Environmental Science, AS

The Associate of Science, Environmental Science focuses on issues that are of relevance to all citizens of the United States and all countries. With growth and development comes the need for people trained in environmental sciences that can deal with environmental issues. Sustainable development is a local and regional concern, especially as Nevada’s growth continues to lead the nation. The Associate of Science emphasis in environmental science is specifically designed to transfer seamlessly into the environmental science curriculum at the University of Nevada, Reno. It will also prepare students for transfer into similar programs at other four-year institutions.

Degree Outcomes

Students completing the degree will:

  • Perform both laboratory and field experiments using the scientific method, which requires observation, hypothesis testing, data collection, and the application of basic biological and chemical principles to explain results.
  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication, teamwork and collaboration in scientific, mathematical and other settings.
  • Utilize primary and secondary sources in the scientific literature to obtain information pertaining to environmental science.
  • Explain the impacts of different environmental pollutants and critically evaluate various pollution mitigation efforts in the context of regional and global policies, economics, and politics.
  • Analyze the impact of human activities on biodiversity, and how patterns of biodiversity have shaped human activities, employing the ecological, evolutionary, and geological factors that control patterns of biodiversity and extinction.

AA/AS degrees are designed for students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university.  

To earn an AA/AS degree, students must:

  1. Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 (see requirements for graduation.)
  2. Complete a minimum of 15 units within the college.
  3. Satisfy General Education requirements for the AA/AS.
  4. Have no financial or library obligation to the college.
General Education Requirements
Must include ENG 102 or ENG 114 1
Fine Arts3
Ancient and Medieval Cultures
Pre-Calculus II (or higher)
Calculus I (if transferring to UNR)
Introductory Calculus for Business and Social Sciences
CHEM 121General Chemistry I4
CHEM 122General Chemistry II4
Social Science3
American Experiences and Constitutional Change
Additional College Requirements
Diversity 2[3]
Conservation, Humans and Biodiversity 3
Science 2[6]
U.S. and Nevada Constitutions 2[3]
American Experiences and Constitutional Change
Degree Requirements
BIOL 190Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology3
BIOL 191
Introduction to Organismal Biology
and Intro to Organismal Biology Lab
CHEM 122General Chemistry II (additional 2 units from General Education)[2]
GEOG 210Introduction to Geotechnology3
GEOL 100Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Natural Disasters3
ECON 102Principles of Microeconomics3
NRES 100Prin of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences3
NRES 210Environmental Pollution3
NRES 211Conservation, Humans and Biodiversity3
STAT 152Introduction to Statistics3
Elective Requirements
Select 6-9 units from the following: 46-9
General Microbiology
Organic Chemistry I
Climate Change: the Science Basis
General Physics I
Physics for Scientists and Engineers I
and Physics for Scientists/Engineers Lab I
Total Units60

If you place into ENG 102 or ENG 114, the additional 3 required units will become elective credit.


Course may also count toward degree requirements. Please consult with Academic Advisement.


NRES 211 will also satisfy 3 units in the Degree Requirements


For students transferring into a specific program at a university, choose electives appropriate for that program.

Plan of Study Grid
1st semesterUnits
STAT 152 Introduction to Statistics 3
ECON 102 Principles of Microeconomics 3
Fine Arts 5 3
ENG 101
Composition I
or Composition I for International Students
NRES 100 Prin of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences 3
 Semester Total15
2nd semester
BIOL 190 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology 3
CHEM 121 General Chemistry I 4
ENG 102
Composition II
or Composition II For International Students
MATH 176 Introductory Calculus for Business and Social Sciences 3
Elective 6 3
 Semester Total16
3rd semester
Elective 6 3
CHEM 122 General Chemistry II 4
GEOL 100 Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Natural Disasters 3
NRES 210 Environmental Pollution 3
 Semester Total13
4th semester
BIOL 191
Introduction to Organismal Biology
and Intro to Organismal Biology Lab
Social Science/U.S. and Nevada Constitutions 6 3
GEOG 210 Introduction to Geotechnology 3
NRES 211 Conservation, Humans and Biodiversity 3
Humanities 6 3
 Semester Total16
 Total Units60

See approved General Education list for the AA/AS Degree.


 See program recommendations or requirements.