The Marine Science/Geological Sciences degree is a Bachelor of Science degree (BSMAS) that is designed to give students a strong background in the study of the origin of the Earth and its oceans, and the ongoing processes of geophysical and geochemical change. 

Undergraduate students are encouraged to work with the faculty and are able to earn course credit by conducting independent research under the supervision of leading scientists in their field. Research at UM focuses on carbonate sedimentology of the Florida reef tract, stable isotope geochemistry and micropaleontology of deep ocean cores to reconstruct paleoclimate, tectonic processes (volcanoes and earthquakes), and the impact of rising sea level on coastal systems.

The Bachelor of Science double major in Marine Science/Geological Sciences prepares students for admission to graduate programs and for careers in teaching and research as well as for technical careers in government and private industries concerned with the oceans.

Curriculum Requirements

Marine Science
MSC 111Introduction to Marine Science3
MSC 112Introduction to Marine Science Lab1
MSC 215Chemical Oceanography3
Select two of the following laboratories:2
Chemical Oceanography Laboratory
Introduction to Marine Biology Laboratory
Introduction to Physical Oceanography Lab
MBE 230Introduction to Marine Biology3
MSC 301Introduction to Physical Oceanography3
Select 9 credit hours of approved Rosenstiel School electives within ATM, GSC, MBE, MSC, OCE or RSM courses 19
Additional Required Courses
Select one of the following:5
General Biology
and General Biology Laboratory
Evolution and Biodiversity
and Evolution and Biodiversity Laboratory
CHM 121Principles of Chemistry 24
CHM 113Chemistry Laboratory I1
GSC 110The Earth System4
GSC 111Earth System History4
GSC 260Earth Materials4
GSC 360Depositional and Diagenetic Systems4
GSC 380Paleontology and Stratigraphy4
MGS 513Introductory Geochemistry3
MGS 514Geophysics3
GSC 440Petrology4
GSC 480Structural Geology4
GSC 482Field Methods2
GSC 561Communicating Geoscience2
GSC 580Summer Field Geology4
MTH 161Calculus I 34
or MTH 171 Calculus I
MTH 162Calculus II (fulfills the Rosenstiel BSMAS quantitative skills requirement)4
or MTH 172 Calculus II
Choose one of the following:3-4
Foundations of Computational Marine Science
Environmental Statistics
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Computer Programming I
Analyze and Visualize Geoscience Data
Select one of the following options: 410
Option 1:
University Physics I for the Sciences
College Physics Laboratory I
University Physics II for the Sciences
College Physics Laboratory II
Option 2:
University Physics I
University Physics II
University Physics III
University Physics II Lab
University Physics III Lab
Option 3:
College Physics I
College Physics II
College Physics Laboratory I
College Physics Laboratory II
General Education Requirements
Written Communication Skills:
WRS 105First-Year Writing I3
WRS 107First-Year Writing II: STEM3
or WRS 106 First-Year Writing II
or ENG 106 Writing About Literature and Culture
Quantitative Skills:
Calculus I (fulfilled through the major)
Calculus I
Areas of Knowledge:
Arts and Humanities Cognate9
People and Society Cognate9
STEM Cognate (9 credits) (fulfilled through the major)
Total Credit Hours121

At least 6 of which must be at the 300-level or higher. MSC 204 and MSC 425 do not satisfy the Rosenstiel School elective requirement. ATM courses, GSC courses, and courses from other Schools are allowed only if taken from an approved list.


Principles of Chemistry must be passed with a grade of “C-” or higher.


Calculus I must be passed with a grade of “C-” or higher.


Option 1 is recommended for Physics.

This is only a sample.   There are numerous ways students can create plans of study for the Marine Science/Geological Sciences major.  Students should feel empowered to use the information listed in the Academic Bulletin to take charge of their education, pursue their own academic interests, and create their own, unique plans of study.

Suggested Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Freshman Year
FallCredit Hours
MSC 111 Introduction to Marine Science 3
MSC 112 Introduction to Marine Science Lab 1
GSC 110 The Earth System 4
MTH 161 Calculus I 4
WRS 105 First-Year Writing I 3
 Credit Hours15
GSC 111 Earth System History 4
CHM 121 Principles of Chemistry 4
CHM 113 Chemistry Laboratory I 1
MTH 162 Calculus II 4
WRS 107 First-Year Writing II: STEM 3
 Credit Hours16
Sophomore Year
GSC 260 Earth Materials 4
BIL 150 General Biology 4
BIL 151 General Biology Laboratory 1
MSC Course 3
Elective #1 3
 Credit Hours15
MSC 215 Chemical Oceanography 3
MSC 216 Chemical Oceanography Laboratory 1 1
GSC 380 Paleontology and Stratigraphy 4
GSC 440 Petrology 4
Elective #2 3
 Credit Hours15
Junior Year
MBE 230 Introduction to Marine Biology 3
MBE 232 Introduction to Marine Biology Laboratory 1 1
GSC 360 Depositional and Diagenetic Systems 4
PHY 201 University Physics I for the Sciences 4
PHY 106 College Physics Laboratory I 1
 Credit Hours13
MSC 204 Environmental Statistics 3
GSC 482 Field Methods 2
PHY 202 University Physics II for the Sciences 4
PHY 108 College Physics Laboratory II 1
MSC Course 3
Elective #3 3
 Credit Hours16
GSC 580 Summer Field Geology 4
 Credit Hours4
Senior Year
MSC 301 Introduction to Physical Oceanography 3
MGS 513 Introductory Geochemistry 3
GSC 561 Communicating Geoscience 2
MSC Course 3
Elective #4 3
 Credit Hours14
GSC 480 Structural Geology 4
MGS 514 Geophysics 3
Elective #5 3
Elective #6 3
 Credit Hours13
 Total Credit Hours121

 6 elective courses must include:

  • 3 Arts and Humanities Cognate courses
  • 3 People and Society Cognate courses

 Students must take two laboratories from MSC 216MBE 232 or MSC 302.


The mission of the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science is to deepen our collective knowledge of our planet through cutting-edge scientific research on the oceans, atmosphere, geology, biota, and the human dimension, while training the next generation of scientists. We transfer the knowledge gained to our students, the national and international scientific community, and to policymakers and the public.

The educational mission of the BS degree in Marine Science at the University of Miami is to graduate students with the ability and desire to integrate knowledge of marine science into their future careers. 


Students completing this double major will be able to master a broad set of fundamental scientific knowledge in Marine Science and Geology, acquire valuable technical skills and learn how to apply this knowledge to real-world problems, in a time of increasing stress on Earth’s resources and environment. The program will provide the rigor, flexibility, depth and integration to enable students to:

  • Design and pursue their course of study that meets requirements of a double major in Marine Science and Geology.
  • Learn from the diverse and outstanding group of professors and researchers who are experts in their fields and have active research programs.
  • Undertake active research experiences, which will allow them to gain a strong understanding of the scientific process and provide them with a set of valuable experimental and computational skills.
  • Prepare themselves for graduate school and for successful careers in public and private industries.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively.
  • Students will develop analytical and quantitative skills to allow critical data analysis.
  • Students will be able to do carry out supervised research in the field of marine science.