Astronomical and Planetary Sciences, BS

At a Glance: program details

  • Location: online
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No
  • Math Intensity: Moderate program math intensity moderate
  • Initial Math Course: MAT 210 - Brief Calculus

Required Courses (Major Map)

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Explore humanity's place in the universe, from a near-Earth orbit to the edge of the observable universe. In the process of your scientific inquiry, you develop critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills.

Program Description

The online BS program in astronomical and planetary sciences provides broad training in the scientific foundations required to understand and communicate the fundamentals of space exploration and ongoing advances in the field.

The degree program 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.

In addition to the guidelines in the Concurrent Program Options section below, students interested in pursuing concurrent or second baccalaureate degrees in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are advised to visit The College's website for more information and requirements.

Admission Requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements.

Freshman Transfer International Readmission

Transfer Options

ASU is committed to helping students thrive by offering tools that allow personalization of the transfer path to ASU. Students may use the Transfer Map search to outline a list of recommended courses to take prior to transfer.

ASU has transfer partnerships in Arizona and across the country to create a simplified transfer experience for students. These pathway programs include exclusive benefits, tools and resources, and help students save time and money in their college journey. Students may learn more about these programs by visiting the admission site:

Change of Major Requirements

A current ASU student has no additional requirements for changing majors.

Students should refer to for information about how to change a major to this program.

Next Steps to attend ASU

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Career Outlook

Graduates pursue careers in fields that value the quantitative and technical skills taught as part of an astronomy education. These include K-12 STEM teaching positions, science and technology journalism and writing careers, technical careers involving statistical data analysis or computer programming, or technical positions supporting space and research industry and policy.

Career opportunities include:

  • analytical lab technician
  • astronomer
  • data analyst
  • instrumentation specialist
  • museum director
  • planetary scientist
  • research scientist
  • science teacher
  • science writer
  • telescope operator

Career settings include:

  • aerospace industry organizations
  • educational institutions
  • federal, state and local government agencies
  • manufacturing centers
  • museums or planetariums
  • NASA facilities
  • national laboratories
  • NSF facilities
  • observatories
  • space industry organizations

For more information, students can visit the career opportunities page on the School of Earth and Space Exploration website.

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:

Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technologists and Technicians

  • Growth: 8.3%
  • Median Salary*: 74410
  Bright Outlook


  • Growth: 4.6%
  • Median Salary*: 128330
  Bright Outlook

Computer Programmers

  • Growth: -11.2%
  • Median Salary*: 97800

Statistical Assistants

  • Growth: -1.7%
  • Median Salary*: 48880

Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education

  • Growth: 0.7%
  • Median Salary*: 61690

Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education

  • Growth: 1%
  • Median Salary*: 62360

Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education

  • Growth: 0.8%
  • Median Salary*: 61810

Media and Communication Workers, All Other

  • Growth: 4.3%
  • Median Salary*: 65000

Technical Writers

  • Growth: 6.9%
  • Median Salary*: 79960
  Bright Outlook

Web Developers

  • Growth: 17%
  • Median Salary*: 78580
  Bright Outlook

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With more than 300 Global Education program opportunities available, astronomical and planetary sciences students are able to tailor their experience to their specific interests and skill sets. Whether in a foreign country, in the U.S. or online, students build communication skills, learn to adapt and persevere, and are exposed to research and internships across the world, increasing their professional network.

Attend Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program description and request more information here.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.