Motion Introduced by: Curriculum and Academic Programs Committee
Date of First Reading: March 2, 2020
Date of Second Reading: March 30, 2020
Title of Motion: Request from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences – School of Earth and Space Exploration – for the establishment of an undergraduate degree – BS in Astronomical and Planetary Sciences
Action Requested: This curricular proposal has received all college, school, unit and university administrative approvals, and is being presented to the Senate for review and voting decision.
Rationale: The School of Earth and Space Exploration faculty have identified a need for an astronomy degree designed to prepare students for careers other than those requiring doctoral degrees. The Bachelor of Science in Astronomical and Planetary Sciences would be offered online as a general liberal arts and sciences degree, in contrast to the Earth and Space Exploration Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Astrophysics, which is designed as a graduate school preparatory program. Based on feedback from current and potential students, there is a large population of students who have a great interest in astronomy, but do not desire to pursue PhD in the subject. This degree will improve accessibility to an education in astronomy by innovating a first of- its kind degree: the only online astronomy bachelor’s degree offered anywhere in the world.