Jul 18, 2024  
2024 - 2025 College Catalog 
    
2024 - 2025 College Catalog

Marine Science, BS


View Marine Science website

The discipline of marine science is broad, deep, and rewarding. As a marine scientist, you’ll explore rivers, estuaries, and oceans, and you will analyze their interactions with the surrounding environment. You’ll sample marine life and measure the tides, waves, and currents. You may spend your days working on the water, in the lab, behind a computer, or a combination of all three. Through this diverse field of study, marine scientists strive to understand fundamental questions about our oceans and their interactions with the land. Marine scientists also apply this understanding to predict earth system changes, inform policy, and cultivate an ethos of environmental stewardship.

The SMCM marine science program takes full advantage of our unique waterfront location through intensive, experiential study of the St. Mary’s River and the Chesapeake Bay, which is just a short boat ride from campus. The college is also within a short drive of Mallows Bay National Marine Sanctuary and two National Estuarine Research Reserve sites. Numerous federal agencies, such as the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, are headquartered just down the road in Washington, D.C. Other research opportunities are available in laboratories at St. Mary’s College and through the internship programs at government and privately funded research laboratories in Maryland and elsewhere. A cooperative agreement between the College and the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science provides opportunities for St. Mary’s College students to take graduate courses and conduct research with faculty members at the nearby Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, MD.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate understanding of fundamental concepts in marine science, including principles of geological, physical, chemical, and biological processes in the marine environment.
  • Demonstrate understanding of common laboratory, field, and modeling methods used in marine science.
  • Demonstrate the ability to, formulate a falsifiable hypothesis, design an experiment or observational study to test your hypothesis, analyze your results in a statistically rigorous way, draw logical conclusions based on your analysis.
  • Communicate effectively the concepts, methods, results, and conclusions of marine science research, in oral and written form, to specialists and the general public.
  • Apply knowledge and skills learned to solve problems in marine geology, physics, chemistry, or biology.
  • Demonstrate understanding of how human activities impact the marine environment, and how the marine environment impacts human activities.

Degree Requirements


Physical Science Courses (12 credit hours)


Biology Core Courses (10 credit hours)


Math Core Courses (4 credits)


NOTE: Calculus I and II (MATH 151 MATH 152 ) are recommended for all students and are required by most graduate and professional schools.

Marine Science Core Courses (12 credits)


Professional Discovery (4 credits)


Marine Science Elective Courses (16 credits)


Students must select 16 credits of marine science-related elective courses of which a minimum of 12 credits must be upper level (300 or 400).

Marine Science Elective Courses

Marine Science Capstone Experience (4 credits)


Students complete one of the following Capstone Experiences:

Completion of an 8 Credit Smp Sequence in Any of the Following Departments:


  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Math
  • Physics

Minimum Grade and GPA Requirements


Students must earn a grade of C or better in BIOL 105 BIOL 105L BIOL 106  and BIOL 106L . Students must earn a grade of C- or better in all other courses used to complete the major. Students must have a 2.0 or greater overall GPA in the major. Excluding graduate level transfer courses from UMCES, at least half of the credits required for the major must be taken at the College.

Sequence of Study


The following sequence of courses is a typical model for the fulfillment of the requirements for the major:

Sophomore Year:


Junior Year:


Senior Year:


Requirements for Teacher Certification


A Master of Arts in Teaching program is available at St. Mary’s College of Maryland after completion of the baccalaureate degree. Students who are interested in becoming teachers should contact the chair of the Department of Educational Studies or an education adviser in their major field of study for suggested coursework in educational studies and their specific major. These consultations should take place during the first semester of the sophomore year.