Physical Sciences Program Information
Astronomy and Physics
The curriculum in Physical Science includes courses in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics. The curriculum is designed to cultivate the student's analytical capacity and qualitative/quantitative reasoning in regard to the origin, composition, and mechanics of the universe; the movement of objects in relation with gravitational, magnetic, and electric forces; the interaction between matter and energy; the behavior of light; and the physical characteristics of substance.
The courses offered fulfill the Natural Science and Mathematics requirements, as part of the lower-division requirements, for the various CSU and UC schools. The matriculated Natural Science courses, as part of the Associate in Arts degree in Physical Science, span the disciplines of Physics and Chemistry.
While a baccalaureate degree is recommended preparation for those considering professional careers related to physical science, the completion of the associate degree program will demonstrate commitment to the field and will provide comprehensive preparation for upper-division work. The purpose of this degree is to provide a solid background in the areas of physical science. By completing the necessary courses, students will be able to continue their baccalaureate studies in chemistry, physics, engineering and many other fields within the physical sciences.
Program Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the astronomy program, students will be able to
- Develop understanding of the principle areas of physical science and astronomy including concepts and methods of inquiry at an appropriate level. Subjects include, but are not limited to, the scientific method, historical development of astronomy, laws of motion and gravity, electromagnetic energy, solar system, stellar dynamics, galaxies and cosmology.
- Successfully solve conceptual and numerical problems of a physical nature through the recognition of type of problem, analysis of relevant information, proper application of concepts and techniques applying math through pre-algebra.
- Effectively communicate in writing the fundamental concepts and techniques of astronomy and the physical sciences at an appropriate level.
- Demonstrate appropriate lab skills including the proper use of basic measuring devices. Students will read and accurately interpret lab directions and analyze data for relevance and adherence to theory.
- Students will choose and use appropriate tabular and/or graphical methods to present and analyze physical data.
Upon completion of the physics program, students will be able to
- Observe processes, repeatable physical events, and interactions and identify their physical origin in a consistent and analytic manor.
- Establish cause-and-effect relationships between physical interactions through progressive scientific modeling using a variety of mathematical techniques.
- Demonstrate the ability to verify models developed through systematic scientific measurement.
- Effectively communicate information, scientific or otherwise, in both written and verbal form.
- Demonstrate the ability to apply foundational knowledge of experimental physics to the solution of problems in physics.
Potential Careers (For Non-Transfer Degree Recipients)
Examples of careers in the physical sciences include the following:
- Aerospace Engineer
- Defense Planner
- Laboratory Technician
- Medical Physicist
- National Laboratory Researcher
- Navigation Equipment Specialist
- Nuclear Physicist
- Planetarium Exhibit Planner/Guide
- Research Scientist or Assistant
- Satellite Data Analyst
- Scientific Photographer
- Telescope Operator
- Test Engineer