Sep 22, 2023  
2023-24 Catalog 
2023-24 Catalog

Associate in Science-Transfer to Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, and Atmospheric Sciences (Concentration: Physics)

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Associate of Science


Importance of Advising. Advising is a critical element in the completion of any AS degree. Each student is strongly encouraged to identify a faculty adviser in his or her area of study as early as possible. Adviser approval is required for completion of the degree. Students, with the aid of a faculty adviser, are responsible for checking specific major requirements of baccalaureate institutions in the year prior to transfer.

For general information about this degree choice and specific fields or areas, see Transferable Degrees and Certificates .

General Requirements

  • Completion of a minimum of 90 college-level credits (courses numbered 100 or above);
  • A minimum 2.0 cumulative college-level GPA;
  • Completion of at least 23 of the total required credits at Highline with a minimum 2.0 GPA (known as the residency credit requirement).

For a detailed list of these requirements, general information and information on exceptions to general or specific requirements, students should refer to the overview information on Transferable Degrees and Certificates .

Specific Requirements

In addition to the general requirements for all degrees, the AS degree specifically requires the following:

  • Approval of a faculty adviser must be obtained for completion of this degree;
  • A maximum of five quarter credits of traditionally nontransferable restricted (often called “Gray Area”) college-level courses will be accepted in the Remaining Credits category. (See AA Option A, elective requirement section)

At least one sequence course - e.g., the three-quarter physics sequence - should be completed at Highline Community College.

Courses listed in the following subsections may be used to meet the specific course requirements of the AS degree. This list, however, changes from time to time. Students should obtain the most current list from the Educational Planning & Advising Center.

Communication Requirement: 5 credits

Complete the following:


If additional communications courses are taken, then up to five of these credits may be applied to the Humanities area of the Distribution requirement.

Quantitative Skills Requirement: 15-25 credits

Complete the following:

  • A minimum of 15 mathematics credits. The specific courses vary by area of study.
Pre-Major Program: 24-45 credits

Students must complete specific pre-major courses, as required for their areas of study.

Distribution Requirement: 15 credits

The Distribution requirement attempts to ensure variety and breadth by requiring educational experiences in a number of disciplines, including social science and humanities. AS degree students must complete a minimum of:

  • five credits in Humanities;
  • five credits in Social Sciences; and
  • five credits in either Humanities or Social Sciences.

Courses designated as special study, directed study, independent research or cooperative education do not carry distribution credit. Courses taken for distribution must come from the AA distribution list (see the “Distribution Areas ” section) in order to count as General Education or General University Requirements (GERs/GURs) at the receiving institution.

The transfer institution may require additional general educational, cultural diversity and foreign language requirements to be met after transfer but prior to the completion of a baccalaureate degree.

Remaining Credit Requirement: 10-31 credits

These credits may be from any department and must be numbered 100 or above. Adviser approval is required. The specific courses vary by area of study (see “AS Degree Choices,” which follows this section). The same course cannot be used to meet two separate requirements.

Courses may be chosen from the AA Distribution Areas or from other disciplines. However, no more than five credits of traditionally nontransferable restricted (often called “Gray Area”) courses are allowed in the AS. Traditionally nontransferable courses include all professional-technical education courses and all courses from the following departments: College Studies, Cooperative Education, Library, Parent Education, Reading and Student Services. “Gray Area” courses also include course challenges, credit by examination, military experience credit, CLEP and other nontraditional credit.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the physics of motion, Newton’s laws, conservation of energy and momentum, electricity and magnetism, basic thermodynamics, waves and oscillations.
  • Apply algorithmic and symbolic thinking to the problem-solving process.
  • Use order of magnitude calculations to understand the scale of phenomena.
  • Compare and contrast observations of physical phenomena with expected, theoretical and/or modeled behavior.
  • Prepare, logical, well-reasoned, clear and concise lab reports.
  • Apply classroom knowledge to private and public discussions of science issues.
  • Understand, interpret and assess the value of publicly presented science issues.

AS, Physics Requirements

In addition to the five-credit Communications and 15-credit Distribution requirements listed previously, the AS, Physics, degree requires:

Quantitative Skills Requirement: 15 credits

Pre-Major Program: 30 credits

Remaining Credit Requirement: 25 credits

Plus the following, selected with adviser approval:

  • Twenty-five (25) additional credits. MATH 220 , Linear Algebra; MATH& 254 , Calculus IV; and MATH 230 , Differential Equations are recommended.

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