.

Area F Courses Related to Major Required Hours: 18
“C”or better required in each course
GEOL 1121 Intro Geo 1: Physical Geology
GEOL 1121L Intro Geo 1: Physical Geology 1 Lab

Take the following physics sequence:
PHYS 1111 Introductory Physics 1
PHYS 1112 Introductory Physics 2
PHYS 1311 Introductory Physics 1 Lab
PHYS 1312 Introductory Physics 2 Lab

PHYS 2211 Principles of Physics 1
PHYS 2212 Principles of Physics 2
PHYS 2311 Principles of Physics 1 Lab
PHYS 2312 Principles of Physics 2 Lab

Select 3 or more hours from the following:
ASTR 1105 Descriptive Astronomy: The Solar System
ASTR 1305 Descriptive Astronomy Lab
ASTR 1106 Descriptive Astronomy: Stars and Galaxies
BIOL 1215K Principles of Biology
ENVS 1105 Environmental Studies
ENVS 1205K Sustainability and the Environment
GEOL 1110 Natural Disasters

Up to 3 can be added from Areas A, B and/or D with advisor approval.

Area G Program Requirements Required Hours: 34
“C”or better required in each course

Area H Program Electives Required Hours: 26
MATH 1132 Calculus w/ Analytic Geom 2 (if not taken in Area D)
Take at least sixteen hours from the following:

The following courses may be taken in Area H provided the required minimum of 39 upper level credit hours has been met:

Other PHYS, GEOL, ENVS, ASTR, ATSC, CHEM, ENGR, CPSC or MATH courses may be used toward Area H requirements as approved by the student's advisor.

Total Hours Required: 123

4 Year Course Schedule

Suggested four year course schedule