Marine Science > Courses

Marine Science

The tables below show both the Marine Science required courses as well as a complete listing of all DMS Marine Science course offerings.  These are the graduate level courses.

Spring 2018 Class Schedule

Fall 2018 Class Schedule

Required Marine Science Courses

  • Biological Oceanography (and Laboratory) MAR 501(L) 
  • Marine Chemistry (and Laboratory) MAR 541(L)
  • Geological Oceanography (and Laboratory) MAR 581(L)
  • Physical Oceanography (and Laboratory) MAR 561(L)
  • Seminar in Marine Science MAR 689
  • Thesis (for M.S. students) MAR 698
  • Dissertation (for Ph.D. students) MAR 898


Listing of MAR courses grouped according to sub-discipline.

A course number of XXX indicates the course is taught as a Special Topics. A complete listing of all USM graduate courses can be viewed on the electronic edition of the USM Graduate Bulletin.


  • MAR 603. Fisheries Oceanography. 3 hrs. This course will provide the student with an understanding of the complex issues of the multidisciplinary field of fisheries.
  • MAR 682. Special Topics in Biological Oceanography. 1-9 hrs. Study of a selected area in biological marine science.
  • MAR 701. Marine Bio-Optics. 3 hrs. Provides students with an understanding of the concepts of hydrological optics, particularly as they relate to marine biological processes.
  • MAR 702. Advanced Biological Oceanography. 3 hrs. The sea as a biological environment.
  • MAR 703. Advanced Techniques in Biological Oceanography. 3 hrs. Provides students with practical experience in techniques used in biological oceanography today.



  • MAR 641. Global Carbon System. 3 hrs. An examination of the biogeochemical cycling of carbon through global systems with an emphasis on climate change.
  • MAR 642. Isotope Biogeochemistry . 3 hrs. Principles and applications of stable and radioactive isotopes in aquatic environments.
  • MAR 650. Coastal Marine Chemistry. 3 hrs. Examination of phenomena of the coastal ocean and estuarine zone from a chemical perspective.
  • MAR 651. Marine Organic Geochemistry. 3 hrs. Geochemical cycles of organic compounds in the marine environment.
  • MAR 652. Marine Pollution. 3 hrs. Sources, sinks and biological effects of major marine pollutants.
  • MAR 683. Special Topics in Marine Chemistry. 1-9 hrs. Study of a selected area in chemical marine science.
  • MAR XXX. Aquatic Chemistry. 3 hrs. Principles of inorganic and physical chemistry applied to quantitative description of processes in natural waters.
  • MAR XXX. Marine Sedimentary Environments and Geochemistry. 3 hrs. Principal marine sedimentary environments characterized by constituents, facies, and depositional processes and the relationship to the sedimentary geochemistry.



  • MAR 662. Introduction to Dynamical Oceanography. 3 hrs. Introductory course that describes the different types of motions observed in the oceans. It includes the study of ocean currents and waves starting with basic principles of physics.
  • MAR 663. Ocean Dynamics. 3 hrs. Intended to develop the first level understanding of the basic physical mechanisms controlling ocean circulation.
  • MAR 664. Turbulence. 3 hrs. Provides the basic concepts of turbulence theory required to understand physical processes in the ocean and atmosphere.
  • MAR 665. Oceanographic Data Analysis. 3 hrs. Analysis techniques with applications to physical oceanographic time series data. Topics include correlation, spectral, and principal component analyses.
  • MAR 668. Applied Ocean Acoustics. 3 hrs. Fundamentals of sound propagation, reception, instrumentation, processing and applications.
  • MAR 669. Wave-Current Interactions with Applications to Remote Sensing. 3 hrs. Introductory study of different approaches to wave-current interactions, their underlying assumptions and their effects on remote sensing and on upper ocean dynamics.
  • MAR 670. Coastal Dynamics . 3 hrs. Dynamic circulation of continental shelves; includes steady and time-varying flows, pressure gradients, wind stress, bottom friction and oceanic forcing.
  • MAR 671. Introduction to Geophysical Fluid Dynamics. 3 hrs. Provides basic concepts required to understand oceanic and atmospheric processes.
  • MAR 672. Advanced Ocean Dynamics. 3 hrs. An examination of the basic physical mechanisms controlling ocean circulation.
  • MAR 672. Fundamentals of Ocean Acoustics. 3 hrs. Course is oriented toward physical scientists and engineers with advanced math skills. Although primarily applied, some theory related to wave equations for acoustics in the sea and their solutions are covered.
  • MAR 685. Data Assimilation into Ocean Models. 4 hrs. Provides a review of data assimilation methods utilized for the analysis of oceanographic data with the emphasis on the variational data assimilation technique.
  • MAR 761. Numerical Modeling of Ocean Currents. 4 hrs. Course is based on a thorough analysis of the Princeton Ocean Model, provides the basic concepts of numerical modeling and numerical algorithms used in ocean general circulation models.



