BS Marine Sciences

Catalog Home

Program Learning Objectives

Graduates of the BS Marine Sciences program will be able to:

  1. Integrate and synthesize information from the various marine disciplines.
  2. Recognize and value the diversity of marine life and ecosystems.
  3. Apply the scientific method, by formulating hypotheses, making predictions, and assessing, analyzing, synthesizing, and interpreting data.
  4. Communicate marine scientific principles and research findings effectively to diverse audiences verbally and in writing.
  5. Demonstrate proficiency in lab and field techniques relevant to marine sciences.
  6. Locate and utilize bibliographic resources and demonstrate the ability to evaluate scientific literature.

Degree Requirements and Curriculum

In addition to the program requirements listed on this page, students must also satisfy requirements outlined in more detail in the Minimum Requirements for Graduation section of this catalog, including:
  • 60 units of upper division courses
  • Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR)
  • 2.0 GPA
  • U.S. Cultural Pluralism (USCP)
Note: No major, support or concentration courses may be selected as credit/no credit.
BIO 160Diversity and History of Life4
BIO 161Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology (B2,B4) 14
BIO 162Introduction to Organismal Form and Function4
BIO 263Introductory Ecology and Evolution4
BIO 461Senior Project - Research Proposal 22
or BIO 462 Senior Project - Research
CHEM 302Marine Chemistry3
MSCI 100Introduction to Marine Sciences1
MSCI 301Biological Oceanography3
MSCI 303Ocean Sampling Techniques3
MSCI 328Marine Ecology4
PSC 201Physical Oceanography4
Marine Resources Conservation and Policy
Select from the following:4
Principles of Conservation Biology
Marine Conservation and Policy
Fisheries Science and Resource Management
Marine Biodiversity
Select from the following:4
Invertebrate Zoology
Microbial Ecology
Marine Mammals, Birds and Reptiles
Marine Botany
Communicating Science
Select from the following:1-4
Environmental Communication
Science Communication
The Learn By Doing Lab Teaching Practicum 3
Marine Science Outreach
Communicating Ocean Sciences to Informal Audiences
Select additional courses from Marine Resource Conservation and Policy, Marine Biodiversity, or Communicating Science (above) or select from the following: 323-26
The Global Environment (Area F) 4
Special Problems for Undergraduates
Wildlife Ecology
Extended Field Biology Activity 3
Principles of Genetics
Principles of Animal Physiology
Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates 3
Analytical Methods in Ecology
Environmental Physiology
Behavioral Ecology
Population Ecology
Community Ecology
Ecosystem Ecology
Undergraduate Laboratory Assistantship 3
Cell Biology
Senior Project - Research Proposal 2, 3
Senior Project - Research 2, 3
Honors Research 3
Selected Advanced Topics 3
Selected Advanced Laboratory 3
Current Topics in Biological Research 3
Molecular Biology Laboratory
Organic Chemistry II
Organic Chemistry III
Organic Chemistry Laboratory For Life Sciences II
Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
Organic Chemistry Laboratory for Life Sciences III
Organic Chemistry Laboratory III
Survey of Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Quantitative Analysis
Environmental Chemistry: Water Pollution
Biochemical Principles
Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates
Fundamentals of Computer Science
Data Structures
Project-Based Object-Oriented Programming and Design
Environmental Law
Electric Circuit Theory
Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates
Water Chemistry and Water Quality Measurements
Calculus III
Linear Analysis I
Microbial Ecology
World Aquaculture: Applications, Methodologies and Trends
Technologies for Ocean Discovery (Area F) 4
Scientific Diving
The World of Spatial Data and Geographic Information Technology (Area F) 4
Water Systems Technology, Issues and Impacts (Area F) 4
Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates
Design and Analysis of Experiments I
Applied Regression Analysis
Applied Linear Models
Statistical Computing with SAS
Statistical Computing with R
CHEM 127General Chemistry for Agriculture and Life Science I (B3) 14
CHEM 128General Chemistry for Agriculture and Life Science II4
CHEM 129General Chemistry for Agriculture and Life Science III4
CHEM 216Organic Chemistry I5
or CHEM 312 Survey of Organic Chemistry
GEOL 102Introduction to Geology4
MATH 141Calculus I (B1) 1,54
or MATH 161 Calculus for the Life Sciences I
MATH 142Calculus II (B1) 1,54
or MATH 162 Calculus for the Life Sciences II
PHYS 121College Physics I 64
or PHYS 141 General Physics IA
PHYS 122College Physics II 64
or PHYS 132 General Physics II
PHYS 123College Physics III 64
or PHYS 133 General Physics III
STAT 218Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences4
STAT 313Applied Experimental Design and Regression Models4
(See GE program requirements below.)56
Free Electives 44
Total units180

Required in Major/Support; also satisfies GE.


If BIO 461 or BIO 462 meets the Senior Project requirement, it cannot also be counted for Approved Electives.


Maximum of 6 units may be applied toward Approved Electives from "by arrangement" courses: BIO 330, BIO 400, BIO 450, BIO 461, BIO 462, BIO 463, BIO 470, BIO 471, BIO 472, ENGR 322/ SCM 302.


If a course double counts for GE Area F as well as Approved Electives, four additional units of Free Electives will be needed to meet 180 total units required for degree.


Students emphasizing Chemistry, Physics or Engineering should take MATH 141 and MATH 142 instead of MATH 161 and MATH 162. GE B1 will be met with any of the following: MATH 161, MATH 162, MATH 141, MATH 142.


Students emphasizing Physics should take PHYS 141, PHYS 132 and PHYS 133 instead of PHYS 121, PHYS 122 and PHYS 123. GE B3 will be met with any of the following: PHYS 141, PHYS 132, PHYS 121 or PHYS 122.

General Education (GE) Requirements

  • 72 units required, 16 of which are specified in Major and/or Support.
  • See the complete GE course listing.
  • Minimum of 12 units required at the 300 level.
Area ACommunication
A1Expository Writing4
A2Oral Communication4
A3Reasoning, Argumentation and Writing4
Area BScience and Mathematics
B1Mathematics/Statistics (8 units in Major or Support) 10
B2Life Science (4 units in Major or Support) 10
B3Physical Science (4 units in Major or Support) 10
B4One lab taken with either a B2 or B3 course
Area CArts and Humanities
C3Fine/Performing Arts4
C4Upper-division elective4
Area C elective(Choose one course from C1-C5)4
Area D/ESociety and the Individual
D1The American Experience (Title 5, Section 40404 requirement)4
D2Political Economy4
D3Comparative Social Institutions4
D4Self Development (CSU Area E)4
D5Upper-division elective4
Area FTechnology
F Upper-division elective4
Total units56