Marine science is the study of the marine environment and its interactions with the earth, the biosphere, and the atmosphere. It is therefore an interdisciplinary science requiring knowledge of the principles of physics, geology and geophysics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology. A major in marine sciences provides students with a broad curriculum in the sciences, which demonstrates how the different disciplines can be brought to bear on understanding marine processes and managing ocean resources wisely.
The Major prepares students for graduate work in oceanography or one of the basic disciplines, civil service careers in environmental management, employment in the many applied environmental and marine science fields, or teaching in the secondary schools.
The Marine Science curriculum emphasizes improvement of oral and written communication skills and facility in accessing, reading, and understanding the current primary literature in marine sciences. Several courses include hands-on, experiential learning in the laboratory or in the field. Students also are required to complete an experience-based education requirement.
Marine Science is a credit-intensive major, available to students in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS) or the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS). Students are advised to declare the major as soon as possible so they can receive advice on their academic program.
Program Learning Goals
Program learning goals describe knowledge students will acquire, skills they will develop, and experiences they will have upon completing the requirements for the degree program.
- Master the basic biological, chemical, physical, and geological principles of marine science.
- Analyze and interpret contemporary oceanographic datasets.
- Show evidence of scientific literacy, and communicate the information effectively both orally and in writing.
- Develop, conduct, and report on an applied research experience in marine science in collaboration with a scientific mentor.
- Evaluate contemporary global issues and the ethics of how the ocean’s resources are used.
The program includes the following options:
Marine Biology/Biological Oceanography
This option prepares students for professional opportunities or graduate study in oceanography or the biological sciences. Concentrations within the option permit students to focus on different levels of biological organization: at the molecular, cellular, organismic, community, or ecosystem level. Depending on their choice of electives, students also may fulfill the requirements of a major in the biological sciences or ecology and natural resources.
Graduation Requirements for the Major
- Students majoring in Marine Science must have a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0.
- All students in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences must complete the SEBS Core Requirements, plus the additional Major requirements below.
- All students in the School of Arts and Sciences must complete the SAS Core Requirements, plus the additional Major requirements below.
- Professional Ethics: Ethical issues in marine sciences are addressed throughout the program in both introductory and advanced courses, especially within the framework of the experience-based educational requirement.
Marine Biology/Biological Oceanography option
Required courses (credits)
- 01:447:380 Genetics (4) or 11:776:305 Plant Genetics (4)
- 01:160:161-162 General Chemistry (4,4)
- 01:160:171 Introduction to Experimentation (1)
- 01:160:307-308 Organic Chemistry (4,4) or [01:160:209 Elementary Organic Chemistry (3) and 11:115:301 Introduction to Biochemistry (3) and 11:115:313 Introductory Biochemistry Laboratory (1)]
- 01:640:135-136 Calculus (4, 4)
- 01:960:401 Basic Statistics for Research (3)
- 01:750:193-194 Physics for Sciences (4, 4)
- 11:628:120 Introduction to Oceanography (3)
- 11:628:320 Dynamics Marine Ecosystems (4)
- 11:628:363 Oceanographic Methods Data Analysis: Biol & Chem (3) or 11:628:364 Oceanographic Methods Data Analysis: Geophysical (3)
- 11:628:461 Biology Ocean: Water Column Ecosystems (3)
- 11:628:462 Biology Ocean: Boundary Ecosystems (3)
Experience-Based Education (6). Consult the Undergraduate Program Director for more information.
One of the following
One of the following
- 11:216:351 Principles of Ecology (3)
At least 3 credits from the following
- 01:959:320 Coral Reef Research (4)Δ
- 11:628:345 Scientific Diving I (3)Δ
- 11:628:346 Scientific Diving II (3)Δ