B.S. Marine Science - Coastal Carolina University
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Marine Science

About the B.S. in Marine Science Program

Marine science is an interdisciplinary field where students receive training in marine biology, marine chemistry, marine geology, and physical oceanography. Upon completion of the 300-level courses in each of these four subdisciplines, students are encouraged to select an area of emphasis that may include: marine biology, coastal geology, marine/environmental chemistry, or ocean/atmosphere dynamics.

The Student Experience

Coastal Carolina University (CCU) has the largest Department of Marine Science on the U.S. east coast.

Department facilities include classroom/laboratory buildings, computer labs, and research vessels. The University owns part of Waties Island, a pristine barrier island that is used for course activities and student research. Through classes and collaborative research, students may also have access to facilities in the other six Gupta College of Science Departments as well as the Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies where students and faculty work on a wide range of projects including coastal geology and watershed/environmental quality.

Students are encouraged to pursue local and national internship opportunities through the University Career Services Office. A number of our students participate in internship programs at local organizations including Ripley’s Aquarium, Huntington Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach State Park, and other organizations across the nation.

The Department of Marine Science regularly offers Maymester travel courses for CCU students including Coral Reef Ecology held in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, Shark Biology at the Bimini Biological Field Station in the Bahamas, Sea Turtle Biology in Costa Rica, and Field Methods in Oceanographic Data Analysis in Oban, Scotland.

Students may choose to participate in exchange programs that provide an opportunity to spend a semester off campus at Deakin University in Australia, the University of Alaska, Homer, or many other locations worldwide.

Students who are residents of Academic Common Market states and are accepted as Marine Science majors may qualify for in-state tuition rates.

Beyond the Classroom

Marine science majors are prepared for a variety of careers including technician, research, and management positions with federal, state, and local government and private industry; environmental education with aquariums, schools, parks, and private firms; land-use resource planning for local, state, regional, and federal agencies; and participation in eco-tourism, aquarium husbandry, or diving careers.

Areas of Study

Students will take introductory foundation courses in the sciences (including biology, calculus, chemistry, marine science, physics, and statistics); an upper-level course in each of the main sub-disciplines of marine biology, marine chemistry, marine geology, and physical oceanography; and other upper-level elective science courses. Examples of upper-level elective courses include Biology of Marine Mammals, Coastal Processes, Ecology of Coral Reefs, Environmental Chemistry, and Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing.

For course descriptions, please view the Undergraduate Catalog »

Campus Visit Information Sessions 

Are you planning to visit CCU and would like to hear more about our programs from a marine science faculty member?

Appointments are available in Smith Science Center, Room 108, on most Mondays at 1 p.m. 

Please email MSCI_chair@coastal.edu to register for an information session to discuss our programs.


Juliana M. Harding, Ph.D.
Science Annex II 226 
MSCI_chair@coastal.edu | 843-349-2983 

Diane Fribance, Ph.D.   
Associate Professor/Associate Chair, Undergraduate Programs
Science Annex II 102G
dfribance@coastal.edu | 843-349-5072 | View profile »