Marine Sciences (BS): Biological Oceanography Concentration

To see more about what you will learn in this program, visit the Learning Outcomes website!

The degree of Bachelor of Science in Marine Science may be obtained by selecting one of five concentrations: Biological Oceanography, Chemistry, Geology, Meteorology, or Physics.

The degree of Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources is available with a concentration in Marine and Coastal Resources.

Marine scientists explore all aspects of the seas and coastal regions, seeking to understand how the oceans, their biological communities, the solid earth and the atmosphere interact. As professionals with interdisciplinary training, marine scientists are needed to advise business, industry and governments on the potential impact of human activities and the wise use of marine resources. Marine scientists work for consulting firms; regulatory agencies; the mass media; business and industry; federal, state and local governments; academic laboratories; research and education organizations; and nonprofit environmental watchdog groups.

For more information about our marine science programs, visit our website or contact:

Maggie Puryear, Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs
Email: 
mwpollar@ncsu.edu
Phone: 919-513-1093 

 

Plan Requirements

Core Courses/Marine Science
MEA 100Earth System Science: Exploring the Connections4
MEA 200Introduction to Oceanography3
MEA 210Oceanography Lab1
MEA 250Introduction to Coastal Environments3
MEA 459Field Investigation of Coastal Processes5
MEA 460Principles of Physical Oceanography3
MEA 462Observational Methods and Data Analysis in Marine Physics3
MEA 495Junior Seminar in the Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences1
Biological Oceanography Concentration
BIO 181Introductory Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity 14
BIO 183Introductory Biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology 14
Select one of the following Organic Chemistry course sets:4
Introductory Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
PB 200Plant Life4
or PB 250 Plant Biology
Concentration Electives 216
AEC/PB 360Ecology4
MEA 449Principles of Biological Oceanography3
or MEA 549 Principles of Biological Oceanography
ZO 350Animal Phylogeny and Diversity4
Basic Math & Sciences
CH 101
CH 102
Chemistry - A Molecular Science
and General Chemistry Laboratory 1
4
CH 201
CH 202
Chemistry - A Quantitative Science
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory 1
4
Select one of the following Physics I courses: 14
Physics for Engineers and Scientists I
and Physics for Engineers and Scientists I Laboratory
College Physics I
Select one of the following Physics II courses:4
Physics for Engineers and Scientists II
and Physics for Engineers and Scientists II Laboratory
College Physics II
MA 131Calculus for Life and Management Sciences A 13
or MA 141 Calculus I
MA 231Calculus for Life and Management Sciences B 13
or MA 241 Calculus II
Statistics Elective3
Select one of the following Computer Science electives:3
Introduction to Computing: Python
Introduction to Computing-FORTRAN
Introduction to Computing - MATLAB
Introduction to GIS
College Requirements
COS 100Science of Change 32
ENG 101Academic Writing and Research 14
Select one of the following Advanced Writing courses:3
Communication for Engineering and Technology
Communication for Business and Management
Communication for Science and Research
GEP Courses
GEP Humanities6
GEP Social Sciences6
GEP Health and Exercise Studies2
GEP Additional Breadth (Humanities/Social Sciences/Visual and Performing Arts)3
GEP U.S. Diversity (verify requirement)
GEP Global Knowledge (verify requirement)
Foreign Language Proficiency (verify requirement)
Total Hours120

Statistics Electives

BUS 350Economics and Business Statistics3
EC 351Econometrics I3
ST 305Statistical Methods4
ST 307Introduction to Statistical Programming- SAS1
ST 308Introduction to Statistical Programming - R1
ST 311Introduction to Statistics3
ST 312Introduction to Statistics II3
ST 350Economics and Business Statistics3
ST 370Probability and Statistics for Engineers3
ST 371Introduction to Probability and Distribution Theory3
ST 372Introduction to Statistical Inference and Regression3
ST 380Probability and Statistics for the Physical Sciences3

