Introduction to Astronomy – PHSC 121

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

An overview of the principles of astronomy as related to the Solar System for non-science majors. An optional weekly lab will be offered coincident with this course.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


This course provides an introduction to the science of astronomy and the vastness of creation beyond our planet’s atmosphere. The course will include discussion of the planets and their environments, including the crucial issues which make human life impossible on each. Some emphasis will be placed on the special environmental conditions and balances extant on Earth which make it unique in its support of human life. PHSC 121 is an approved general education science course for non-technical (science, math, and engineering) majors.

Course Assignment

Textbook and required readings, videos, and class presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.


Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for the Discussion. Each thread must be at least 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 1 classmate’s thread. Each reply must be at least 150 words (CLO: A, B, C, D;  FSLO: SSI 1, 3).

Quiz: Homework (8)

These homework assignments will reinforce the content of the course textbook readings. The student will have multiple attempts on each assignment in order to earn points toward the total (CLO: A, B, C; FSLO: SSI 1, 3).

Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the assigned Module: Week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes and contain multiple-choice and true/false questions.  There is a penalty of one point per minute for exceeding the 90-minute time limit. (CLO: A, B, C, D, E; FSLO: SSI 1, 2, 3).

Short Response Assignments (4)

Students will provide written responses to provided prompts relating to course material. (CLO: A, B, D; FSLO: SSI 1, 3)