Marine Science - Coastal Carolina University
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Department of Marine Science

The Department of Marine Science at Coastal Carolina University supports both undergraduate and graduate programs in marine science. The two undergraduate Bachelor of Science degrees in Marine Science and Marine Coastal Environmental Science are complemented by the two graduate programs: the M.S. in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies and the Ph.D. in Marine Science: Coastal and Marine Systems Science. The strength of our degrees flows from the unique experiences offered by our research-active faculty who are committed to teaching and providing individual attention, making for superior experiential opportunities and professional training. Additionally, our coastal location offers easy access to a wide range of estuarine, nearshore, and oceanic environments, providing a wide range of habitats, and enabling a focus on field activities.

Marine Science at CCU

Our programs integrate aspects of marine biology, marine chemistry, marine geology, and physical oceanography/atmospheric science to study estuarine and oceanic environments. We combine lecture, laboratory, and field experiences to provide an outstanding and well-rounded education. Students may choose to concentrate their marine science studies in one of the following areas: marine biology, marine geology, marine chemistry, physical oceanography, or atmosphere dynamics/meteorology.

All of our undergraduate students are encouraged to get involved with research or internship experiences before they graduate.  These experiences can help undergraduate students get into graduate school, get a job, or make contacts in the field. At least 50 undergraduate students complete independent research projects with faculty each year for academic credit. Many of these undergraduates present their findings at state, regional, national, and international scientific conferences. Many other undergraduates take advantage of off-campus internships locally and around the country for credit, which often leads to jobs after graduation.

Our graduate programs provide a range of options from access to cutting-edge technologies and intensive training with faculty advisors to internships and professional development that can be tailored to suit students’ career objectives. Focal areas of study exist within biological, geological, chemical, and physical oceanography as well as marine biology and atmospheric and environmental science. Our graduate students often publish in peer-reviewed journals and present at national and international conferences as well as land jobs in academia, government, and industry.

Two major national reports, the Pew Oceans Commission and U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy have documented the critical importance of marine science to our nation and called for increased efforts in marine science education, research, and funding. Our graduates are prepared to advocate for marine issues and partake in the global conversation.

We invite you to take a few moments to explore our web pages for additional information about our Department and the opportunities that we provide for our students.

Learn more about marine science academic programs »

Contact Information

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

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

Erin E. Hackett, Ph.D.   
Professor/Associate Chair, Graduate Programs   
Coastal Science Center 151A | 843-349-4087 | View profile »