Academic Catalogs

Environmental Science, Associate in Science

Banner Code: 1_AS_ENVS

Control Number: 42000

Financial Aid Eligible


Upon completion of the requirements for the Associate in Science 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., field ecologist, geologist, and/or hydrologist. The Environmental Science major requires completion of a minimum of 43 major units, 36-40 of which are required core units. The additional 7-13 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 environmental law, policy or health monitoring emphasis in Environmental Science, they should consider an Associated in Applied Arts Degree in Environmental Science.

The department strongly recommends that all declared Environmental Science majors complete the following courses prior to transfer: Physics A120 (Algebra-based Physics: Mechanics) and Physics A185 (Algebra-based Physics: Electricity/Magnetism) or Physics A280 (Calculus-based Electricity and Magnetism) and Physics A285 (Calculus-based Modern Physics), and/or Chemistry A220 (Organic Chemistry). 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. Develop the skills to research environmental topics, conduct and analyze experimental data, and communicate findings with their peers.
  4. Students who complete the degree will be prepared for admission to California State University/University of California schools in environmental science.

Associate in Science Degree Requirements

  1. UNIT REQUIREMENT60 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 AS 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 AS 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.
Course Title Units
Rrequired 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 combination
GEOL A110Physical Geology4
GEOL A105
A105L
General Geology
and General Geology Laboratory
4
GEOL A105H
GEOL A105M
General Geology Honors
and General Geology Laboratory Honors
4
BIOL A180Introduction to Biology for Majors 1: Cell and Molecular Biology4
Select BIOL A185 or Zoology/Botany set:
BIOL A185Introduction to Biology for Majors 2: Ecology, Evolution, Diversity, and Physiology5
OR
BIOL A182Zoology4
or BIOL A182H
BIOL A182L
Zoology Honors
and Zoology Lab
BIOL A183
A183L
Botany
and Botany Lab
4
CHEM A180General Chemistry A5
CHEM A185General Chemistry B5
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
Restricted Electives
Select 7-13 units from the following:
Island Ecology
Marine Intertidal Ecology
Marine Intertidal Ecology
Ecology of the Gray Whale
Ecology of the Gray Whale
Mediterranean Biome Ecology
Desert Ecology
Marine Mammals
Marine Mammal Field Studies
California Friendly Landscape
Environmental Geology
Water Resources and Society
Digital Mapping: Introduction to GIS
Nature of Birds
Program Major Units43-53
AS General Education Option 1, 2, or 3Varies
Transferable electives as needed to satisfy unit requirementVaries
Total Minimum Degree Units60

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 AS GE AREA A1- CHOOSE ONE 3
 Units13-14
Semester 2
ECON A175
Macroeconomics
or Macroeconomics Honors
3
OCC AS GE AREA C1 - CHOOSE ONE  3
OCC AS GE AREA C2 - CHOOSE ONE  3
ELECTIVE (DEGREE APPLICABLE) 1 4
Select Geology Lecture/Lab Combination: 4
Physical Geology  
General Geology
and General Geology Laboratory
 
General Geology Honors
and General Geology Laboratory Honors
 
 Units17
Year 2
Semester 1
BIOL A180 Introduction to Biology for Majors 1: Cell and Molecular Biology 4
CHEM A180 General Chemistry A 5
AS RESTRICTED ELECTIVES (See Requirements) 2 3
ELECTIVE (DEGREE APPLICABLE) 3 3
 Units15
Semester 2
Select BIOL A185 or Zoology/Botany set: 5-8
Introduction to Biology for Majors 2: Ecology, Evolution, Diversity, and Physiology  
Zoology
or Zoology Honors and Zoology Lab
 
Botany
and Botany Lab
 
CHEM A185 General Chemistry B 5
AS RESTRICTED ELECTIVES- CHOOSE ONE (See Requirements) 2 4
ELECTIVE (DEGREE APPLICABLE) 3 1
 Units15-18
 Total Units60-64