Physics and Astronomy

Pathway Overview

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.


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 of study, 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.

View Program Map

  • Units to complete: 108
  • Estimated program length in quarters: Full Time - 7

Program lengths are estimates, not guarantees. For the most current program information, please check with the program contact.

Physics studies phenomena in the physical world, such as forces and motion, electricity and magnetism, oscillations and waves, using conceptual and mathematical models.

At Seattle Central College, all physics courses emphasize problem solving techniques. Physics coursework is important for general education, but also required for careers in medicine, science, engineering and more. We offer physics at three levels: physics for non-majors, algebra-based physics and calculus-based physics.

Courses Offered

  • Physics for Non-Science Majors
  • General Physics I, II & III
  • Physics Workshop
  • Engineering Physics I, II & III

To read course descriptions for the current and upcoming quarter as well as register, visit the class schedule.

Physics Careers

  • Accelerator Operator
  • Applications Engineer
  • Data Analyst
  • Design Engineer
  • Instructor
  • IT Consultant
  • Lab Technician
  • Laser Engineer

Physics Faculty

Vincent Bell
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, M.S. (Engineering Physics)
University of Washington, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering)

Ricco Bonicalzi
University of Washington, Ph.D. (Physics)

Damon Ellingston
Wesleyan University, M.A. (Mathematics)
University of Maryland, M.S. (Physics)

Arlene Ford
Texas A&M University, Ph.D. (Physics)

Rainer Heller (Co-Department Lead)
Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet, Germany, Diplom (Master’s Degree) (Physics)
University of Washington, Ph.D. (Geophysics)

Francois Lepeintre (Co-Department Lead)
University of Washington, Ph.D. (Physics)

Johnny Ursin
Western Washington University, M.S. (Mathematics)
University of Washington, M.S. (Physics)

Elisabetta Valenti
University of Washington, M.S. (Aeronautics and Astronautics)

Clarke Wellman
Dartmouth College, B.A. (Physics)
University of Southern California, M.S. (System Engineering--quantum electronics/solid state physics)

Isaac Ziskin
Arizona State University, M.S. (Aerospace Engineering)