Physical Oceanography Requirements

This option prepares students for graduate study in physical oceanography, meteorology, fluid dynamics, or a related field, as well as immediate employment in environmental agencies or consulting firms and technical positions in marine sciences. Students in SAS may also wish to consider the major in physics with the Ocean Physics option.


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.
Physical Oceanography option 
Required courses (credits) 
01:119:115-116 General Biology (4,4) or 01:119:103 Principles of Biology (4) 
01:119:117 Biological Research Laboratory (2). Note: if Principles of Biology used to meet biology requirement, 119:117 is waived. 
01:160:161-162 General Chemistry (4,4) 
01:160:171 Introduction to Experimentation (1) 
01:198:323 Numerical Analysis and Computing (4) or 01:640:373 Numerical Analysis (3) 
14:440:127 Introduction to Computers for Engineers (3) or 11:670:212 Computational Methods for Meteorology (3) 
11:628:320 Dynamics of Marine Ecosystems (4) 
11:628:363 or 364 Oceanographic Methods and Data Analysis: Biology and Chemistry (628:363, 3)
or Oceanographic Methods and Data Analysis: Physical Processes (628:364, 3) 
11:628:451 Physical Oceanography (4) 
01:640:151-152 Calculus for Mathematics and the Physical Sciences (4,4)  
01:640:251 Multivariable Calculus (4) 
01:640:252 Elementary Differential Equations (3) or 01:640:244 Differential Equations for Engineering and Physics (4) 
01:750:201-202 Extended General Physics (5,5) or [01:750:203-204 General Physics (3,3) and 01:750:205-206 General Physics Laboratory (1,1)] or equivalent 
01:960:401 Basic Statistics for Research (3)
Experience-Based Education Special Problems in Marine Science 11:628:49_ (credits by arrangement) or adviser-approved equivalent independent research or cooperative education placement which includes both oral and written presentations of scientific results. Requirement for SEBS students is 6 credits total; for SAS students 3 credits total. 
Four of the following with at least one from each group: 
Group A 
01:640:250 Introductory Linear Algebra (3) 
01:640:421 Advanced Calculus for Engineers (3) 
14:650:312 Fluid Mechanics (3) 
Group B 
11:628:410 Biophysical Interactions: from Barnacles to Jellyfish (3) 
11:628:452 Geophysical Data Analysis (3) 
11:628:462 Ocean Ecology (4) or 11:628:472 Chemical Oceanography (4)  
11:670:323 Thermodynamics of the Atmosphere (3) 
11:670:324 Dynamics of the Ocean and Atmosphere (3) 
11:670:451 Remote Sensing of the Ocean and Atmosphere (3)