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Columbia Campus    
2019-2020 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin 
  Dec 06, 2023
2019-2020 Undergraduate Studies Bulletin

Marine Science, BS

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Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate that they understand the scientific process by testing hypotheses related to Marine Science in an inquiry based, hands on setting. 
  • Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills using the scientific method. 
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research.
  • Students will demonstrate effective oral communication of Marine Science topics by giving an oral presentation.
  • Students will communicate and summarize their research findings effectively in writing (such as on a poster or in an abstract) on Marine Science topics.

Progression Requirement

Marine Science majors may enroll in the following courses a maximum of twice to earn the required grade of C or higher: MATH through MATH 142 CHEM 111 CHEM 112 ,  PHYS 201 /PHYS 201L   OR PHYS 211 /PHYS 211L PHYS 202 /PHYS 202L  or PHYS 212 /PHYS 212L . For the purposes of this standard of progression, withdrawal with a W does not constitute enrollment. These courses must be completed before the beginning of the student’s third academic year (fifth major semester) as a marine science major.

Transfer Requirement

Any student applying for transfer to the marine science major from other programs within the University, or from other accredited colleges and universities, is required to have a minimum overall grade point average of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale.

Major Map

A major map is a layout of required courses in a given program of study, including critical courses and suggested course sequences to ensure a clear path to graduation.

Major maps are only a suggested or recommended sequence of courses required in a program of study. Please contact your academic advisor for assistance in the application of specific coursework to a program of study and course selection and planning for upcoming semesters.

Marine Science, BS Marine Science, BS Marine Science, BS  
No Concentration Biological Oceanography Concentration Chemical Oceanography Concentration  
Marine Science, BS Marine Science, BS Marine Science, BS  
Coastal Resource Mgmt. & Marine Policy Concentration Geological Oceanography Concentration Physical Oceanography Concentration  

Degree Requirements (128 hours)

Program of Study

  1. Carolina Core (34-46 hours)
  2. College Requirements (15-18 hours)
  3. Program Requirements (28-43 hours)
  4. Major Requirements (36 hours)

1. Carolina Core (34-46 hours)

Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Written — CMW (6 hours)

must be passed with a grade of C or higher

Analytical Reasoning and Problem Solving — ARP (8 hours) 

must be passed with a grade of C or higher

Scientific Literacy — SCI (8 hours)

must be passed with a grade of C or higher

Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Foreign Language — GFL (0-6 hours)

Demonstration of proficiency in one foreign language equivalent to the minimal passing grade on the exit examination in the 122 course is required. Students can demonstrate this proficiency by successfully completing Phase II of the Proficiency Test or by successfully completing the 122 course, including the exit exam administered as part of that course.

It is strongly recommended that students continuing the study of a foreign language begin college-level study of that language in their first semester and continue in that language until their particular foreign language requirement is completed.

Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Historical Thinking — GHS (3 hours) 

Global Citizenship and Multicultural Understanding: Social Sciences — GSS (3 hours) 

Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding —  AIU (3 hours)

Effective, Engaged, and Persuasive Communication: Spoken Component* — CMS (0-3 hours)

  • any overlay or stand-alone CC-CMS course

Information Literacy* —  INF (0-3 hours)

Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility* — VSR (0-3 hours)

*Carolina Core Stand Alone or Overlay Eligible Requirements — Overlay-approved courses offer students the option of meeting two Carolina Core components in a single course. A maximum of two overlays is allowed. The total Carolina Core credit hours must add up to a minimum of 31 hours. Some programs may have a higher number of minimum Carolina Core hours due to specified requirements.

2. College Requirements (15-18 hours)

Foreign Language (0-3 hours) 

  • only if needed to meet 122-level proficiency

Analytical Reasoning (6 hours)

must be passed with a grade of C or higher

History (3 hours) 

The College of Arts and Sciences requires one U.S. History and one non-U.S. History course. Whichever is not fulfilled through the Carolina Core GHS requirement must be fulfilled through this college requirement. Accordingly, please select one of the following:

  • One Carolina Core GHS-approved course primarily focused on U.S. History: HIST 111 , 112 , 214 , or another GHS-approved course determined by the College of Arts and Science to fit this geographic category.


