The Marine Science major emphasizes the multi-disciplined approach necessary to understand the marine environment. Using a core of Biology courses, the major includes elements of chemistry, physics and physical science as well as life sciences. By carefully selecting elective courses, a major may emphasize biological, chemical or physical aspects of Marine Science. Practical as well as theoretical training is available to the marine science major. Most Marine Science majors continue their education at the graduate level; however, there is employment at the bachelor’s level in environmentally related fields.

The Marine Science program provides hands-on experience through the use of the R/V Dolphin (research vessel) and fieldwork. Hands-on field experience is encouraged in both the physical and the biological Marine Science courses.



 Marine Science majors must complete the following courses:

Code Course Credit
MSC 101 Introduction to Marine Science   4
BIOL 204 Botany   4
BIOL 207 Zoology   4
BIOL 208 Introduction to Cellular, Genetic and Molecular Biology   4
BIOL 223SI Oral Presentation in the Biological Sciences  3
BIOL 499 Senior Seminar  1
MSC 310WI Marine Ecology  4
                                                                                Subtotal:​  24​

AND sixteen (16) elective credit hours of MSC or advisor-approved courses numbered 300 and above, six (6) of which must be from the following 3-credit hour courses:

Code Course Credit
MSC 307  Marine Geology  
MSC 308  Physical Oceanography  
MSC 406WI  Biological Oceanography   
                                                                                Subtotal:​  6
XX xxx​ The remaining 10 upper division elective credit hours​  10​
can be any BIOL or MSC course numbered 300 or ​
above, one of which must be WI.​
                                                                                 Subtotal:​  10​


AND the following required Allied Courses

Code Course Credit
CHEM 103 General Chemistry I 4
CHEM 104​ General Chemistry II​ 4​
CHEM 301/L​ Organic Chemistry I/Lab​ 4​
CHEM 302/L Organic Chemistry II/Lab 4
MATH 140 Calculus I 4
MATH 206 Statistical Methods in Science 4
PHYS 111 Principles of Physics I 4
PHYS 112​ Principles of Physics II​ 4​
                                                                                        Total:​  72​


 MARINE SCIENCE Major Important Notes:

  • MSC 101, BIOL 204, 207, 208 and 223SI are prerequisites for biology and marine science courses numbered 300 and above. Please refer to course descriptions for specific prerequisite lists. 
  • A minimum grade of “C-” is required of marine science majors in any course utilized as a prerequisite.
  • Majors must earn a minimum of "C-" in at least one WI course (MSC310WI or upper division WI elective).
  • Allied courses must be chosen by the student in consultation with a marine science advisor.
  • All MSC majors must take BIOL 499 in their senior year.
  • Marine science majors must take an exit exam designated by the department during their senior year as part of BIOL 499.
  • No more that four (4) credit hours each and no more that eight (8) credit hours total of the 16 elective credit hours of MSC and advisor approved courses numbered above 300 may come from the following three categories:
    • Independent Study (BIOL/MSC 387, 388, 487, 488)
    • Departmental Honors (BIOL/MSC 397, 398, 497, 498)
    • Internship (BIOL/MSC 490)
  • Students who wish to double major in Biology and Marine Science or Biochemistry and Marine Science will only be allowed to double count those courses specifically required for both majors. Upper division electives may not be counted toward both majors simultaneously.
  • Students who wish to major in Marine Science and minor in Biochemistry may only count BIOL/CHEM 425/426 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology I & II towards one option.
  • Majors are encouraged to pursue course studies in computing sciences, instrumental analysis, and geography.



 A Marine Science major consists of the following courses:

Code Course Credit
MSC 101 Introduction to Marine Science  4
BIOL 204 Botany  4
BIOL 207 Zoology  4
BIOL 208 Introduction to Cellular, Genetic and Molecular Biology  4
MSC xxx​ ​Two (2) additional MSC courses numbered 300 and above, one of which must be chosen from MSC 307, 308 or 406, for a minimum total of 20 credit hours. ​ 6-7
                                                                                       Total:​ 22-23



Students who plan to teach Marine Science on the secondary level should complete the education minor in consultation with the School of Education early in their academic careers to determine the specific requirements.​