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

About the B.S. in Marine Science Program

Marine science at Coastal Carolina University is an interdisciplinary field where undergraduate students receive diversified training in marine science by taking courses in marine biology, marine chemistry, marine geology, and physical oceanography. Upon completion of the core courses, students are encouraged to select an area of emphasis that may include: marine biology, coastal geology, marine analytical technology, marine/environmental chemistry, or ocean/atmosphere dynamics.

The Student Experience

Coastal Carolina University has the largest undergraduate marine science program on the east coast.

Department facilities include a lecture/laboratory complex, computer research labs, and research vessels. The University owns part of Waties Island, a pristine barrier island used for course activities and student research and that houses the Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies, where students and faculty work on a wide range of projects including coastal geology, environmental education, and watershed/environmental quality.

Internship opportunities are available at sites such as Ripley’s Aquarium, Huntington Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach State Park, and other organizations across the nation.

Off-site field courses for students include coral reef ecology held in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, and shark biology at the Bimini Biological Field Station in the Bahamas.

Exchange programs provide an opportunity to spend a semester abroad at Deakin University in Australia or many other locations worldwide.

Students who are residents of Academic Common Market states (Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia) 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 marine scientist for federal, state, and local government and private industry; environmental educator with aquariums, schools, parks, and tourism industry; teacher; scientific technician; aquaculturist; aquarist/trainer; and land-use resource planner.

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 upper-level elective courses in an area of emphasis. Examples of upper-level elective courses include Biology of Marine Mammals, Environmental Ecotoxicology, Coastal Processes, Ecology of Coral Reefs, and Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing.

For course descriptions, please view the Undergraduate Catalog »


Are you planning to visit CCU and would like to talk to a marine science professor?
Appointments are available in Smith Science Center, Room 108 on Fridays at 1 p.m. until June 30, and Mondays at 1 p.m. through August 21.


Diane Fribance, Ph.D.   
Associate Professor/Interim Chair  
Science Annex II 227  
dfribance@coastal.edu | 843-349-5072 | View profile » 

Craig Gilman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor/Director of Undergraduate Programs 
Science Annex II 102G 
gilman@coastal.edu | 843-349-2228 | View profile »