Bachelor of Science in Oceanography

scuba diverThe B.S. Oceanography program is designed specifically for students interested in pursuing professional, research or academic careers and/or advanced degrees in the ocean sciences. Because oceanography is a truly integrative and synthetic field which continues to become more technological and global in its approach, the oceanography degree program requires students to develop basic proficiencies in mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology, and effective oral and written communication skills. In addition, the program allows students to focus on their specific interests through selection of appropriate elective course work. The program includes an applied learning component which can be fulfilled through appropriate field- or ship-based course work, internships, and/or faculty directed research.

Requirements for a B.S. degree in Oceanography: Catalogue Year 2011-2012


Requirements for a Major in Oceanography for the B.S. Degree:
67-69 hours. GLY 150, 350; OCN 390, 490; CHM 101, 102; MAT 151, 152 or MAT 161, 162; PHY 101, 102 or PHY 201, 202. In addition, students must take three of the following: BIO 170 or 362, CHM 475, GLY 450, PHY 475. Students must also complete a minimum of 25 hours of electives from the courses listed below. Courses must be selected from at least three different disciplines; 15 of which must be above the 299 level.

Electives: BIO 366, 434, 462; CHM 211, 212, 235, 235L, 312, 321, 365, 377, 377L, 435, 445, 474/574, 478; ECN 330; EVS 195, 472, 479, 480; GGY 222, 230, 328, 333, 422, 424, 426, 433; GLY 250, 420, 458, 465, 472, 473, 510, 551, 552, 555; OCNL 150, OCN 480, 491, 499; PHY 350, 477, 479, 480, 481; STT 215; appropriate 280, 480, and 491 courses in CHM, EVS, GGY, GLY, or PHY can be applied as electives with the approval of the program director and the Geography and Geology department chair.

A ‘C’ (2.00) or better average is required on all courses taken within the department, and ‘C’ (2.00) or better average on all required courses above the 199 level in the department.

Computer Requirement: To satisfy the computer requirement for the B.S. degree in oceanography a student must complete OCN 490.

Oral Communication Requirement: To satisfy the oral communication requirement for the B.S. degree in oceanography a student must complete OCN 490.

Applied Learning Requirement: To satisfy the applied learning requirement for the B.S. degree in oceanography a student must complete OCN 390 and 490.

Student Learning Objectives for the B.S. degree in Oceanography

1: Students should understand and be able to apply the scientific method to oceanographic problems. 

2: Students should demonstrate the ability to:

  • critically read, logically evaluate, and
  • effectively communicate data, problems, and issues in oceanography

3: Students should be able to identify and describe:

  • basic oceanographic concepts and processes
  • common materials and constituents of the oceans
  • key events in the history and evolution of the oceans

4: Students must analyze and interpret oceanographic data in both laboratory and field settings, apply practical methods and techniques, and integrate their knowledge of mathematics and other natural sciences to evaluate arguments, and solve problems.

Department of Geography and Geology Course Descriptions


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