Catalog Year 2017/2018

STEM Brochure STEM is the study of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. A STEM education trains students how to think analytically, creatively, logically, and scientifically, and how to ask the questions and pose the solutions to the challenges facing our society. The STEM discipline helps develop the technological, medical, and scientific breakthroughs that drive our economy and prepare us for the future. The Associate of Science in STEM prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines. Some students will choose an approved Area of Concentration, while others will explore STEM disciplines more generally.
In addition to highly qualified full-time faculty, the program utilizes local professionals who teach on an adjunct basis in their area of education and expertise.   Students leave the program with a background in foundational science courses, an understanding of lab processes and procedures, and the tools they need to specialize and succeed in their chosen fields and transfer institutions.

STEM A.S. Degree Curriculum Pathway by Catalog Year (Starting Summer 2017) 

NOTE: The STEM Option of the A.S. in Arts & Sciences degree has been discontinued for the 2017-2018 catalog. Currently declared students in catalog years prior to 2017-2018 will be able to finish the degree option, but no new students will be admittedNew students should declare the STEM A.S. degree or one of the areas of concentration within the STEM A.S. degree (Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, or Mathematics).  Current STEM Option of the A.S. in Arts & Sciences students are also encouraged to change their major/catalog year to STEM A.S. or one of the areas of concentration within.

STEM Option of the A.S. in Arts and & Sciences Curriculum Pathway by Catalog Year (Spring 2017 and earlier)

Program Contacts
Marc Frankenberry
Chair: Science Department
Email Marc Frankenberry
Sharon Smith
Academic Office Manager: Science Department
Email Sharon Smith
Gary Hull
Chair: Mathematics Department
Email Gary Hull
Jeanne Nesbitt
Academic Office Manager: Mathematics Department
Email Jeanne Nesbitt
Karen Wilson
Chair: Computing & Business Technology
Email Karen Wilson
Christina McGill
STEM AS Advisor
Email Christina McGill
A student declares an A.S. in STEM  because they want study the various fields that anchor math and sciences.  Students are able to explore a wide array of STEM  disciplines to help them identify a specific field of interest before they transfer. Students who transfer to a bachelor’s degree in STEM will have taken courses that are likely to relate to their chosen four-year major. It is also the preferred degree option for students who wish to transfer in a field where FCC does not currently offer a formal credential, such as environmental science or physics.

Students who have identified their preferred field can choose to specialize further in the following Areas of Concentration within the A.S. in STEM
Students interested in pursuing a background in Bioprocessing Technology, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Game Simulation and Development, Graphic Design, or Information Systems Management should explore our existing offerings outside of STEM, and consult with an advisor to choose the right major for them.

Growth Potential & Estimated Salaries
Between 2014 and 2024, STEM jobs in the United States will grow by 16 percent. Median earnings in United States STEM jobs are $37.44 per hour. For information on salaries, minimum educational requirements, and growth rates for specific jobs search the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational
Outlook Handbook at

Employment of life and physical science occupations are projected to grow 7 percent
from 2014 to 2024, which will result in about 97,600 new jobs. The median annual wage for professionals with their terminal degree are as follows:
Atmospheric Scientists: $92,460
Biochemists and Biophysicists:  $82,180
Biological Technicians: $43,520
Chemical Technical: $45,840
Chemical and Materials Scientists: $75,420
Geoscientists: $89,780
Microbiologists: $66,850
Physicists and Astronomers: $113,870

Employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024 adding about 488,500 new jobs This growth is due in part to a greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, more everyday items becoming connected to the Internet, and the continued demand for mobile computing.   The median annual wage for professionals with their terminal degree are as follows:
Computer Network Architects: $101,210
Computer Programmers: $79,840
Computer Support Specialists: $52,160
Computer Systems Analysts: $87.220
Database Administrators: $84,950
Information Security Analysts: $92.600
Network and Computer Systems Administrators: $79,700
Software Developers $102,280
Web Developers: $66,130

Employment of architecture and engineering occupations is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, adding about 67,200 new jobs. The median annual wage for professionals with their terminal degree are as follows:
Biomedical Engineers: $85,620
Chemical Engineers: $98,340
Civil Engineering Technicians: $49,980
Civil Engineers: $83,540
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians $62,190
Electrical and Electronics Engineers: $96,270
Environmental Engineering Technicians: $49.170
Environmental Engineers: $84,890
Industrial Engineering Technicians: $53,330
Industrial Engineers $83,310
Mechanical Engineering Technicians: $54,480
Mechanical Engineers: $84,190

