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Tacoma Community College » Areas of Study » College Transfer » Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies

Photo for Envirnmental StudiesStudy the relationship of humans and our natural world.

Environmental studies is an area for nonscientists with a serious interest in environmental and natural process. Like environmental science, students study the impact of human systems on physical and biological systems, and the dependence on natural resources by humans. It involves the study of the interaction and co-evolution of human, physical, and biological systems.

Contact Kristen Harrison and Ralph Hitz, faculty advisors in Environmental Studies, for more information contact Kristen.

Program Description

TCC offers courses that cover the first 2 years of a typical 4-year environmental studies program, as well as courses to develop skills needed for college-level courses.

Most 4-year colleges offer an environmental studies degree in one form or another. Sometimes it is a stand-alone bachelor's degree, and other times it is a minor, or an area of emphasis. For students attending TCC, the most common pathway is to earn a TCC Associate of Arts and Sciences Degree, taking care to choose the proper coursework outlined on this page and transfer to the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT) as juniors. The degree at UWT is a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences with an emphasis in environmental studies. Students who intend to transfer somewhere other than UWT should consult with an environmental sciences advisor as the information in this document is specific to UWT'S program only.

Here is a quote about UWT'S Environmental Studies Program from their website: "Starting with a core of courses in the earth and life sciences, it branches out to examine legal, economic, literary, historical and philosophical perspectives on the environment. The focus is inherently interdisciplinary and addresses both global and local issues. Collectively, environmental studies courses explore how scientific information gets translated by political and cultural arenas into social, ethical, legal and technological responses to environmental problems."

Degree Options: Associate in Arts degree (Option A) (PDF)

Program Planning

Pre-college preparation: While in high school, students should take two years of one foreign language. They should take math courses preparing them for college-level precalculus and statistics. Science courses such as biology, chemistry, and earth science will better prepare students for success in college-level science courses. Environmental studies majors must also have strong communication, writing skills, and computer literacy.

College advising: Students should meet with an environmental studies advisor as soon as they are admitted to Tacoma Community College to map out an individualized academic plan to ensure all prerequisites and degree requirements are fulfilled. During their freshman year, students should consult the transfer advisor and the pre-environmental studies advisor at the University of Washington, Tacoma.

Courses: Students need to follow the courses outlined for the regular AAS degree but make sure they take the following courses:

  • Precalculus: Math& 142 (prereq Math& 141)
  • Chem& 110 (higher chemistry courses are acceptable)
  • Biol& 100 (or Biol& 221, prereqs are Biol& 160 & Chem& 161)
  • Statistics: Math& 146 or BUS 256
  • Geol& 101 or Ocea& 101

Learn More

UW Tacoma Environmental Studies Program

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