  • MAR 620. Marine Sediments and Sedimentary Environments. 3 hrs. Principal marine sedimentary environments characterized by constituents, facies, and depositional processes.
  • MAR 684. Special Topics in Geological Oceanography. 1-9 hrs. Study of a selected area in geological marine science.
  • MAR XXX. Foraminiferida. 3 hrs. Systematics and taxonomy of Foraminiferida.
  • MAR XXX. Marine Micropaleontology. 3 hrs. Survey of the biology, distribution, deposition, evolution, paleo-oceanography and biostratigraphy of benthic and planktonic foraminifers, radiolarians, calcareous nannofossils, and marine diatoms.
  • MAR XXX. Paleo-Oceanography. 3 hrs. Methods and approaches used in the study of history of the oceans, detailed exploration of selected critical events in ocean history during the Cenozoic and Mesozoic Periods.
  • MAR XXX. Marine Geophysics. 3 hrs. Acquisition and interpretation of marine seismic data.
  • MAR XXX. Geology of Marshes. 4 hrs. Includes geomorphology; processes of aggradation, progradation, and erosion; contrasting environmental settings; marshes of major climate zones; geologic history including affects of sea level change; micropaleontology, including stratigraphy, affects of bioturbation, groundwater, vegetation, elevation, salinity and pollution.



  • MAR 502. Marine Environmental Science. 3hrs. A study of the problems that affect the coastal and nearshore environments of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • MAR 585. Microcomputer Applications in Marine Science Instrumentation. 3 hrs. Introduction to programming and hardware concepts relevant for marine science applications.
  • MAR 590. Special Problems in Marine Science. 1-6 hrs. Independent research.
  • MAR 591. Special Topics in Marine Science. 1-6 hrs. Directed study in area for which no formal courses are offered.
  • MAR 601. The Marine Scientist and Public Policy. 3 hrs. An examination of how marine scientists communicate with public policy makers.
  • MAR 602. Remote Sensing of the Ocean. 3 hrs. Basic principles of ocean remote sensing with emphasis placed on applications useful to biological oceanographers.
  • MAR 655. Estuaries. 3 hrs. Introduction to estuarine processes and ecology with discussion of the impact of human activities.
  • MAR 674. Marine Ecosystem and Biogeochemical Modeling. 3 hrs. Prerequisite(s): MAR core courses or permission of instructor. An introduction to numerical modeling of oceanic biogeochemical processes with an emphasis on the interdisciplinary nature of the marine system.
  • MAR 689. Seminar in Marine Science. 1 hr. Current topics in marine science explored via student discussion and presentation.
  • MAR 691. Directed Research in Marine Science. 1-16 hrs. Independent research conducted under the faculty direction.
  • MAR 697. Independent Study and Research. Hours arranged. Not to be counted as credit toward a degree. Students actively working on a thesis, consulting with the major professor and using other resources of the University may enroll in this course.
  • MAR 698. Thesis. 1-6 hrs.
  • MAR 791. Directed Research in Marine Science. 1-12 hrs.
  • MAR 797. Independent Study and Research. Hours arranged. Not to be counted as credit toward a degree. Students actively working on a dissertation, consulting with the major professor and/or using other resources of the University may enroll in this course.
  • MAR 898. Dissertation. 12 hrs. Prerequisite:



  • HYD 600. Classical Geodesy. 4 hrs.
  • HYD 601. Hydrographic Data Management. 3 hrs
  • HYD 602. Marine Geology for Hydrographers. 1 hr.
  • HYD 603. Law and Policy for Hydrographic Science. 1 hr.
  • HYD 604. Kinematic Positioning. 3 hrs.
  • HYD 605. Applied Bathymetry. 3 hrs.
  • HYD 606. Nautical Cartography and GIS. 3 hrs.
  • HYD 611. Remote Sensing for Hydrographers. 3 hrs
  • HYD 612. Water Levels. 2 hrs.
  • HYD 620. Math Concepts for Hydrographers. 1 hr.