AS, Geoscience

Program Description

The Associate of Science, Geoscience is designed to provide a solid foundation for students interested in geology, natural resources, physical geography, renewable energy (in particular geothermal energy), environmental sciences and planning, and teaching of science. After completing the emphasis program, students will be well prepared to either enter the workforce as a technician or transfer to four-year professional baccalaureate degree programs. The program will maximize student transfer opportunities.

Recommended Course Schedule

Plan of Study Grid
1st semesterUnits
CHEM 121 General Chemistry I 4
ENG 101
Composition I
or Composition I for International and Multilingual Students
GEOL 101 Geology: Exploring Planet Earth 4
MATH 127 Pre-Calculus II 3
Diversity/Fine Arts 6 3
 Semester Total17
2nd semester
ENG 102
Composition II
or Composition II For International and Multilingual Students
CHEM 122 General Chemistry II 4
GEOL 206 Geology of Geothermal Energy Resources 3
MATH 181 Calculus I 4
 Semester Total14
3rd semester
ECON 102
Principles of Microeconomics
or Principles of Macroeconomics
GEOL 102 Earth and Life Through Time 4
GEOL 260 Introduction to Field Methods 2
Humanities 6 3
PHYS 151
General Physics I
or Physics for Scientists and Engineers I
 Semester Total16
4th semester
Elective 6 3
MATH 182 Calculus II 4
Social Science 6 3
U.S. and Nevada Constitutions 6 3
 Semester Total13
 Total Units60

 See program recommendations or requirements.

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
Theatre: a Cultural Context
MATH 127Pre-Calculus II (or higher) 23
CHEM 121General Chemistry I4
CHEM 122General Chemistry II4
Social Science3
Introduction to Cultural Geography
Additional College Requirements
Diversity 3[3]
Theatre: a Cultural Context
U.S. and Nevada Constitutions[3]
Degree Requirements
ECON 102Principles of Microeconomics3
or ECON 103 Principles of Macroeconomics
GEOL 101Geology: Exploring Planet Earth4
GEOL 102Earth and Life Through Time4
GEOL 206Geology of Geothermal Energy Resources3
GEOL 260Introduction to Field Methods2
MATH 181Calculus I4
MATH 182Calculus II4
PHYS 151General Physics I4
or PHYS 180/180L Physics for Scientists and Engineers I
2 additional Science units satisfied through GE.[2]
Elective Requirements
Select 6 units from the following:6
General Biology for Non-Majors 4
Physical Geography of Earth's Environment
Introduction to Geotechnology
Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Natural Disasters
Prin of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences
Physics for Scientists and Engineers II
and Physics for Scientists/Engineers Lab II (preferred) 5
General Physics II
Total Units60

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


MATH 181 and MATH 182 are required of Geology majors at UNR prior to graduation.


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


 BIOL 100 is required for a UNR Geology Baccalaureate Degree.


PHYS 152 is required for UNR Geology baccalaureate degree.

Note: PHYS 152 is not regularly taught at TMCC; however, PHYS 181/PHYS 181L is normally taught at TMCC.

Students completing the degree will:

  • Relate how the various earth systems, consisting of the geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere, interact with each other so as to affect surface landforms, climate and weather, oceanic circulation patterns, and well being of life forms including the human condition.
  • Utilize the theory of plate tectonics to explain the distribution of volcanoes, earthquakes, energy and mineral resources, and formation of different types of rocks and minerals.
  • Demonstrate an ability to identify and classify rocks and minerals and relate their origin to both internal and external forces and processes. Much like words in a book tell a story, students will “read” rocks to interpret their history as written by nature.
  • Recognize that changes in life over time involve feedbacks between life forms and the physical environment—that changes in our physical environment, driven by both internal and external forces, govern the explosions and extinctions of life forms with time and will continue to do so.
  • Apply the scientific method and geologic knowledge gained in a capstone course to interpret the geologic history of select areas of the Reno region through field studies, involving rock and structure identification and plotting their distribution to make basic but informative geologic maps also useful in assessments of geological hazards.

AA/AS degrees are designed for students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university. General information about general transfer agreements can be found on the Academic Advisement website. TMCC has agreements with the following institutions towards a bachelor's degree in the same of similar discipline.