Meet with a CSM counselor to discuss how to achieve academic goals and to develop a comprehensive student educational plan (SEP).

University Transfer Program
60-70 transferable units

California State University
University of California
Independent Colleges and Universities

For gainful employment information, see the program's website.

Program Overview

At the heart of astronomy research are observatory operations and astroimaging techniques. Observatories all around the world are in need of technicians who can fulfill those tasks. Yet there are not many institutions that can provide the necessary training for such technicians. The College of San Mateo Astronomy Department, with its roll-off-roof observatory, containing a wide selection of refracting and reflecting telescopes, as well as various imaging instrumentation, provides the training for students, who would like to pursue such a career. The students' training is enriched by access to a well-equipped forty-foot domed, state-of-the-art planetarium, along with a dedicated faculty and staff, active in astronomical research. This program is designed to introduce the students to the operation of various telescopes and to the implementation of important astroimaging techniques such as spectroscopy and photometry, along with sophisticated software to process images. While the learning of the techniques is hands-on, the underlying principles are emphasized. Furthermore, this certificate program is designed such that students can, with a slight modification, apply the course load of this program toward higher degrees in astronomy or astrophysics.

Astronomy (CA) Requirements

Required Core Courses: 19 units Units
ASTR 100 Introduction to Astronomy 3 units
ASTR 101 Astronomy Laboratory 1 unit
ASTR 103 Observational Astronomy Lab 1 unit
ASTR 125 Stars, Galaxies, and Cosmology 3 units
ASTR 200 Introduction to Astrophysics 3 units
ASTR 203 Astroimaging Techniques 4 units
ASTR 204 Application of Astroimaging Techniques 4 units
Physics Requirement: 8 units Units
PHYS 210 General Physics I 4 units
PHYS 220 General Physics II 4 units
PHYS 250 Physics with Calculus I 4 units
PHYS 270 Physics with Calculus III 4 units
Students planning to pursue an undergraduate degree in Physics, Astronomy or Astrophysics should take PHYS 250 and 270.
Mathematics Requirement: 0-4 units Units
MATH 130 Analytical Trigonometry OR placement in MATH 222 or MATH 251 0 - 4 units
MATH 130 is sufficient for students who plan to take PHYS 210 and 220. Students who plan to take PHYS 250 and 270 will also need MATH 222, 251, 252, and 253.
Total Required Units: 27 - 31