​​Marine science majors are required to take the introductory sequence of:

  • Introduction to Marine Science,
  • Introduction to Cellular, Genetic & Molecular Biology,
  • Botany,
  • Zoology, and
  • Oral Communication in the Biological Sciences. 

After completing the courses listed above, stu​dents must also take:

  • Marine Ecology,
  • and an additional minimum of 16 credit hours of upper division marine science courses, 6 hours of which must be chosen from:
    • Marine Geology,
    • Physical Oceanography, and
    • Biological Oceanography.
Required allied courses include chemistry (a full year of Introductory Chemistry, as well as Organic Chemistry), a full year of physics, and Senior Seminar.

Marine science majors also must complete the University's core, or general education, curriculum appropriate to the degree they seek.

Students who plan to pursue a marine science major should be well prepared in the sciences.
 
High school courses should include mathematics through trigonometry, biology, chemistry, and physics.
 
Secondary school courses in marine biology or oceanography may provide additional background, but are not required.

TYPICAL 4-YEAR COURSE PLAN FOR MARINE SCIENCE MAJORS
 
Freshman year:
 
MSC 101. Introduction to Marine Science (4 credits)
Generally taken 1st semester (Fall). 3 hours lecture and 2 hours laboratory each week.  This course will introduce students to the broad interdisciplinary field of marine science. Physical, chemical, and biological oceanography will be presented in interactive classes and laboratory exercises.  Relevant topics, such as local coastal systems, tropical-temperature transitions, and environmental issues will be discussed.  Field trips will explore local ecosystems.
 
BLY 204. Botany (4 credits) or BLY 207. Zoology (4 credits)
Generally taken 2nd semester (Spring).  4 credit hours with lab, includes both laboratory and some field work.  These are survey courses of the plant and animal kingdoms.  Both are required, but need not be taken in a specific order.
 
CY 103 & CY 104. Introduction to Chemistry 1 & 2 (4 credits each).
8 credit hours (taken 4 credits each semester).
 
Students will also usually take math (Calculus 1 & Science Statistics are required for the major) and/or some other core curriculum courses during their Freshman year.
Sophomore year:
 
BLY 204. Botany (4 credits) or BLY 207. Zoology (4 credits)
Generally taken 2nd semester (Spring).  4 credit hours with lab, includes both laboratory and some field work. These are survey courses of the plant and animal kingdom.  Both are required, but need not be taken in a specific order.
 
CY 301 & CY 302. Organic Chemistry 1 & 2 (4 credits each).
Generally taken during the Fall and Spring of Sophomore year.  4 credit hours with lab.
 
BLY 223. Oral Communications in the Biological Sciences (3 credits). 
This is our required speech course within the major.  Students do several presentations in styles used by professionals in the biological sciences.  This is a very hands-on course.
 
Students will also usually take math (see above), some other core curriculum courses,  and perhaps some upper division Biology or Marine Science courses during the 2nd semester of their Sophomore year.
Junior and Senior years:
 
MSC 306. Physical Oceanography (3 credits)
MSC 307. Marine Geology (3 credits)
MSC 406. Biological Oceanography (3 credits)
These three courses consists of lectures that focus on the processes occurring in the ocean.  Students must take two of them.  They are mostly lecture-based with some groups and individual projects, but no labs.
 
MSC 310. Marine Ecology (4 credits)
4 credit hours with lab.  Required course, includes field and lab experiences, long-term experiments, fieldtrips, and boat time aboard the JU's 25-ft R/V Dolphin
 
BLY 499 Senior Seminar (1 credit)
This is a discussion based class required of all majors during their Senior year.
 
Remaining courses are chosen from upper division Biology and Marine Science classes as offered and fitting the interest of the student.  See the Courses page for details on elective courses applicable to marine science majors.