main photo


Photo of the ocean floorExplore the depths.

Oceanography is an Earth science devoted exclusively to studying and preserving the ocean ... and the topics and applied sciences are as vast as the ocean itself. Oceanography includes: exploration of the geological structure of the ocean floor; the chemical composition and properties of seawater and pollutants; the physical study of waves, tides and currents; and the biological research of the innumerable forms of life within the oceans.

Contact Ralph Hitz, Faculty Advisor in Oceanography.

Careers in Oceanography
Physical and chemical oceanographer
Marine biologist
Marine & ocean engineer
Marine archaeologist
Marine policy expert

Program Description

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

Once you complete your associate degree at TCC, you can apply to the University of Washington School of Oceanography as a junior.

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

Program Planning

High School Preparation: While in high school, students should pursue all the available courses in mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics, and earth science.

Recommended Class Schedule: We suggest the following schedule of classes for students who wish to earn the for the Associate Degree in Arts and Sciences and transfer to the UW School of Oceanography.


First Year
CHEM& 161
MATH& 151
ENGL& 101
CHEM& 162
MATH& 152
Humanities distribution
MATH& 153
GEOG 210 or elective
Social Science distribution
Second Year
BIOL& 221
PHYS& 221
Humanities distribution
BIOL& 222
PHYS& 222
Social Science distribution
Social Science Distribution
PHYS& 223
Humanities distribution
  • Most students will need to take additional prerequisite courses.
  • The courses listed here may correspond most closely to requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Washington, School of Oceanography.  Oceanography degrees at other institutions may deviate from the plan above.
  • An additional quarter of chemistry and biology may be required/recommended depending on the academic path of the student within oceanography.  Consult with your advisor about your specific academic interests in order to develop an appropriate plan.

Catalog Course Descriptions

Learn More

University of Washington School of Oceanography

Get personalized email updates about your programs of interest and access the students-only website.

Jobs and Careers
Research jobs and careers for this area of study.

Please consider rating the content on this page:
Poor Outstanding
Your comments about the content on this page:

If you would like us to get back with you, please share your email address (optional):