Academic Catalogs

Marine Science, Associate in Science Degree

Financial Aid Eligible
Banner Code: 1_AS_MRSC
Control Number: 36732

Upon completion of the requirements for the Associate in Science Degree in Marine Science, students will have a broad introduction to the academic study of marine science and will have a strong background for upper division work in marine science or related fields, such as earth and environmental sciences.

The Marine Science major requires completion of a minimum of 18 program major units, 11 of which are required core units. The additional 7 units must be taken from additional marine science courses and a list of restricted related electives. The department strongly recommends that all declared Marine Science majors work with counseling to select electives that will best prepare them for their intended transfer institution.

Program Outcomes

  1. Describe how the ocean influences and is influenced by terrestrial, atmospheric, geological and biological processes.
  2. Describe how the physical and chemical properties of water molecules affect the way that the ocean is structured and how the large scale movement of this water in waves, currents and tides influences oceanographic processes.
  3. Describe the diversity of life in the ocean.
  4. Identify how humans have influenced the ocean (chemically, physically and biologically) and explain the potential challenges associated with those changes.

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 AA or AS major requirements as detailed in the Degree and Certificate section of this catalog.
  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 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
Required Courses
Core Courses
MRSC A100/A100HOceanography3
MRSC A100L/A100MOceanography Laboratory1
MRSC A180Marine Biology3
MRSC A180LMarine Biology Lab1
MRSC A185Coastal Oceanography3
Marine Science Restricted Electives
Select at least three units of the following:3
Marine Intertidal Ecology
Ecology of the Gray Whale
Marine Aquarium Science
Husbandry of Aquatic Organisms
Aquarium Life Support Operation and Maintenance
Coastal Oceanography Lab
Marine Mammals
Marine Mammal Field Studies
Practical Experience in Aquarium Science and Management 1
Practical Experience in Aquarium Science and Management 2
Practical Experience in Aquarium Science and Management 3
Practical Experience in Aquarium Science and Management 4
MRSC A291/A291H
Directed Studies (as approved by the Marine Science department)
MRSC A292/A292H
Directed Studies (as approved by the Marine Science department)
Related Fields Restricted Electives
Select at least four units of the following:4
Planetary Astronomy
Introduction to Biology for Majors 1: Cell and Molecular Biology
and Zoology Lab
Introduction to Biology for Majors 2: Ecology, Evolution, Diversity, and Physiology
General Microbiology
Evolutionary Ecology
Molecular Biology
Introduction to Environmental Science
Island Ecology
Wetlands Ecology and Management
Digital Mapping: Introduction to GIS
General Geology
General Geology Laboratory
Physical Geology
Weather and Climate
Introductory Field Geology
Environmental Geology
Evolution of the Earth
Evolution of the Earth Lab
Introduction to Ocean Sailing
Coastal Navigation
Boat Handling and Seamanship
Maritime Environment
Marine Policy and Conservation
Program Major Units18
AS General Education Option 1, 2, or 3Varies
Transferable electives as needed to satisfy unit requirementVaries
Total Units60