  • One Carolina Core GHS-approved course primarily focused on non-U.S. History: HIST 101 , 102 , 104 , 105 , 106 , 108 , 109 , GERM 280 , FAMS 300 , or another GHS-approved course determined by the College of Arts and Sciences to fit this geographic category.

Social Science and Fine Arts or Humanities (6 hours)

Courses Acceptable for Social Science and Fine Arts or Humanities Credit in Degree Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences  

  • Three hours of Social Science
  • Three hours of Fine Arts or Humanities

3. Program Requirements (28-43 hours)

Supporting Courses (16 hours)

must be passed with a C or higher

Minor (18 hours) optional

A student in the Marine Science major may choose a minor consisting of at least 18 credit hours of prescribed courses. (Some minors in the sciences require a minimum of16 hours.) The subject area of the minor may be related to the major. Students pursuing interdisciplinary minors who wish to use courses in their major department for minor credit must petition the College Committee on Scholastic Standards and Petitions for permission to do so.

The minor is intended to develop a coherent basic preparation in a second area of study. Interdisciplinary minors can be designed with the approval of the assistant dean for academic affairs and advising.

Courses applied toward general education requirements cannot be counted toward the minor. No course may satisfy both major and minor requirements. All minor courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher. At least half of the courses in the minor must be completed in residence at the University

A list of minor programs of study can be found at Programs A-Z .

Electives (12-27 hours)

No courses of a remedial, developmental, skill-acquiring, or vocational nature may apply as credit toward degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences allows the use of the Pass-Fail option on elective courses. Further clarification on inapplicable courses can be obtained from the College of Arts and Sciences.

4. Major Requirements (36 hours)

a minimum grade of C is required in all major courses

Major Courses (13 hours)

  • MSCI 311 - Biology of Marine Organisms  
  • MSCI 313 - The Chemistry of the Sea  
  • MSCI 314 - Physical Oceanography  
  • MSCI 505 - Senior Seminar  
  • Required Field Experience: All MSCI majors are required to undertake a minimum of three weeks of marine science field effort.  Possibilities include MSCI 460, semester or summer internship, REU, semester at sea, or faculty-sponsored field research or cruise.  Students who do not select MSCI 460 , must submit a petition for an alternative field experience to the Undergraduate Director.  If the alternative is approved, the student must submit a short (2-3 page minimum) report at the completion of the experience to the Undergraduate Director for approval.  Upon approval, the Undergraduate Director will notify the Dean’s office of the substitution.  Students will not normally receive course credit hours for their alternative field experience, but may combine this requirement with independent study credit as appropriate.  If no course credit hours are associated with the field experience, the student will be required to take an additional Marine Science elective (300-level and above).  Some students may complete MSCI 460 in the summer following senior year & graduate in August.

Major Electives (23 hours)

Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, must select 23 hours of major electives. Preferred courses available for major credit are listed below; however, any course which is eligible for cognate credit in the College of Arts and Sciences can potentially be a major course with consent of faculty advisor.  Hours used to fulfill an optional concentration count toward the fulfillment of the 23 hours of major electives, e.g., students selecting Biological Oceanography would fulfill 13 hours of the 23 hours of required major electives. 

A maximum of 10 hours of independent study, seminar, and undergraduate research courses may count in the 23 hours of major electives required for the Marine Science major. These courses are indicated with an asterisk below.

Courses Acceptable for Major Credit

Note: Credit for a degree will not be given for both CHEM 340 and CHEM 541.

Concentrations (12-15 hours)

Students may elect to have a Concentration specified directly on their academic transcript upon graduation from the Marine Science Program. In order to earn a Concentration certification, students must take the following courses, with an additional course(s) to be decided upon by the student and his or her Faculty Advisor. These courses may also be included in the 36 major credit hours required for graduation.

Biological Oceanography (13 hours minimum)

*Note: CHEM 333  is a prerequisite for BIOL 302 and is recommended for those intending to complete postgraduate work in this area of emphasis.

Chemical Oceanography (13 hours)
Coastal Resource Management & Marine Policy (12 hours)

*ENVR 548 requires a prerequisite of ECON 221  and ECON 222  or ECON 224 .

Geological Oceanography (15 hours)
Physical Oceanography (12 hours)

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