Astronomy is not only one of the oldest sciences, but also one of the most active in terms of exciting and ground breaking new discoveries. Astronomy, together with its cognate sciences astrophysics and cosmology, is concerned with the discovery and understanding of celestial objects ranging from asteroids and comets to planets, stars, galaxies, galaxy clusters, and the evolution of the universe on the largest scales.

Quick facts
  • Two-year certificate
  • Part-time program
  • You can enter this program directly from high school
  • You can begin this program off-campus

What you will learn

A Certificate in Astronomy will introduce you to all the interesting fields of astronomical inquiry and provide you with hands on experience with telescopes, advanced imaging devices, and astronomical data reduction and analysis techniques.

The Certificate in Astronomy will broadly cover the major topics in modern astronomy, from solar system exploration, to stars, galaxies and cosmology, providing a mixture of conceptual, theoretical and experiential learning opportunities for students wishing to pursue an interest in the cosmos.

ASTR 104.3: Astronomy of Planets

Students will explore physical properties and orbital behavior of planets, moons, asteroids and comets as revealed by telescopic observations and spacecraft missions. They will learn how the scientific method changed our understanding of orbital motions within the solar system. Recent astronomical techniques for studying exoplanets orbiting other star systems will be investigated. Techniques for operating telescopes and analyzing astronomical data will be examined with online access to computer-simulated laboratories.

ASTR 213.3: Astronomical Photometry

An introduction to the use of telescopes for photometric studies of variable stars, exoplanets, asteroids and star clusters. Astronomical coordinate systems and techniques for measurement of stellar properties will be explored. Student research projects will involve analysis of astronomical data gathered using robotic telescopes.

ASTR 214.3: Astronomical Spectroscopy

A lab-based introduction to stellar spectral classification, spectroscopic parallax measurement, orbit analysis of spectroscopic binaries, redshift measurements of galaxies and CCD imaging techniques. Students will use telescopes to obtain spectroscopic data and will use digital CCD cameras to image star clusters and nebulae.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

Recent advances in equipment and computing technologies have drastically altered the way astronomy is done. Worldwide networks of robotic telescopes now exist that enable students to collect data alongside professional astronomers and contribute to research that advances our knowledge of the world. The recently installed PROMPT-USask robotic telescope at Sleaford Observatory provides USask students unprecedented access to such a world-class facility for their coursework.

Students in the Certificate program will have access to this world-class teaching facility and be given training in practical scientific research and a foundation in astronomy.


With additional studies, some career opportunities include:

  • Astronomer
  • Astrophysicist
  • Optical physicist
  • Science education teacher
  • Technician

Tuition estimates

Canadian students International students
Tuition $792 per 3 credit unit class $3,834 per 3 credit unit class
Student fees $1,121 per year $1,121 per year

Tuition will vary depending on the type and number of classes you take in a year. This estimate reflects a typical amount you could expect to pay per class (2024-2025 Canadian dollar rates).
Student fees are used to fund specific student benefits, including health, vision and dental coverage, a bus pass, recreational programs and fitness centre access. This estimate reflects the price you would pay if you are a full-time student.
The cost of books and supplies varies widely depending on the courses you choose. It is recommended that you budget between $1,500-$2,500 for this program.

Program options

Students hanging out in the Bowl in front of the Peter MacKinnon Building

The Certificate in Astronomy is offered by the University of Saskatchewan's College of Arts and Science. You may earn the certificate on its own, concurrently with a degree, or after having already received a degree from here or another institution.

If you are already enrolled at USask, consult your academic advisor regarding enrolling in this program.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

Admission requirements and deadlines


Start term Application DeadlineInternational Deadline
January 2024
Dec 1, 2023
Documents due: Dec 15, 2023
Sep 1, 2023
Documents due: Oct 1, 2023
May 2024
Apr 1, 2024
Documents due: May 1, 2024
Feb 1, 2024
Documents due: Mar 1, 2024
July 2024
May 1, 2024
Documents due: Jun 1, 2024
Mar 1, 2024
Documents due: Apr 1, 2024
September 2024
Aug 15, 2024
Documents due: Aug 15, 2024
May 1, 2024
Documents due: Jun 1, 2024
January 2025
Dec 1, 2024
Documents due: Dec 15, 2024
Sep 1, 2024
Documents due: Oct 1, 2024

Ready to apply?

If you are a current USask student, consult your academic advisor regarding enrolling in this program.

To apply to this program as a new student, please apply for admission to any undergraduate program in the College of Arts and Science and after you are admitted, declare your plans to the college.

Explore related programs

If you are looking for graduate level (Master or Ph.D.) programs please consult our graduate students' website.

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If you are interested in more information about this certificate, please contact student-advice@artsandscience.usask.ca