Marine Science, Maine Maritime Academy

Information for this profile was provided by Lauren Sahl, Ocean Studies, Maine Maritime Academy. Information is also available on the program website. Students in this program are pursuing a bachelors degree.

Program Design & Assessment


Marine Science is an interdisciplinary major focused on the ocean. Majors study the ocean as a system and learn about the connections between the circulation, chemistry, biology, geology and our use of the ocean.


The Marine Science program was initiated to bring more diversity to a mostly male school.

Program Goals

Our goal is to prepare the students with the skills needed do marine science in the field and the lab, the knowledge to understand their observations and place them into a broader context, and the communication skills needed to articulate science in a variety of forums.

Alumni Careers

Our program is designed to prepare graduates for these career paths:
Hydrography Technician, Marine Technicians, Laboratory Technicians, Fishery Observers, Experiential Educators, Public Aquaria, Environmental Monitoring, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps., Research and Development.

Graduate School in: Oceanography, Marine Policy, Veterinarian School, Biology, Geology, Secondary Education, Medical School.

Other careers our alums have pursued:
Lawyer, Accountant, Staff member at U.S. House of Representatives, Science Programmer for the Girl Scouts, Captain (limited tonnage).

Program Assessment

Our two course capstone sequence, Research Preparation and Research Project, requires that students integrate the skills and knowledge they have acquired to design and execute an independent research project. The quality of the project helps us to assess the program, and to decide on where changes are needed.

Courses and Sequencing

Entry into the program

Introduction to Marine Science
Introduction to Ocean Science

Core courses

Marine Geology (Prerequisite: Physical Geology)
Physical Oceanography
Marine Geochemistry (Prerequisite: General Chemistry 1 and 2)
Marine Botany, Marine Zoology or Biological Oceanography (Prerequisite: General Biology 1 and 2)
Physics 1 and 2
Calculus 1 and 2
Introduction to Nautical Science
Ocean Studies Seminar 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
Design and Applied Statistics in Science
Research Preparation (Prerequisite: Marine Zoology, Marine Botany or Biological Oceanography, Introduction to Marine Science, Physical Oceanography, Physical Geology, Marine Geochemistry)
Research Project (Prerequisite: Research Preparation)


Students are required to take 4 courses (12 to 16 credits) electives, chosen from the following list:
Understanding Climate Change
Ecology (Prerequisite: General Biology 2)
Marine Zoology (Prerequisite: General Biology 2)
Animal Behavior (Prerequisite: General Biology 2)
Marine Organism Physiology (Prerequisite: General Biology 2)
Ichthyology (Prerequisite: Marine Zoology or Marine Botany)
Cell Biology (Prerequisite: General Biology 2 and Introduction to Organic Chemistry)
Genetics (Prerequisite: General Biology 2 and Introduction to Organic Chemistry)
Biology of Symbiosis (Prerequisite: Ecology and Marine Organism Physiology)
Biogeography (Prerequisite: Ecology)
Introduction to Organic Chemistry (Prerequisite: Chemistry 2)
Environmental Chemistry (Prerequisite: Chemistry 2)
Environmental Sampling/Analysis (Prerequisite: Chemistry 2)
Coastal Resource Management
Tropical Marine Science (Prerequisite: Marine Zoology or Marine Botany, Introduction to Marine Science)


Research Preparation and Research Project

Other requirements or key features

Students often double major in Marine Science and Small Vessel Operations (SVO). These students get a Coast Guard License and can crew vessel.