Associate of Science Degree: Option 1

The Associate of Science Degree: Option 1 is intended for students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university and major in biology, environmental/resource sciences, chemistry, geology or earth sciences. This degree is designed to allow students to complete approximately 70 math/science credits required or recommended for admission into these majors. The remaining 20 credits of the 90-credit degree include 5 credits of ENGL&101 (composition) and 15 general education credits (humanities and social sciences).


This degree is a good option for math/science majors that require or recommend more than 40 credits of math and science course work for admission into four-year college or university programs. Students pursuing the AS Option 1 degree will complete many of the pre-major, laboratory and major track sequence prerequisite courses for their major prior to transferring and will finish their general education graduation requirements at the four-year institution.

Learning Outcomes
  • • Recognize the interdisciplinary nature of the sciences and use scientific inquiry to critically evaluate a proposal, claim, process or theory.
  • • Generate significant questions about the physical world and use the tools of science or engineering to design and conduct an experiment; draw conclusions based on a systematic collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.
  • • Recognize and interpret the meaning of quantitative and mathematical symbols and apply appropriate logic, tools, and processes to make meaningful decisions and solve problems. Utilize multiple representations, including graphical, symbolic, numerical, and narrative, to analyze and solve problems.
  • • Obtain, comprehend, analyze, evaluate, internalize and act upon knowledge in order to understand and communicate complex scientific systems and reasoning.
  • • Use appropriate documentation to exchange spoken, written, and visual information in order to communicate effectively and to participate as an effective team member within the scientific community and other appropriate settings.
  • • Apply scientific or technical knowledge and practice to a variety of disciplines in order to understand issues, solve problems and engage in responsible practices.
  • • Apply modes of inquiry from the social sciences to issues and problems found in individuals’ lives and work, in their local, national, and global communities, and to find effective and ethical solutions to society’s problems and challenges.
  • • Explore, interpret and represent human experience through the arts.

Because the rules for sucessful completion of this degree and transfer of credits to other institutions are complex, students are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor, and consult with a faculty member in their field of study, who will assist in developing a program of study.

Students should also meet with a transfer advisor at the intended four-year institution to determine which degree will best serve their needs, get assistance in developing an educational plan, and get guidance in course selections. It should not be assumed that earning this degree constitutes completion of the general college or university requirements of the institution to which one intends to transfer.


Completion of the Associate of Science Option 1 degree requires earning 90 credits of college-level courses (numbered 100 or greater) with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better. At least 15 credits must be earned from NSC. Students with incoming credits from other colleges or universities must request an official evaluation after registering for the first time at NSC.

In addition, students must complete an application to graduate. The application must be submitted no later than three weeks prior to the start of your final quarter. Transferability of courses must be coordinated between you and the institution to which you plan to transfer. Completion of degree requirements, official evaluation requests, and graduation application are the student’s responsibility.

Depending on initial placement testing, students may need to complete prerequisite math and science courses. If so, those prerequisite courses can be included as part of the major-specific or elective degree requirements.

Required Courses
15 credits
from the following list of specifically-required courses must be successfully completed.

  • ENGL&101
  • MATH&151
  • MATH&152

Pre-major Requirements
23 credits
of pre-major courses must be successfully completed, including the following chemistry sequence.

  • CHEM&161, CHEM&162, and CHEM&163
  • In addition, either MATH&163 or MATH&146. Check with your advisor regarding which of these options to select.

Major-specific Requirements
Departments at different transfer institutions may require different pre-program courses than those listed here. Students are responsible for verifying requirements of their intended transfer institutions. Check with your advisor for assistance.

Biology Major
30-33 credits
of major-related courses must be successfully completed from the following. Check with your advisor and intended transfer institution regarding which option to select.

  • BIOL&211, BIOL&212, and BIOL&213
  • Major track option (select one):
    • Physics (select one of these options, 200-series is recommended):
      • 100-series: PHYS&114, PHYS&115, and PHYS&116
      • 200-series: PHYS&221, PHYS&222, and PHYS&223
    • Organic chemistry option: CHEM&241, CHEM&242, CHEM&243, CHEM&251, and CHEM&252

Chemistry Major
38 credits
of major-related courses must be successfully completed from the following.

  • CHEM&241, CHEM&242, CHEM&243, CHEM&251, and CHEM&252
  • MATH&163
  • Physics (select one of these options, 200-series is recommended):
    • 100-series: PHYS&114, PHYS&115, and PHYS&116
    • 200-series: PHYS&221, PHYS&222, and PHYS&223

Environmental Science
30 credits
of major-related courses must be successfully completed from the following.

  • BIOL&211, BIOL&212, and BIOL&213
  • Physics (select one of these options):
    • 100-series: PHYS&114, PHYS&115, and PHYS&116
    • 200-series: PHYS&221, PHYS&222, and PHYS&223

Geology/Earth Science
30 credits
of the following major-related courses must be successfully completed.

  • GEOL&101, GEOL&110, and GEOL&103
  • PHYS&221, PHYS&222, and PHYS&223

Minimum Elective Credits and Distribution Requirements
15 credits
(minimum) of additional electives must be earned for successful completion of this degree.

Individuals, Cultures and Societies
5 credits
(minimum) of social sciences earned must be from this category.

Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA)
5 credits
(minimum) of arts and humanities classes must be earned from this category. However, no more than 5 credits of studio/performance classes may be used in this category, and no more than 5 credits of college-level (numbered 100 or greater) world language classes may be used to fulfill this category.

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Find the most up-to-date A.S.- Option 1 Transfer Degree PDF here.

Revised March 15, 2016
Effective beginning Fall Quarter 2001