About this Bachelor's Degree

Are you interested in a marine science career? Marine science is an emerging field rich with exciting and wide-ranging career options in marine research, coastal observing networks, environmental management, and the technical marine industry.  Recognizing the critical role that the oceans play, our marine science students are provided the skills to understand fundamental dynamic ocean processes, map the state of the ocean and its coasts, observe and monitor atmosphere/ocean interactions, monitor coastal processes and changes due to natural and human impacts, apply new technologies to enhance our understanding of the oceans, and assess the health of marine ecosystems.

The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast marine science baccalaureate degree program is the only degree program of its type in the state of Mississippi.

The program of study consists of 35 credit hours of General Education Curriculum courses, 39 credit hours of major course requirements, 30-32 credit hours of other required courses, and 18-20 credit hours of elective courses for a total of 124 credit hours.

As a student in this program, you will develop knowledge of fundamental and technical marine science concepts along with the analytical and problem-solving skills that are required to be successful in a variety of occupations. In addition, the program provides you with a foundation for graduate study in marine science, should that be of interest.

Student Learning Outcomes / Program Objectives

  • Broad-based Knowledge: Students will acquire a broad-based knowledge of the marine sciences, including an understanding of: 1) The critical role oceans play in influencing global/regional climate and weather; 2) The sensitivity of ocean ecosystems to changes from both natural and human causes; 3) The impacts on our coasts and coastal oceans resulting from climate change and associated changes in weather, sea level, and ecosystem dynamics; 4) The risks and hazards associated with living near a dynamic ocean; 5) The complex interplay of biological, chemical, geological and physical aspects of the ocean; 6) The real-world application of marine science instrumentation, data types, and data processing/analysis methods; 7) The historical background leading to contemporary views of major marine science topics.
  • Understanding of the Scientific Process: Students will develop an understanding of the dynamic processes of scientific inquiry in general and specific to the marine environment.
  • Technical Skills: Students will receive training in a variety of technical skills consistent with their interest in marine science.
  • Written and Oral Communication Skills: Students will receive highly-effective skills training in the written and oral communication of scientific information.
  • Employment and/or Graduate Studies: Students will gain content knowledge of marine science that enables them to obtain employment consistent with their interest in marine science, and/or pursue professional school/graduate education, or be satisfied that the degree has met their personal objectives.