Quick Facts

Delivery: Online or Onsite**

Credit Hours: 12

Application Deadline: December 5

Next Session: January 19

**The onsite course is field experiences and is offered durring the summer sessions beginning summer 2020.

Machu Picchu

Archaeoastronomy Home

Archaeoastronomy Courses Descriptions

LSIS 5403 Archaeoastronomy and Methods

Course topics include observed motions of celestial objects, calendrical systems, quantitative Archaeoastronomy research methods and the importance of archaeological context, astronomy’s role in the development of religion and the deification of celestial objects, and celestial associations with monumental architecture. It includes a survey review of material cultural evidence for astronomical associations at selected monumental sites such as Stonehenge, Newgrange, Chaco Canyon, Cahokia, Big Horn Medicine Wheel, Machu Picchu, Chichen Itza, the Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Egypt, and the Forbidden City in China. Many additional sites will be examined in other courses.

LSIS 5423 Archaeoastronomy of Chaco Canyon and Cahokia

This course will include historic period ethnographic information (“ethno-astronomy”) for these early American culture groups, including constellations and star lore, cultural cosmology, and creation stories (or “cosmogony”). The course also includes calendrical systems, astronomical links to ritual systems, and Archaeoastronomy for these monument-building societies.

LSIS 5443 Latin American Archaeoastronomy

This course focuses on cultural insight yielded by archaeoastronomical evidence from Central and South America. Topics include architectural associations with the sun and Venus, calendrical systems, shrine sites and variations in Archaeoastronomy research methods based on the types of material evidence available. Mesoamerican traditions of regulated warfare cycles associated with the observed motions of Venus, day-count calendars including planetary motions and written evidence from codices, as well as Andean/Inca traditions of astronomically associated shrines, temples and caves are included.

LSIS 5463 World Archaeoastronomy

This survey course will review evidence of the role of astronomy for a range of cultures around the world. It includes monumental architecture at sites such as Nabta Playa, Abu Simbel and Karnak in Egypt, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and as well as Rappa Nui (Easter Island). The course also includes the cultural astronomy traditions of the indigenous peoples of Australia and the integrated navigation methods (including stellar navigation) developed by the Polynesian peoples. An organizing theme for this course is the demonstrated relationship between sky knowledge and predictive skills with varied forms of social power in different cultures.

LSIS 5493 Field Research in Archaeoastronomy

This is a one-week research methods course in the field. Archaeoastronomy & Methods and Archaeoastronomy of Chaco Canyon and Cahokia are prerequisites. The field school will initially be focused on a specific site associated with the Chacoan Culture in the four corners region, but will later branch out as additional research projects are undertaken that will benefit from archaeoastronomical examination. It is designed to provide students with the required methods and tools training to integrate Archaeoastronomy methods into their own future research. This course is optional.

View our Flickr album of faculty doing archaeoastronomy field work.


Admission Requirements

  • A minimum of a 3.0 GPA 
  • ·Earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution


  • First-time users: Scroll down to create an account and then click “Start New Application” - Graduate Application
  • Select the term and Graduate Certificate application. Follow the on-screen prompts to fill out your application information.
  • Under Program Selection, choose Extended Campus Online for the campus associated with your intended program
  • Upload the following to the application: 
    • Last Degree Conferring Transcript 
    • Resume: Formatted in a professional manner, highlighting past work experience and education
  • Pay the $50 application fee. 

Note:  Upon admission, you will be required to submit official transcripts. Financial aid may be available to degree-seeking students only.