Physics & Astronomy

Physics & Astronomy

About the Physics Pathway 

If you are curious about the mysteries of the universe, and you enjoy math and science, this pathway could be a good choice for you!

This pathway is designed to meet Associate in Science Track 2 degree requirements with an emphasis in physics and astronomy. This pre-major pathway is designed to prepare you to transfer at the junior-level into a bachelor’s program at a four-year college or university.

In this pathway, you’ll explore Newton’s Laws of Motion, conservation of energy and momentum, and other principles that help explain the physical world. You’ll also test these concepts in the lab and gain a strong understanding of the scientific method of experimentation, observation and analysis. South’s program is well-known for it’s active-learning curriculum, so enter this pathway prepared to conduct many hands-on experiments on your own or with classmates.  

A degree in this area provides opportunities for challenging and exciting careers in many professions, because physics and astronomy teaches skills that are transferable to these professions. These skills include problem solving, analytical abilities, mathematical modeling, design and interpretation of experiments, research experience, and communication skills. ​

Physicists and astronomers have global opportunities to work in areas such as aerodynamics, technological design, medical physics, and more. It can also be  excellent preparation for students planning to enter Business School or Medical School. Medical Schools seek out students with majors in physics because of the high-tech nature of medical care. Business schools consider a major in physics outstanding preparation for an understanding of manufacturing and the high-tech aspect of our economy.

Associate Transfer Degrees

Associate Transfer Degrees: Two-year transfer degrees let you take your freshman and sophomore classes at Seattle Colleges for a fraction of the cost, and then transfer to a four-year university with the skills and confidence to succeed. Be sure to work with a transfer advisor at Seattle Colleges and the four-year institution you plan to attend.

Depending on your program pathway, you can earn either an Associate of Arts (AA-DTA), Associate in Business (AB-DTA), or Associate of Science (AS), Track 1 or Track 2. Learn more.

Program Pathway Map

Program Pathways are a series of courses and experiences carefully selected to help you earn your credential and prepare for your career or university transfer.  Program Pathway Maps guide you through quarter-by-quarter coursework, indicate when you’ll need to complete important steps, and describe popular careers in this pathway.  Some course sequences or recommended courses can be customized or adjusted by speaking with an advisor.  

View Program Pathway Map

Career Opportunities

  • Physicist
  • Astronomer
  • Nuclear Physicist
  • Accelerator Operator
  • Applications Engineer
  • Data Analyst
  • Design Engineer
  • Physics Instructor
  • Lab Technician
  • Laser Engineer
  • Optical Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • Solar Physicist
  • Process Engineer
  • Seismologist
  • Materials Scientist
  • Patent Agent
  • Meteorologist

A bachelor’s degree or higher degree may be required for some careers listed above. For current employment and wage estimates, please visit the following online resources and search for the relevant occupational term:

Future Education Opportunities

Once you complete this Associate degree, additional education opportunities include:

  • A bachelor’s degree in physics, astronomy, applied physics, engineering, computer science or a related field at a four-year college or university.
  • A Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree at one of the Seattle Colleges. 

South Seattle College has direct transfer agreements with four-year institutions throughout Washington state, including University of Washington, Washington State University and Seattle University. Graduates from South have also transferred to out-of-state institutions.

Program and admissions requirements vary from college to college. Contact an advisor to create an educational plan tailored to transfer to the institution of your choice.

Length of Program

90 credits = 6 quarters if you take 15 credits* each term.

*Students who take 15 credits each quarter earn their degree faster, saving them time and money. Additionally, full-time students often qualify for more financial aid and earn more money over their lifetime because they complete their schooling faster. Meet with an advisor to build your education plan!  

Which Quarter Can I Begin?

Fall, Winter, Spring, or Summer.

Class Times/Delivery Modes?

Most courses are offered M-TH, M/W, or T/TH during the daytime (between 8-1:30 p.m.) on-campus, online, or in hybrid (part on-campus, part online) format. We also offer some evening courses twice-a-week and science courses may include afternoon labs (between 1-4 p.m.). For the most recent class times, visit the online class schedule.

Approximate Costs Each Quarter

Tuition………………………………………………………….........………….............…………....$1550

Books, supplies, and miscellaneous fees…………………………….......………....$200

Tuition based on WA resident rates. Rates for international students and non-residents may vary.

Did you know that the average student at South spends three hours applying for financial aid and gets more than $4000 per year? 

To apply for financial aid, including grants and scholarships you don’t have to pay back, visit South’s Financial Aid Department for details.

Where can I go if I have questions about this program pathway? 

(206) 934-5387 ⋆ AdvisorSouth@SeattleColleges.edu ⋆ RSB 11