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Online Astronomy Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

There are a few programs that offer online training in astronomy. Although the programs are generally not meant to prepare students for professional positions in the field, an online degree in astronomy is excellent for continuing education students, teachers and astronomy enthusiasts.

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How to Select the Best Online Astronomy Program

Online certificate and master's degree programs in astronomy are offered by several schools. These programs are meant to augment an individual's base of knowledge.

Considerations

  • Award level
  • Program Type

Award Level

Astronomers are scientists in a highly specialized field that explores the nature of celestial objects, the earth's atmosphere and a number of theories about the development of the universe. In this highly competitive field, employers, such as universities and scientific research organizations, prefer to hire accomplished professionals with a doctorate degree. Online certificate and degree programs in astronomy are designed to provide an understanding of core issues in astronomy to enthusiasts, teachers and professionals working in the field in other capacities.

Program Type

The full online immersion program is the only online program currently available to online. The format allows students to participate and complete their degree online without on-campus attendance. Students download readings, view lectures, presentations and participate in discussions though on-line forums in the virtual classroom.

Program Requirements

Online astronomy programs don't have science prerequisites, but some level of competency in mathematics will be expected. Additional courses in algebra and calculus are normally offered to students who require some extra training in math.

Online Programs in Astronomy

Online Certificate in Astronomy

The online graduate certificate in astronomy is designed for students pursuing other majors, teachers and enthusiasts who wish to gain a more in-depth knowledge of the field without pursuing it as a profession. There are few if any requirements to enroll in the program. Most certificate programs can usually be completed within a semester.

Students participate in the online program by downloading online tutorials, watching DVD lectures, studying course packets and taking online tests and quizzes. The typical curriculum introduces students to central concepts in astronomy and cosmology, such as climate, solar astrophysics, astrobiology and astrophysics. Students choose from courses in subjects like:

  • The solar system
  • Galaxies and the universe
  • Space exploration
  • The Milky Way

Online Master of Science in Astronomy

The online Master of Science (M.S.) in Astronomy is not a professional qualification for astronomers. This advanced degree is designed to offer fundamental understanding of astronomy concepts and issues. The degree can take anywhere from 1-2 years to complete, depending on the student course load each semester.

The degree can be finished online without any on-campus attendance, though some programs offer students opportunities to participate in student excursions and field observations, where students get a chance to observe the night sky and gain some hands-on knowledge of the common tools in astronomy. After learning basic concepts in astronomy, students take advanced courses that have math or other prerequisites in particle physics, high-energy astrophysics or computational astrophysics. Basic courses cover:

  • Structure of the solar system
  • Tools of astronomy
  • The Milky Way galaxy
  • History of astronomy
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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • M.A. Science Education (5-12, Geosciences)
        • M.A. Science Education (5-9)
        • M.A. Science Education (5-12, Chemistry)
        • M.A. Science Education (5-12, Biological Science)
        • M.A. Teaching --Science (5-9 or 5-12)
    • Bachelor
        • B.A. Science (5-9)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Chemistry)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Geosciences)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Physics)
        • B.A. Science (5-12, Biological Science)
    • Non-Degree
        • Post-bacc Teacher Prep Prgm --Science (5-9 or 5-12)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Science in Biological Science

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

Other Schools:

  • Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
        • Astronomy
        • Earth Science
      • Physics
  • Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Physical and Environmental Science
        • Astronomy
        • Earth Science
      • Physics
  • Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
        • Astronomy
        • Earth Science
      • Physics
  • Areas of study you may find at Boston University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Physical and Environmental Science
        • Astronomy
        • Astrophysics
        • Earth Science
        • Geophysics and Seismology
        • Water Resource Sciences
      • Physics
  • Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Physical and Environmental Science
        • Astronomy
        • Earth Science
      • Physics
  • Areas of study you may find at University of Iowa include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Physical and Environmental Science
        • Astronomy
        • Earth Science
      • Physics
  • Areas of study you may find at George Mason University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Physical and Environmental Science
        • Astronomy
        • Earth Science
      • Physics
  • Areas of study you may find at University of Arizona include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Forestry and Wildlands Management
      • Natural Resources Conservation
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
        • Astronomy
        • Earth Science
      • Physics

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