Employment of mathematicians is projected to grow 21 percent from 2014 to 2024. Businesses will need mathematicians to analyze the increasing volume of digital and electronic data.  . The median annual wage for professionals with their terminal degree are as follows:
Actuaries: $100,610
Mathematicians: $105,810
Operations Research Analysts: $79,200
Statisticians: $80,500

STEM Learning Center
The STEM Learning Center helps students succeed in their science, engineering and math courses. Students can drop-in for tutoring, for a quiet place to study, to ask questions, get help with calculators, or use supplemental resources. The Center is staffed with faculty and tutors, as well as STEM learning assistants who are experienced FCC Science, Engineering and Math students who can help you with beginning Algebra through Calculus, Statistics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
The Center is open 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters. More information is available on the STEM Learning Center webpage.

Counseling and Advising Services Students in the STEM major use the resources of FCC’s Counseling and Advising and Career and Transfer Centers to make decisions about curriculum pathways, transfer planning, and more. Students explore, make decisions, prepare, and move on with the help of trained and caring advisors.  Please call 301.846.2471 or email advising (current students) or Email ROAR (new students)  
The program can be completed in two years when students take an average of fifteen credits a semester, however many FCC students successfully complete the program part-time.  Students should meet regularly with an FCC advisor to select courses, since each transfer college and major may require different General Education and elective courses.  The program is flexible enough that students are able to transfer to a wide variety of schools across the country.  Recently, top transfer schools include The University of Maryland – College Park, Towson University, Salisbury University, Shepherd University, The University of Maryland – University College, and Hood College.
Financial Assistance
Tuition and fees at FCC is significantly less expensive than tuition at four-year schools; often as much as $6,000 less expensive every semester (even before room and board costs). FCC allows tuition payments to be spread over a semester for students who sign up for the College’s payment plan.  Scholarship and loan assistance is available for those students who are eligible.  Friendly financial aid counselors help students and families navigate the process of applying for and managing financial aid and scholarships.

  • Students must complete their credit English and Mathematics within the first 24 credits.
  • One general education course must meet the cultural competence graduation requirement (list page 43).
  • CORE: The General Education CORE (page 42) is that foundation of the higher education curriculum providing a coherent intellectual experience for all students. Students should check with an advisor or the transfer institution (ARTSYS) before selecting General Education CORE requirements.
  • Students must complete a minimum of nine credits at the 200-level.
Course Credits


EN 101–English Composition 3


MA 111 Precalculus or MA 210 Calculus (Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, and Mathematics
Areas of Concentration require MA 210 or higher)

Social & Behavioral Sciences

Two courses selected from different disciplines 6

Arts & Humanities

Arts Elective (GenEd course list) 3
Humanities Elective (GenEd course list) 3
Communications Elective (GenEd course list) 3

Biological & Physical Sciences 

Two Biological & Physical Science course; one must be a lab  
Recommend BI 101, CH 101, or PY 203. (Gen Ed Course list) 7/8



Take a minimum of 19 credits of courses from any of the disciplines below.  A minimum of six credits must be in the same discipline.  It is imperative that students consult with an advisor before registering to maximize transfer of coursework; for example some programs will also require MA 210 (Calculus).
           BI            Biology                                                      MA Mathematics
           CH          Chemistry                                                  PC Physical Science
           CIS         Computer & Information Science              PY Physics
           EG          Engineering
  • Students majoring in an Area of Concentration will follow the curriculum for their major.
  • Students majoring in the Associate of Science in STEM without an Area of Concentration should follow the curriculum outlined above and will have 8 unrestricted elective credits. It is recommended that they take CIS 106 (Object Design and Programming).

Total 60
Associate of Science in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  1. Students will demonstrate analytic thinking and problem solving skills in mathematics and the sciences. 
  2. Students will effectively communicate mathematical explanations (verbal, graphical, numerical, and symbolic representations) and a basic understanding of the scientific method. 
  3. Students will demonstrate an understanding of basic concepts in biological, chemical, computer science, physical, mathematics or engineering disciplines. 
  4. Students will demonstrate an ability to apply quantitative methods to chemical, computer science, biological or engineering applications. 
  5. Students will be prepared to enter transfer institutions in STEM fields. 
  6. Students will demonstrate the ability to use technology appropriate to mathematical and scientific problem solving.
Transfer Note
Students in the STEM major can utilize FCC’s Counseling and Advising Office and the Career and Transfer Resources to make decisions about curriculum pathways, transfer planning, and more.  Students explore, make decisions, prepare, and move on with the help of trained and caring advisors.