Academic Catalogs

Environmental Science, Associate in Arts

Banner Code: 1_AA_ENVS

Control Number: 41995

Financial Aid Eligible


Upon completion of the requirements for the Associate in Applied Arts Degree in Environmental Science, students will be prepared to transfer to CSU/UC and obtain a baccalaureate degree (or higher degree) in Environmental Science. This degree is also a pathway toward internships and/or entry-level opportunities within the field, e.g., environmental policy/law and environmental health monitoring). The Environmental Science major requires completion of a minimum of 35 major units, 26-31 of which are required core units. The additional 9-13 units must be taken from a list of restricted related electives from a variety of departments. The ESEC department strongly recommends that all declared Environmental Science majors get counseling to select electives that will best prepare them for their intended transfer institution as there is high variation in requirements among institutions and some of the courses listed, including core courses, have pre-requisites that will increase the number of units required to complete this degree. For students interested in an ecology, geology, and hydrology emphasis in Environmental Science, they should consider an Associated in Science Degree in Environmental Science.

The department strongly recommends that all declared Environmental Science majors complete the following courses prior to transfer: MATH A160 (Introduction to Statistics) or PSYC A160 (Statistics for Behavioral Science) and PHYS A280 (Calculus-based Electricity and Magnetism) and PHYS A285 (Calculus-based Modern Physics). Check the requirements of the transferring institution.

Program Outcomes

  1. Describe the major biological, chemical, and physical components and processes within organisms and the environment
  2. Describe historical and current human activities that negatively impact the environment (energy resources, urbanization, agricultural methods, etc) and how economics, social interactions, policies, and laws affect human activity within the environment. 
  3. Students who complete the degree will be prepared for admission to California State University/University of California schools in environmental science.

Associate in Arts Degree Requirements

  1. UNIT REQUIREMENT - 60 UNITS, with at least a 2.0 grade point average. At least 12 of the units must be earned at OCC, with a minimum of one course taken for a letter grade. At least 3 units in an advanced course from the program must be completed at OCC. A student must be enrolled at the time of application for graduation. Units earned at an accredited college or university on a credit/no credit basis will be counted toward the degree requirements of the college, to a maximum of 15 units.
  2. MAJOR REQUIREMENT - Complete the AA major requirements.
  3. MATHEMATICS REQUIREMENT - Demonstrate competence in mathematics by either obtaining a satisfactory grade (grade of “C” or better or “pass”) in a mathematics course at or above the level of Intermediate Algebra as demonstrated by prior coursework, or by demonstrating competency that is comparable through the completion of a college-level math course that has Intermediate Algebra as a prerequisite: Psychology A160 or Math A100 or higher, with the exception of Math A220.
  4. GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENT - Students may choose to complete Option 1 (OCC AA GE)Option 2 (CSU GE), or Option 3 (IGETC) to satisfy the general education requirement. See the General Education Patterns section of this catalog for more information.
  5. GLOBAL AND MULTICULTURAL REQUIREMENT (Required for AA degree only) Some of the courses listed in this requirement can also be used to meet General Education Requirements. Courses that are repeatable for credit can only be used once in this area. - Select one or more courses from the following totaling 3 units: Anthropology A100*, A100H*, A102*, A190*, Art A108*, Communication Studies A155*, Counseling A107*, A107H*, Dance A130*, A133*, A135*, A137*, A138*, Early Childhood A126, English A152*, A173*, Ethnic Studies A100*, A150*, Fashion A125, Food, and Nutrition A185, Geography A185*, History A101*, A110*, A141, A142, A145,* A150*, A151*, A152*, A161*, A161H*, A162*, A162H*, Philosophy A120*, Psychology A105*, Religious Studies A110*, A120*, A140*, A150*, A160, Sociology A100*, A100H*, A115*, A150*, A190* *Denotes courses that fulfill CSU GE Breadth and/ or IGETC requirements. 
Course Title Units
Required Courses
ESEC A100Introduction to Environmental Science3
or ESEC A100H Introduction to Environmental Science Honors
ECON A170Microeconomics3
or ECON A170H Microeconomics Honors
ECON A175Macroeconomics3
or ECON A175H Macroeconomics Honors
Select Lecture/Lab combination4
Physical Geology
General Geology
and General Geology Laboratory
General Geology Honors
and General Geology Laboratory Honors
Select BIOL A100, BIOL A100H, BIOL A180 or Zoology/Botany set:4-8
Principles of Biology
Principles of Biology Honors
Introduction to Biology for Majors 1: Cell and Molecular Biology
OR
Zoology
Zoology Honors
and Zoology Lab
Botany
and Botany Lab
CHEM A110Introduction to Chemistry5
or CHEM A180 General Chemistry A
Select one Math course:4-5
Business Calculus
Introduction to Statistics
Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
Calculus 1
Calculus 1 Honors
Calculus 1 and 2 Honors
Calculus 2
Calculus 2 Honors
Subtotal26-31
Restricted Electives9-13
Select a minimum of 9 units
Island Ecology
Marine Intertidal Ecology
Marine Intertidal Ecology
Ecology of the Gray Whale
Ecology of the Gray Whale
Mediterranean Biome Ecology
Desert Ecology
Weather and Climate
Environmental Geology
Water Resources and Society
Marine Mammals
Marine Mammal Field Studies
Marine Policy and Conservation
Environmental Advocacy
Resource Management and Zero Waste for Communities
Nature of Birds
Introduction to International Business
Introduction to International Business Honors
Digital Mapping: Introduction to GIS
Program Major Units35-44
AS General Education Option 1, 2, or 3Varies
Transferable electives as needed to satisfy unit requirementVaries
Total Minimum Degree Units60-62

