Building a Firm Foundation

For students interested in the history and evolution of the planet Earth, Washburn University offers astronomy and geology courses. Studying astronomy or geology adds to the foundational knowledge of many degree programs. While we do not offer a degree program focusing in astronomy or geology, we offer several courses as part of our general education curriculum.

AS 101 Introduction to Astronomy – Cosmology (3)

A qualitative study of stellar, galactic, and extragalactic astronomy and cosmology surveying what is known and how it is known. This is a general education course.

AS 102 Introduction to Astronomy – Solar System (3)

A qualitative study of the history of astronomy, the origin, evolution, and functioning of the solar system surveying what is known and how it is known. This is a general education course.

AS 103 Observational Astronomy (1)

Use of telescope, planetarium, and other laboratory equipment commonly used in astronomy together with selected descriptive experiments in astronomy. This is a general education course. Prerequisites: AS 101, 102, or consent of instructor.

AS 104 Life in the Universe (3)

A scientific investigation of the question “Are we alone in the universe?” Course content includes the origin and properties of stars and planets, the requirements for life, and the emergence and sustainability of civilizations. Students will complete a variety of interactive assignments and a term project. This is a general education course.

AS 201 Introduction to Astronomical Photography (1)

Photographic procedures and techniques peculiar to astronomical photography. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

AS 251 General Astronomy (3)

A comprehensive study of positional astronomy, the solar system in general, and the motions of the bodies comprising the solar system. Prerequisites: AS 101 or 102 and college algebra, or consent of instructor.

AS 360 Research in Astronomy (1 or 2)

Research in any of the fields of astronomy/astrophysics. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

AS 370 Special Subjects in Astronomy (Credit to be arranged)

Material to be chosen according to student interest from any one of a number of astronomical subjects. Offered on demand as teaching schedules permit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

GL 101 Physical Geology (3)

Special emphasis on the observation of the phenomena of erosion, mountain formation, and stream and glacial action. Lecture-recitation and some field trips. This is a general education course.

GL 103 Historical Geology (3)

For students interested in the history and evolution of the planet Earth. Lecture and in-class laboratory work will include exercises with commonly found fossils and geologic-topographic maps. Will provide information about the environment of the early Earth and changes through time. This is a general education course.

For a complete description of the individual classes, go to the course catalog at:

Academic Catalog

(Note, this link opens a pdf file of the entire undergraduate catalog in a new window.  When it opens, if you click on the ribbon icon in the upper right corner, it will open a page index.  If you click on any of the arrows, it will open a sub-menu for that section.  If you click on College of Arts and Sciences, you can then scroll down to the Mass Media Department and click on that link to open the course listing for Mass Media.)

GET IN TOUCH WITH Physics & Astronomy Department

Physics & Astronomy Department
Stoffer Science Hall, Room 210
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
Phone: 785.670.2141

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