Online Bachelor of Science in Astronomical and Planetary Sciences

Study the stars in Arizona State University’s Bachelor of Science in astronomical and planetary sciences program. In this online astronomy degree, you’ll explore planets, solar systems and galaxies to understand where we came from and where we’re going using the universe as your laboratory.

Learn more

Quick facts

Next start date:

Next start date: 03/11/2024


Total classes:

Total classes: 39

Weeks per class:

Weeks per class: 7.5-15

Total credit hours:

Total credit hours: 120

Degree questions, answered.

Have questions about the Astronomical and Planetary Sciences (BS)? Fill out this form and we’ll get in touch!

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Earn your online astronomy degree

This astronomy and planetary science degree provides you with broad training in the scientific foundations and fundamentals of space exploration, including ongoing advances in the field. This program is ideal for students interested in obtaining a quantitative understanding of the science of the solar system and beyond.

As an astronomy student, you’ll gain skills in coding, communication and problem solving, including how to break down and tackle complex problems using modern statistical data analysis techniques with computers.

How will I learn astronomy online?

 

This astronomy and planetary science degree is the world’s first online accredited undergraduate astronomy degree. With custom-built classes and innovative coursework, this program makes learning astronomy online easy. The curriculum includes groundwork in mathematics and physical sciences, topical courses focused on diverse fields within astronomy and planetary science and exposure to the engineering and computational tools and techniques used to carry out research.

What can I do with this astronomy degree?

 

Upon graduation, you can expect to find careers in fields that value scientific knowledge. This includes the ability to use modern statistical data analysis techniques. You may also find jobs within K-12 STEM teaching, writing and journalism, science policy or statistical data analysis and computer programming.

Additionally, because this astronomy bachelor’s degree focuses on critical thinking and innovative problem-solving, it may prepare you for law school or other graduate school opportunities related to this skill set. However, if you plan to apply to a graduate program in astronomy or astrophysics or pursue a path as a university professor or professional astronomer, you’ll need additional advanced coursework in mathematics and physics and in-person research experience.

Will my degree say 'online'?

No, Arizona State University’s diplomas don’t specify whether you earn your degree online or in person. All diplomas and transcripts simply say “Arizona State University.”

Why earn an astronomy degree?

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Astronomical and planetary science courses

In this online astronomy degree, you’ll complete courses in communication, mathematics, physical sciences, astronomy, planetary science and engineering. You’ll also gain a greater understanding of the computational tools and techniques used to carry out astronomy and planetary science research. Courses may include:


AST 301: Physics of Astrophysics


AST 321: Stellar and Planetary Astrophysics


AST 322: Introduction to Galactic and Extragalactic Astrophysics


SES 106: Habitable Worlds (SCIT OR SQ)


SES 350: Engineering Systems and Experimental Problem Solving (QTRS OR CS)


SES 376: Communicating Astronomical and Planetary Sciences I


SES 377: Communicating Astronomical and Planetary Sciences II


AST 111: Introduction to Solar Systems Astronomy (SCIT OR SQ)


Jobs you could get with a bachelor’s in astronomy

As a graduate with an astronomy bachelor’s degree, you can expect to find work in a variety of fields, including teaching, research, writing and the government and aerospace sectors. You may also pursue careers within observatories, planetariums and museums. Career examples include, but aren’t limited to:

Aerospace Engineer Technician


Growth: 8.3 %
Salary: $74,410

Astronomer


Growth: 4.6 %
Salary: $128,330

Computer Programmer


Growth: -11.2 %
Salary: $97,800

Data Analyst


Growth: -1.7 %
Salary: $48,880

Elementary Teacher


Growth: 0.7 %
Salary: $61,690

High School Teacher


Growth: 1.0 %
Salary: $62,360

Middle School Teacher


Growth: 0.8 %
Salary: $61,810

Production Assistant


Growth: 4.3 %
Salary: $65,000

Technical Writer


Growth: 6.9 %
Salary: $79,960

Explore space with experts in astronomy and planetary studies

Faculty in the School of Earth and Space Exploration are academic leaders in their respective fields. Our faculty focus on collaboration, research, innovation and teaching, with an emphasis on advancing scholarship, discovery, research and science. Our expertise spans a variety of fields, from astrobiology, astrophysics and astronomy to geological and planetary science, systems design and more.

  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences Elected Member.
  • American Chemical Society Medalist.
  • American Geophysical Union Fellows.
  • American Astronomical Society Fellows.
  • Mineralogical Society of American Roebling Medalist.
  • National Academies of Sciences Lectureship.

Explore space with experts in astronomy and planetary studies

Faculty in the School of Earth and Space Exploration are academic leaders in their respective fields. Our faculty focus on collaboration, research, innovation and teaching, with an emphasis on advancing scholarship, discovery, research and science. Our expertise spans a variety of fields, from astrobiology, astrophysics and astronomy to geological and planetary science, systems design and more.

  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences Elected Member.
  • American Chemical Society Medalist.
  • American Geophysical Union Fellows.
  • American Astronomical Society Fellows.
  • Mineralogical Society of American Roebling Medalist.
  • National Academies of Sciences Lectureship.

How to apply

I am a future

You’re considered a first-year student for application purposes if you’ve never attended college or have fewer than 12 transferable credit hours.

Learn how to apply.

Competency requirements

Additional admission requirements

High school equivalency

Homeschool

Don't meet admission requirements?

You can still gain general admission to most online programs at ASU through Earned Admission. Through this pathway, you can demonstrate your ability to succeed at ASU by completing online courses with a 2.75 GPA or higher.

To begin, submit an application to ASU. An enrollment coach will reach out with more information if Earned Admission is right for you.

*Some programs may have higher admission requirements. You must meet all program requirements to be admitted.

Don't meet admission requirements?

You can still gain general admission to most online programs at ASU through Earned Admission. Through this pathway, you can demonstrate your ability to succeed at ASU by completing online courses with a 2.75 GPA or higher.

To begin, submit an application to ASU. An enrollment coach will reach out with more information if Earned Admission is right for you.

*Some programs may have higher admission requirements. You must meet all program requirements to be admitted.

Study with a school that’s out of this world

The School of Earth and Space Exploration is focused on exploring planet Earth and the universe beyond. The school breaks traditional boundaries by combining studies of earth and space science to answer some of the biggest questions in science. Researchers in the school are currently principal investigators or co-investigators on orbiters and rovers studying Mars, the moon, asteroids and Jupiter’s moon Europa. Other researchers are studying the Milky Way, the origins of life on earth, engineering systems design and more to set the stage for a new era of exploration.

12


NASA missions in progress at the school.

40,000


individual meteorites, the largest university collection.

1


satellite launched into space.

1 of 5


schools capable of building NASA-certified flight instruments for space.

Tuition calculator

Use our calculator to estimate your full-time or part-time tuition fees for this program prior to any financial aid. Keep in mind that most of our students receive financial aid, which can reduce out-of-pocket costs. Learn more.

Tuition calculator

Use our calculator to estimate your full-time or part-time tuition fees for this program prior to any financial aid. Keep in mind that most of our students receive financial aid, which can reduce out-of-pocket costs. Learn more.

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