Semester Sequence

This is a sample.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
BIO 181 Introductory Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity 1 4
COS 100 Science of Change 2
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
MA 131
Calculus for Life and Management Sciences A (CP) 1
or Calculus I
3-4
MEA 100 Earth System Science: Exploring the Connections 2 4
 Hours14
Spring Semester
BIO 183 Introductory Biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology 1 4
ENG 101 Academic Writing and Research 1 4
MEA 200 Introduction to Oceanography (CP) 2 3
MEA 210 Oceanography Lab 2 1
MA 231
Calculus for Life and Management Sciences B 1
or Calculus II
3-4
 Hours15
Second Year
Fall Semester
PB 200
Plant Life 2
or Plant Biology
4
CH 101 Chemistry - A Molecular Science (CP) 1 3
CH 102 General Chemistry Laboratory 3 1
GEP Social Sciences 3
Select one of the following: 4
College Physics I 1  
Physics for Engineers and Scientists I
and Physics for Engineers and Scientists I Laboratory
 
 Hours15
Spring Semester
ZO 350 Animal Phylogeny and Diversity 2 4
CH 201 Chemistry - A Quantitative Science 1 3
CH 202 Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory 3 1
MEA 250 Introduction to Coastal Environments 2 3
Select one of the following: 4
College Physics II  
Physics for Engineers and Scientists II
and Physics for Engineers and Scientists II Laboratory 3
 
 Hours15
Third Year
Fall Semester
Concentration Elective 2 4
Organic Chemistry Elective 2 3
CH 222 Organic Chemistry I Lab 1
MEA 449/549 Principles of Biological Oceanography 2 3
MEA 460 Principles of Physical Oceanography 2 3
 Hours14
Spring Semester
Concentration Elective 2 3
GEP Humanities 3
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
MEA 462 Observational Methods and Data Analysis in Marine Physics 2 3
MEA 495 Junior Seminar in the Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences 1
Statistical Science Option 3 3
 Hours14
Summer
MEA 459 Field Investigation of Coastal Processes 2 5
 Hours5
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
Advanced Writing Elective 3
Concentration Elective 2 3
PB 360 Ecology 4
GEP Humanities 3
 Hours13
Spring Semester
Concentration Elective 2 3
Concentration Elective 2 3
Computer Science Option Elective 3 3
GEP Additional Breadth (Humanities/Social Sciences/Visual and Performing Arts) 3
GEP Social Sciences 3
 Hours15
 Total Hours120

Career Opportunities

MEAS undergraduate degree programs provide talented students with the foundation of scientific knowledge required for careers in government, industry, or academia. Many students pursue graduate degrees and pursue careers in industry, at government agencies and in academia.

Marine Sciences graduates go on to become oceanographers, to manage our coastal resources, model air-sea interaction, and explore global climate change. They conduct basic and applied research, serving as environmental consultants for industry and governmental agencies, policy and management experts for governmental agencies, and environmental science educators. Graduates with a Natural Resources degree are versed in the fundamental processes and interdisciplinary nature of the coastal zone. As scientists, managers, administrators, and regulators, they make decisions regarding use and conservation of coastal and marine resources.

Geology graduates address society’s needs for dealing effectively with earth processes, such as water resources and the stability of land forms. They work for engineering firms, permit-issuing agencies, and industries that rely on geological resources. Historical geologists are familiar with the evolution of earth through time and provide a perspective on potential long-term reactions of the earth systems to change. Those who concentrate in Environmental Geology are trained to assess and monitor geological resources such as ground water. Marine geologists are experts in the complex issues facing industry, municipalities, and residents in the dynamic and ecologically vulnerable coastal zone.

Meteorology graduates enjoy careers in weather forecasting, air quality assessment, development of weather products and services, broadcast communications, and advanced research. Marine meteorologists study ocean-generated weather systems. Their research is yielding practical benefits such as refined prediction of storm surge, which has streamlined evacuation efforts during severe storms along the Carolina coast. Meteorology graduates with an air quality emphasis work for environmental firms, regulatory agencies, and in applied research. Study of air quality and how air pollution is transported and dispersed is a rapidly expanding field in the atmospheric sciences.

MEAS graduates play a key service role for the State of North Carolina, assisting in everything from forecasting severe storms and analyzing the impact of atmospheric pollutants on agriculture and our estuaries, to determining the effects of toxic waste disposal on quality of surface and ground water.