2023-2024 Pierce College Catalog 
    Apr 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Pierce College Catalog

Oceanography (AS-Track 1) Course Map

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Created by Pierce faculty, this map outlines the initial coursework for this career field and for transfer to a four-year institution. It provides you a clear path to complete your degree by listing a specific set of courses relevant to your program and career. The map is designed with the appropriate number of credits and meets degree requirements. Courses are organized in a recommended sequence; please schedule accordingly. If a course is unavailable, select the next appropriate course within the sequence. If you want to change a course on this map you must speak with an advisor to assure you meet all degree requirements. For each course, a purpose statement explains how the content relates to your career field. On this map, there may be instances when you will be required to select a course from several options. Use these purpose statements and notes to choose the course that best aligns with your interests and needs. You will also find action items to complete to assure you progress and graduate on time. While this map is a great guide to courses required to complete an Associate in Science (AS-T) Degree Track 1 Degree Requirements , you are responsible for fulfilling all degree requirements. Questions? Your Success Network is ready to help you!

Important note about transfer: colleges and universities may change their requirements at any time, so this map is not a guarantee of transfer. You will need to check transfer requirements with your intended four-year school. 

1. College Success

  • Course purpose: A foundational course to explore and affirm a career choice and build upon the skills, knowledge, and resources that will support you at Pierce College and beyond.


  • Note: The College Success course you select will depend on the Career Pathway Map you are following. Your advisor will assist you in selecting either the 3- or 5- credit version of the course. Should you choose to repeat a College Success course you must enroll in a College Success course with the same credit amount as the original course; a COLLG 110 course grade can only be replaced with a grade from another COLLG 110 course and a COLLG 115 course grade can only be replaced with a grade from another COLLG 115 course.

2. Chemistry Course Recommendation

Take one course per quarter until sequence is finished.

3. Math Course Recommendation

Choose One Group

Group A

Group B

Action Item: Meet with Advisor

Use your Success Network!  In your first quarter, meet with your advisor to revisit your career and transfer path, make adjustments to your goals as needed, and plan for your next steps. 

4. Biology Course Recommendation

Take one course per quarter until sequence is finished.

5. Introduction to Oceanography

  • Course purpose: This introductory course in oceanography will provide you with an overview of how the ocean works and what oceanographers actually do to study it. Taking this course will therefore allow you to affirm and/or reassess your interest in the discipline.

Action Item: Attend Transfer Fair

1. Attend a transfer fair and determine which universities offers Oceanography and choose an institution to which you want to transfer.
2. Go to the website of your chosen university, go to the School of Oceanography, and look over the specializations of the professors who teach within that department.
3. Find a professor who does research in an area that you’re interested. Using Google Scholar, find one or two papers that this professor has written and read them.
4. Using email, contact the professor and make an appointment to meet with her/him.
5. Arrive at the professor’s office before the time of the meeting. Meet with the professor, introduce yourself, tell her/him that you’re interested in her/his research, mention the paper(s) you read and that you would like to attend the university. Ask if she/he has any advice that might increase your chances of being accepted into the Oceanography Department as a transfer student.
6. Make an appointment with an advisor at the university to which you would like to transfer in order to a) make sure you have or will be taking all of the prerequisites for admissions and, b) ask about the application process and application deadlines for transfer into the School of Oceanography.

6. English Composition I

  • Course purpose: An oceanographer must be able to write grant and research proposals, summarize research, and effectively communicate in writing to various target audiences. The skills you will learn and practice in ENGL& 101 are therefore foundational for your future coursework and oceanographic career.


  • Note: Your advisor will assist you in reviewing your Guided Self Placement and selecting either the 5-credit or the 7-credit co-requisite ENGL& 101 + ENGLC 101 course.

7. Humanities Course Recommendation

Choose one

  • Course purpose: Oceanographers conduct their research all over the world, and invariably end up working with people from a variety of different cultures. This course will help you to communicate more effectively across these cultural lines.

· World Language (1)

8. Physics Course Recommendation

Take one course per quarter until sequence is finished.

  • Course purpose: Oceanographers use a great deal of physics in their work, since oceans are dominated by the extraordinary physical movements of winds, waves, currents, tides, water masses, and tectonic plates. In these two courses you will learn to solve complex physical problems involving fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, waves, and other important physical phenomena.


    Note: PHYS& 221 is required for entry into the Oceanography program at UW, and PHYS& 222 is strongly recommended. 

Action Item: Apply for Graduation

Way to go!  It is time to apply for graduation.  Visit the Pierce College Graduation website for details.  https://www.pierce.ctc.edu/graduation

9. Anthropology/Archaeological Course Recommendation

Choose one

10. Introduction Physical Geology

  • Course purpose: Oceanographers must understand the geological processes that occur at the seafloor, including the creation and destruction of oceans themselves. This course will help you to understand the dynamic processes that shape the seafloor and coasts over time.


    Note: GEOL& 101 is required for admission to UW.

11. Humanities Course Recommendation

Choose one

Total Credits 113

12. Additional Recommended Courses

World Language (2)

Adjusted Credit Total 118

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