The three-credit course Extraterrestrial Life, team-taught by faculty in the English, Physics, Geology, and Philosophy departments, will approach the concept of extraterrestrial life from both the natural science and humanities perspectives. This multidisciplinary introductory class delves into the origin of life in the universe and the quest for space exploration. 

The class will approach these topics through the lens of astronomy, biology, physics, geology, chemistry, philosophy and art. By exploring the planetary and physical conditions required for life to exist, students will learn about core scientific concepts, such as the scientific method, length and time scales, and evolution, as well as how these ideas alter our perception of everyday life, popular culture and the arts.

Each week explores a different question: What is life? How did life originate? What is intelligence? How and why do we search for life? Where and how do we look for extraterrestrial life? What are the necessary ingredients for life to happen? Why do we fear and desire contact with extraterrestrials? 

In the form of lectures, guest interventions, in-class debates and flipped classrooms, our multidisciplinary team will approach these topics and address each question holistically, in a true Arts and Science perspective.

This course is cross-listed as ENGS, PHYS, or GEOL 096 and fulfills the humanities or natural science distribution requirement. The class meets noon-12:50 p.m. M,W, F.

For more information contact an instructor:

Sarah Alexander (English):

Michael Ashooh (Philosophy):

Nicolas Perdrial (Geology):

Juan Vanegas (Physics):





Kevin Coburn