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Marine Science Program
The undergraduate minor in Marine Science introduces students to the global importance of marine ecosystems and their significance to society as a source of food and energy and in regulating climate. Students will learn about the different components of the oceans including its sea floor, chemical constituents, physical dynamics, and organisms – through discipline-specific and interdisciplinary courses. The minor is jointly offered and administered by the School of Marine Science (SMS)/Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences (VIMS) and Arts & Sciences. As one of the leading marine research and education institutions in the United States, SMS/VIMS has a critical role and responsibility to provide high-quality information and educational resources concerning the marine environment to all segments of society in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the U.S. The undergraduate minor in marine science addresses the growing national demand for undergraduate education in the earth and environmental sciences in general, and in the marine sciences specifically.
Students pursuing a minor in Marine Science are required to take 18 credits of coursework. Two introductory courses (6 credits total) are required: MSCI 330 and MSCI 331 . The remaining credits are divided between electives and upper level courses in the subdisciplines of marine sciences. An alternative field-based marine science course can be substituted for this field studies course with permission of the Marine Science Advisory Committee. We recommend that marine science minors take the Field Studies course during the summer following their freshman or sophomore year and before taking any of the Fundamentals of Marine Science courses. A menu of elective courses provides opportunities for students to explore their specific interests in marine science, and the fundamentals courses provide an in-depth study of three of the subdisciplines of marine sciences.
Declaration Process: To be eligible for a minor In Marine Science, students must have completed, or currently be taking, the required introductory course, MSCI 330 . To declare, students must meet with one of the co-directors of the Marine Science Minor Program and submit a declaration form.
Programs and Course Descriptions