Intro to Astronomy (Beta)

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  • College Credits

    Earn 3 transferable college credits

  • On Your Schedule

    Interactive with flexible time & pace

  • $400 Per Course

    Fully refunded if you don't pass*

Course
overview

We are all made of star stuff, and in this college-level Introduction to Astronomy course, we’ll discover just how that stuff wound up creating the universe around us. 

The curriculum, filled with jaw-dropping views of the cosmos,  explores everything from the Big Bang to the fate of the universe, and will touch on every microcosm of space in between. 

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Brilliant
instructors

Learn from a constellation of world-class instructors that includes  NASA communicators, astrobiologists, astrophysicists, and the chief science officer from the American Museum of Natural History.

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How it
works

First, choose between a 14-week term or 7-week intensive. 

Enjoy cinematic video lessons (our CEO co-founded MasterClass).

Enhance your learning with gorgeous interactive textbooks based on evidence-based active learning principles. 

When it is time for exams, open windows are designed to fit around your schedule. 

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Steadfast
support

Hit a snag on the site? Have a burning question? We’ve got you covered.

Our dedicated Student Success team is available to assist you—and push you—to help you pass with flying colors. 

And, if you do all the work but do not pass, we will offer a full refund*.

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Compare courses

Traditional course Outlier Intro to Astronomy

Cost per course

$2,400 on average

Cost per course

$400

Credits

Usually 3-4 credits from your school

Credits

Earn 3 credits that transfer to your school of choice

Risk

Pay full price after the drop deadline

Risk

Full refund if you don’t pass*

Format

In-person, Zoom, or pre-recorded lectures

Format

Immersive, interactive digital experience

Instructors

1 per class

Instructors

4 galaxy-class instructors

Lectures

Specific time and place

Lectures

On-demand, anywhere

Exams

Specific hour

Exams

Flexible window

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Full refund if you don’t pass

If you’ve put in the time and effort to do all the work for a course but do not receive a passing grade, that’s on us and you will receive a full refund. You may also exit the course before the drop deadline to receive a full refund (12 days from start for 14-week courses, and 3 days from start for 7-week intensive courses).

Meet your instructors

What you’ll learn

This course covers all the basic principles and latest Astronomy topics you’ll need for college credit (and then some), plus:

  • The real reason the sky is blue

  • How humans traveled in a pre-GPS and Google Maps world

  • Einstein’s *real* formula (Hint: It wasn’t E = mc^2)

  • How the (non-edible) leftovers in the Cosmic Microwave Background explain the Big Bang.

  • How stars are born, and why that made you the unique human you are

  • ... engaging and beautifully-produced online courses that earn students real college credit.”

  • ... accessible college classes at a fraction of the cost.”

  • ... making distance learning as good as the real thing.”

Frequently asked questions

  • $400 per course, for now. Our goal is to reduce the cost of college and reduce student debt, but there are many factors to consider as we plan for 2020 and beyond. TLDR: if you want the introductory price of $400, enroll asap!

  • Yes, you can be anywhere in the universe (with wifi) and you'll be able to complete the course.

  • If you've put in the time and effort to do all the work for the course but do not receive a passing grade, that's on us and you will receive a full refund! You may also exit the course before the drop deadline to receive a full refund (12 days from start for 15-week courses, and 3 days from start for 7-week intensive courses). For more information on refunds please refer to our Refund Policy.

  • Tutoring sessions will be scheduled to maximize compatibility with students’ schedules and availability. Exams are each open to take for a set window of time (usually several days); however, all other course materials are available to you from the time the course opens through the end of the final exam window.

  • We have technology built into our courses that allows us to prevent academic dishonesty and detect it if it occurs.

  • Yes, we welcome international students from most countries, subject to certain limited restrictions under U.S. trade law.

  • Outlier is currently offering 1,000 scholarships for frontline workers who are staying on the job during the  COVID-19 pandemic. Recipients get a free Outlier course of their choice, redeemable until November 19, 2022 (two years from the scholarship’s launch). 

    This scholarship is available for the first 1,000 eligible applicants who complete a simple questionnaire and short video submission.

    Learn more here.

  • If you have a request for reasonable disability accommodations, contact support@outlier.org. Please include specifics regarding the accommodation you are seeking. Additionally, if you have a disability accommodations letter from a school you are currently attending, you may send that to us as well.

    Outlier is committed to ensuring that learners with accessibility needs have equal opportunity to succeed in our courses.

  • Early on in the process of designing Outlier, we found that many students use their laptops late at night, and don’t feel like staring into a lightbulb. Too much white in the background of videos and active learning would be fatiguing and unpleasant. We also think it’s pretty neat that we decided to do this before Apple shifted everything to dark mode.

  • Unlike delicious, calorie-free ice cream and most things that sound too good to be true, this is for real — $400 for 3 college credits that you can transfer to your school of choice. Our team has been working tirelessly to build a product that will make world-class education more equitable and more accessible, and change the way people define excellent education.

  • Yes, and it was hard. Our instructors did extraordinary things like set up their own cinematography equipment and converted garages into sets, all while staying safe and careful.

    A huge thanks to the team and our instructors for this massive effort. It shows how much we all care about making these courses.

  • “Beta” is how we designate the first few real-world cohorts of any new course we launch. The course and materials have been created to our exacting quality standards, but like any good course are improved and modified with each class that goes through it to adjust to the student base. A “beta” period gives us the chance to tinker with pacing, improve the clarity, and fine-tune our Student Support for the course. It also lets you know that we welcome any and all feedback from you and you may find your requests swiftly applied. Your Outlier Beta course will still get you the same outcomes & credits as any other Outlier course, plus maybe a little extra attention from our Student Success team as they learn about how the course is working and if there’s anything we can do to make it better.