Overview of B.S. degree in Marine Science

DSC_0035 2Click here for printable list of the Bachelor of Science in Marine Sciences curriculum with a Concentration in Marine Biology, Marine Physical Sciences or Aquaculture.

Marine science is a rich discipline that combines studies from a variety of subjects in order to understand the marine environment, marine life, and their interactions. Basic knowledge in biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, and physics is essential for students to analyze the workings of marine systems and to appreciate the processes affecting marine life. Studies in marine biology are broad, spanning organisms from bacteria to whales, and spanning perspectives from entire marine communities to the biochemistry of molecules. Marine science plays a pivotal role in the continuing quest to understand our world and to manage its resources. The interdisciplinary nature of the Marine Science curriculum will prepare students to analyze critically such contemporary issues as environmental change, human impacts on the ocean, and biodiversity.

Students seeking the BS degree in Marine Science can complete the degree without a concentration, or they may select one of three concentrations: marine biology, oceanography, or aquaculture. The biological concentration emphasizes ecology, behavior, physiology, genetics, and population and community structure of marine animals, plants, and microbes. The oceanography concentration is oriented toward physical, chemical, and geological ocean science. The aquaculture concentration focuses on the biology, nutrition, and production of finfish and shellfish. Students also learn about aquaculture engineering and the economic issues related to aquaculture. Students in each concentration learn to appreciate the oceanographic perspective, that is, the oceans as systems of interacting components. Each concentration shares common courses designed to provide an interdisciplinary science background. Where appropriate, courses take advantage of the many ecological and oceanographic regimes found along the Maine coast. Students in each concentration are encouraged to spend a fall Semester-by-the-Sea taking hands-on courses in residence at the University’s Darling Marine Center. Students are counseled to seek opportunities for independent research, internships, and part-time employment with marine faculty. Students in the Marine Science program are provided with a strong general foundation in the sciences suitable for advanced study in one of the marine sciences or in other scientific fields. The BS in Marine Science also provides a solid preparation for immediate employment in marine-related industries, governmental agencies, education, and the nonprofit sector. Students may consult with their academic advisors to achieve specific goals, such as professional certification as an Associate Fisheries Scientist by the American Fisheries Society.


Student Learning Outcomes

The School of Marine Sciences has developed a set of program outcomes for students pursuing and completing a degree in marine science.   After successfully completing a degree in marine science, students will be able to:

  1. Communicate effectively through their writing and oral presentations.
  2. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the marine environment including the relationship of the fields of biology, geology, chemistry and physics.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in the collection, analysis and interpretation of scientific data pertaining to the marine environment using modern techniques.
  4. Understand the role of the primary literature and its review process in science, and have an introduction to its content.
  5. Synthesize prior learning to formulate and address scientific questions.


Related Programs

Within the Ecology and Environmental Sciences degree program, students can select the ecosystem ecology concentration with a marine focus.  Students pursuing this track have the opportunity to take numerous classes offered by the School of Marine Sciences.  Click below to go to the EES website for the curriculum check sheet, located near the bottom of the page.

Ecology and Environmental Sciences