Major

The marine science major provides both an integrative science background and specialized foundation work especially suitable for students planning professional careers in marine fields.

Students majoring in any track of the marine science major are expected to be knowledgeable regarding fundamental concepts of biological, geological, chemical, and physical oceanography as well as scientific methods employed by marine scientists.

In addition, students are expected to be able to:

  • synthesize information from the various marine science disciplines
  • speak professionally
  • utilize bibliographic resources effectively and properly document them in a scientific report.

The B.A. degree is not offered.

Required for the B.S. is a core of 11 courses:

  • Biological Oceanography
  • Geological Oceanography
  • Chemical and Physical Oceanography
  • Marine Science Seminar
  • Fundamental Physics I and II
  • General Chemistry I and II
  • Calculus I and II
  • Marine Science Comprehensive Exam or Senior Thesis.

In addition to the core, specified courses in one of the following four tracks must be included:

Marine Biology

  • Marine Invertebrate Biology
  • Marine and Freshwater Botany
  • Cellular Processes
  • Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Ecology
  • Physiology
  • Organic Chemistry I

Marine Chemistry

  • Organic Chemistry I and II
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Marine Geochemistry
  • Physical Chemistry I or Physical Chemistry for Life Sciences
  • Instrumental Analysis
  • one of the following: any 300+ level course in Chemistry or Marine Science or a 200+ level course in Mathematics.

Marine Geology

  • Earth Systems History
  • Earth Materials
  • Earth Structure
  • Marine Stratigraphy and Sedimentation
  • three of the following upper level geology courses: Coastal Geology, Marine Invertebrate Paleontology, Marine Geochemistry, Principles of Hydrology, and Solid Earth Geophysics. Statistics, GIS for Environmental Studies or Remote Sensing may be substituted for one upper level geology class

Marine Geophysics

  • Earth Materials
  • Earth Structure
  • Solid Earth Geophysics
  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Calculus III
  • Differential Equations
  • one of the following upper level courses: Earth Systems History, Marine Stratigraphy and Sedimentation, Marine Invertebrate Paleontology, Principles of Hydrology, Marine Geochemistry, Coastal Geology, GIS for Environmental Studies, Remote Sensing, or Linear Algebra.

All marine science majors are encouraged to participate in an alternative field experience, which may include Winter Term or Sea Semester.

Majors must complete one of the following capstone experiences:

Comprehensive Exam: A thorough exam covering general oceanography and required courses within the track; offered during the Winter Term of a student's senior year.

Thesis: A formal thesis including original research in marine or related sciences. At least one marine science faculty member must be on the thesis committee.

Students who major in the marine science biology track may not major in biology, and students who major in the marine science chemistry track may not major in chemistry,and students who major in marine science geology or geophysics tracks may not major in geosciences.

Students majoring or minoring in marine science must complete both Biological Oceanography and Geological Oceanography with a grade of C- or better.

Possible sequence of courses:

Marine Biology Track

First Years

  • Biological Oceanography
  • Geological Oceanography
  • Calculus I

Sophomores

  • General Chemistry I and II
  • Calculus II
  • Cellular Processes
  • Genetics and Molecular Biology

Juniors

  • Marine Invertebrate Biology
  • Marine and Freshwater Botany
  • Principles of Ecology
  • Organic Chemistry I
  • Marine Science Junior Seminar

Seniors

  • Comparative Physiology
  • Chemical and Physical Oceanography
  • Marine Science Senior Seminar
  • Physics I and II

Marine Chemistry Track

First Years

  • Biological Oceanography
  • Geological Oceanography
  • General Chemistry I and II
  • Calculus I

Sophomores

  • Organic Chemistry I and II
  • Calculus II
  • Physics I and II
  • Analytical Chemistry

Juniors

  • Chemical and Physical Oceanography
  • any 300+ level course in Chemistry or Marine Science or a 200+ level course in Mathematics
  • Marine Science Junior Seminar

Seniors

  • Marine Geochemistry
  • Physical Chemistry I or Physical Chemistry for Life Sciences
  • Instrumental Analysis
  • Marine Science Senior Seminar

Marine Geophysics Track

First Years

  • Biological Oceanography
    Geological Oceanography
  • Calculus I
  • Earth Materials

Sophomores

  • Earth Structure
  • Calculus II
  • Physics I and II
  • Introduction to Computer Science

Juniors

  • Solid Earth Geophysics
  • General Chemistry I and II
  • Calculus III
  • Marine Science Junior Seminar

Seniors

  • Differential Equations
  • Upper-level geology elective
  • Chemical and Physical Oceanography
  • Marine Science Senior Seminar

Marine Geology Track

First Years

  • Biological Oceanography
  • Geological Oceanography
  • Calculus I
  • General Chemistry I and II

Sophomores

  • Earth Materials
  • Physics I and II
  • Calculus II
  • Earth Systems History

Juniors

  • Earth Structure
  • Marine Stratigraphy and Sedimentation
  • Upper level geology elective or Statistics
  • Marine Science Junior Seminar

Seniors

  • 2 Upper-level geology electives
  • Chemical and Physical Oceanography
  • Marine Science Senior Seminar

The minor in Marine Science consists of five courses to include the following: Biological Oceanography, Geological Oceanography, Chemical and Physical Oceanography, and two marine science courses (with MS course prefixes) at the 200-level or above. Biological Oceanography and Geological Oceanography must be completed with a grade of C- or better.