Program Sequence

These sequences at Orange Coast College are general course curriculum maps for students to finish all major and general education requirements for two-year completion of degrees, and/or fulfillment of transfer requirements. The course sequence may include course prerequisites and other placement requirements. Students are advised to meet with an Orange Coast College Counselor to review course selections and sequences to ensure that completion of this program will meet a student's transfer and career goals.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
Semester 1Units
ESEC A100
Introduction to Environmental Science
or Introduction to Environmental Science Honors
3
ECON A170
Microeconomics
or Microeconomics Honors
3
MATH A140
Business Calculus
or Introduction to Statistics
or Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
or Calculus 1
or Calculus 1 and 2 Honors
or Calculus 2
4-5
OCC AA GE AREA A1- CHOOSE ONE 3
 Units13-14
Semester 2
ECON A175
Macroeconomics
or Macroeconomics Honors
3
OCC AA GE AREA C1 - CHOOSE ONE  1 2-4
OCC AA GE AREA C2 - CHOOSE ONE  1 .5-4
ELECTIVE (DEGREE APPLICABLE) 2 4
Select Geology Lecture/Lab Combination: 4
Physical Geology  
General Geology
and General Geology Laboratory
 
General Geology Honors
and General Geology Laboratory Honors
 
 Units13.5-19
Year 2
Semester 1
CHEM A110
Introduction to Chemistry
or General Chemistry A
5
PSCI A180
American Government
or American Government Honors
3
ELECTIVE (DEGREE APPLICABLE) 3 3
Select BIOL A100, BIOL A100H, BIOL A180 or Zoology/Botany set: 4-8
Principles of Biology
or Principles of Biology Honors
or Introduction to Biology for Majors 1: Cell and Molecular Biology
 
OR
 
Zoology
or Zoology Honors and Zoology Lab
 
Botany
and Botany Lab
 
 Units15-19
Semester 2
HIST A170
History of the United States to 1876
or History of the United States to 1876 Honors
or History of the United States Since 1876
or History of the United States Since 1876 Honors
3
OCC AA GE AREA D3 - CHOOSE ONE 3
OCC AA GE AREA E1 - CHOOSE ONE 4 .5-4
OCC AA GE AREA E2 - CHOOSE ONE 4 1
ELECTIVE (DEGREE APPLICABLE) 3 2
AA RESTRICTED ELECTIVES (See Requirements) 9
 Units18.5-22
 Total Units60-74