Academic Catalogs

Aquarium Science, Certificate of Achievement

Not Financial Aid Eligible
Banner Code: 1_CM_AQUA
Control Number: 37713

Aquarium Science is an applied, interdisciplinary science that combines aspects of animal husbandry, community ecology, water chemistry, system design and construction, critical thinking, problem-solving, and group management. This certificate is designed to prepare students interested in gaining experience with aquarium systems and living organism care for a variety of potential future goals. These goals may include working for zoo and aquarium facilities, local aquarium retailers, wholesale supply companies, private maintenance companies, as part of a hands-on experience for an advanced degree in Marine Sciences, organizations/agencies working on water filtration and water quality, stock restoration and conservation projects, research involving keeping aquatic living organisms, and/or the recreational hobby of aquarium-keeping. Students will gain a wide variety of hands-on experience in a number of different skills working in one of the largest and most diverse student-run aquariums in the region.

Program Outcomes

  1. Describe how a properly designed aquarium environment (habitat, water parameters, filtration components, and microbial populations) influences the health of aquatic organisms.
  2. Identify commonly kept aquatic organisms and explain what critical aspects of their anatomy, physiology and life history a well-trained aquarist must know to be successful with their growth and potential reproduction.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to design, set-up, operate, maintain and trouble-shoot aquarium life support equipment including biological filtration, mechanical filtration, chemical filtration, centrifugal pumps, and quarantine life support systems.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to manage aquarium facilities including preparation of equipment and supply ordering lists, proper documentation, and restocking of facility.

Certificate Requirements

Orange Coast College offers two types of certificate awards in career programs designed to prepare the graduate to enter a particular field of employment. At least 3 units in an advanced course from the certificate must be completed at OCC.

  1. Certificate of Achievement - 8 units or more in a state-approved program.  Certificates of Achievement are not automatically awarded. A petition must be filed in Enrollment Services or online at the beginning of the semester in which the student will be completing his or her final requirements.  The petitioning periods are listed in the Graduation Requirements section of this catalog. 
  2. Certificate of Specialization - 16 units or less in a locally approved program.  Certificates of Specialization are not automatically awarded, not printed on official academic transcripts, and there is no acknowledgment of completion given at graduation.  Please contact the division for details regarding the submission of petitions as procedures for each division vary.  Most division offices prefer that students complete all of the required courses and then provide a copy of the transcript while some divisions allow petitions for Certificates of Specialization before finishing.

Minimum Grade Requirement
In order to be awarded a certificate, students are required to obtain a grade of “C” or better in all program-required courses. Grades of “CR” or “P” will be accepted whereas “CR” or “P” meets the equivalency of a “C” or better. A list of certificate programs can be found in the Programs A-Z section of this catalog. Check with a counselor to determine the requirements for completion.

Course Title Units
MRSC A120Marine Aquarium Science1
MRSC A130Husbandry of Aquatic Organisms1
MRSC A140Aquarium Life Support Operation and Maintenance1
MRSC A180Marine Biology3
MRSC A180LMarine Biology Lab1
MRSC A220Practical Experience in Aquarium Science and Management 11
MRSC A221Practical Experience in Aquarium Science and Management 21
Total Units9