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Associate of Arts (Option B)

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, protists) and noncellular microscopic agents (viruses, viroids, and prions). Microbiologists study not only the cell and molecular biology of microbes, but also their interactions with other organisms, ecosystems, and habitats. While we most often think of microbes as agents of disease, we now know that by far most species of microbes are not pathogens.

Microbes are glorious players in the biosphere and are fundamental to everything else that goes on in the living world. They are the world’s most talented chemists. Microbes can bring down civilizations, alter the course of world wars, change the weather, spawn multibillion dollar health and hygiene industries, and cause little girls to run from Georgie-Porgie Puddin’ & Pie screaming, “Cooties!”

Microbes contribute to the art of fine dining producing delicacies such as sausage, artisan cheeses, yogurt, chocolate, sour cream, fine wines, and microbrews. Microbes contribute to intestinal health, paint desert landscapes, clean up the most contaminated of soils, mitigate damage from oil spills, control pests in agricultural crops, and reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Microbes serve as remarkable experimental models helping us to decipher the complexities of life at the atomic, molecular, and cellular levels of organization.

TCC offers courses that cover the first two years of a typical four-year college microbiology program (college-level courses) as well as courses to develop skills needed for college-level courses.

Contact Us

Pattie Green, Faculty Advisor in Microbiology

Location: Bldg. 15-238



Program Planning

Degree Requirements
Career Options

While in high school, students should pursue all the available courses in mathematics, chemistry, biology, and physics.

We suggest the following schedule of classes for students who wish to earn the Associate of Arts (Option B) degree. The program outlined prepares students intending to complete a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at the University of Washington. This program should be modified with the assistance of a Tacoma Community College microbiology advisor to meet the specific requirements of other transfer institutions.

  • Some students may need to complete additional prerequisite courses.
  • We recommend that students select a humanities distribution course that transfers as a UW VLPA course. (See the UW Equivalency Guide.)
  • Students considering graduate work beyond a bachelor's degree should complete one year of calculus (MATH& 151, 152 and 153) in addition to MATH& 146.
  • We recommend that students select a social science distribution course that transfers as a UW I&S course. (See the UW Equivalency Guide.)
First Year
Fall Winter Spring

ENGL& 101
CHEM& 161
PHYS& 114

ENGL& 102 or ENGL 103
CHEM& 162
PHYS& 115

BIOL& 221
CHEM& 163
MATH& 146, 148 or 151

Second Year
Fall Winter Spring

BIOL& 222
CHEM& 261
Social Science (5 credits)

BIOL& 223
CHEM& 262
Humanities (5 credits)

Humanities (5 credits)
CHEM& 263
Social Science (5 credits)

Interested in pursuing a career in microbiology? Visit the American Society for Microbiology