This option prepares students for professional opportunities in oceanography, the biological sciences, and related fields. It differs from the other four options in requiring students to complete one of several minor and certificate programs offered by the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences or the School of Arts and Sciences. Options include, but are not limited to: the Minor in Business and Technical Writing (355), the Minor in Education as a Social Justice (300), the Minor or Certificate in Environmental Geomatics (372), the Minor in Environmental Policy, Institutions, and Behavior (374), the Minor in Fisheries Science (392), or the Minor in Science Communication (374). This minor or certificate requirement is included in order to ensure that students in this option will acquire a focused set of knowledge and skills to complement their marine science studies, and to help them find employment upon graduation. Students in this option should choose the minor or certificate program that fulfills part of their major requirements no later than in their fourth semester of study at the university. This option is only available to SEBS Students.

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.
  • 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.


Contemporary Challenges (6 credits) Two courses, one in each of the Contemporary Challenges areas: Diversities and Social Inequalities [CC-D] and Our Common Future [CC-O]

Experience-Based Education (3 credits) Students must participate in a certified experience that meets this goal [EBE]

Natural Sciences (6 credits) Students must take two courses, one each in two of the following areas: physical, biological, or environmental sciences [NS]

Historical Analysis (3 credits) Students must take one course [HST]

Social Analysis (6 credits) SEBS students must complete two courses, one in either social/cultural analysis or economic analysis, and one in governmental and regulatory analysis [SCL]

Arts and Humanities (3 credits) Students must complete one course [AH]

Writing and Communication (6 credits) Students must take 01:355:101 or its equivalent [WC] and one course that fulfills the learning goal, communicate effectively in modes appropriate to a discipline or area of inquiry [WCD].

Quantitative and Formal Reasoning (6 credits) Students must take two courses [QQ; QR]

Major Requirements For All Students Regardless of Matriculation Date


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 education requirement.

01:960:401  Basic Statistics for Research (3)

11:628:120  Introduction to Oceanography (3)

11:628:320  Dynamics of Marine Ecosystems (3)

11:628:363  Oceanographic Methods and Data Analysis: Biol/Chem (3) OR 11:628:364  Oceanographic Methods and Data Analysis: Biol/Physical (3)

Directed Marine Studies (74-78)

Required Courses (44)
01:119:115-116  General Biology I&II (4+4)

01:119:117  Biological Research Lab (2)

01:447:380  Genetics (4) OR 11:776:305 Plant Genetics (4)

01:160:161-162  General Chemistry I&II (4+4)

01:160:171  Introduction to Experimentation (1)

01:640:135  Calculus I (4)

01:750:193-194  Physics for the Sciences I&II (4+4)

11:628:461  Biology of Living in the Ocean: Water Column Ecosystems (3)

11:628:462  Biology of Living in the Ocean: Boundary Ecosystems (3)

Experience-Based Education (3)

 One of the following (3-4):
01:146:356  Systems Physiology (3) AND 01:146:357  Systems Physiology Lab. (1)

11:216:360  Animal Physiological Ecology (3)

11:680:481  Microbial Physiology (3)

11:776:382  Plant Physiology (4)

 One of the following (3-4):
11:628:321  Ichthyology (4)

11:680:390  General Microbiology (4)

11:216:323  Ornithology (4)

11:216:324  Invertebrate Zoology (4)

11:216:325  Vertebrate Zoology (4)

11:776:400  Fungi in the Environment (3)

 One of the following (3-4):
11:628:405  Molecular Microbial Oceanography (3)

11:628:410  Biophysical Interactions: Barnacles to Jellyfish (3)

11:628:476  History of the Earth System (3)

11:670:451  Remote Sensing of the Ocean and Atmosphere (3)

11:216:240  Behavioral Biology (4)

11:216:351  Principles of Ecology (3)

11:216:486  Principles of Evolution (3)

 At least 3 credits from the following:
11:628:201-203, 205-210  Topics in Marine Science (1.5)

11:628:309  Fishery Science (3)

11:628:317  Aquaculture (3)

11:628:341  Hydrothermal Vents (3)

11:628:402  The Role of Polar Regions in the Earth System (3)

11:628:451  Physical Oceanography (4)

11:628:472  Chemical Oceanography (3)

11:628:474  Coastal Biogeochemical Cycles in a Changing World (3)