Marine Biology and Ecology

The Marine Biology & Ecology degree is a Bachelor of Science degree (BSMAS) and is designed to give students a strong background in biology and quantitative skills, as well as research experience in biomedicine, genomics, evolution, physiology, microbiology, immunology, and ecology. The strength of the Marine Biology & Ecology program is the opportunity for undergraduates to fully participate in the research with Marine Biology and Ecology diverse faculty. These research opportunities provide skills to excel in medicine, graduate school, and other diverse fields.. 

Curriculum Requirements

Marine Science
MSC 111Introduction to Marine Science3
MSC 112Introduction to Marine Science Lab1
MSC 230Introduction to Marine Biology3
MSC 232Introduction to Marine Biology Laboratory1
Marine Biology
Select one of the following:3
Tropical Coastal Ecosystems
Marine Ecology of the Galapagos
Select one of the following:3
Ecological Genetics
Select one of the following:3-4
Invertebrate Zoology
Marine Vertebrate Zoology
Approved Upper-level animal diversity course
Select one of the following:3-4
Earth System History
Chemical Oceanography
and Chemical Oceanography Laboratory
Introduction to Physical Oceanography
and Introduction to Physical Oceanography Lab
Origin and Geology of the Galapagos Islands.
Select 12 credit hours of approved electives in Marine Science 112
Other Required Courses
BIL 150General Biology4
BIL 151General Biology Laboratory1
BIL 160Evolution and Biodiversity4
BIL 161Evolution and Biodiversity Laboratory1
BIL 255Cellular and Molecular Biology3
BIL 360Comparative Physiology3
Select 9 credit hours of approved electives in Biological Sciences 29
CHM 121Principles of Chemistry 34
CHM 113Chemistry Laboratory I1
CHM 221Introduction to Structure and Dynamics4
CHM 205Chemical Dynamics Laboratory1
ENG 105English Composition I3
ENG 107English Composition II: Science and Technology3
or ENG 106 English Composition II
Select one of the following options: 48-12
Option #1
Calculus I
Calculus I
Calculus II
Calculus II
Option #2
Calculus Concepts with Foundations A
Calculus Concepts with Foundations B
Calculus II
Select one of the following:3
Environmental Statistics
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Select one of the following options: 510
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 Laboratory I
College Physics II
College Physics Laboratory II
Arts and Humanities Cognate Courses9
People and Society Cognate Courses9
300+ Level Elective3
Additional Electives6
Total Credit Hours121-127

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
BIL 150 General Biology 4
BIL 151 General Biology Laboratory 1
ENG 105 English Composition I 3
MTH 161 Calculus I 4
 Credit Hours16
BIL 160 Evolution and Biodiversity 4
BIL 161 Evolution and Biodiversity Laboratory 1
CHM 121 Principles of Chemistry 4
CHM 113 Chemistry Laboratory I 1
ENG 107 English Composition II: Science and Technology 3
MTH 162 Calculus II 4
 Credit Hours17
Sophomore Year
MSC 230 Introduction to Marine Biology 3
MSC 232 Introduction to Marine Biology Laboratory 1
BIL 255 Cellular and Molecular Biology 3
CHM 221 Introduction to Structure and Dynamics 4
CHM 205 Chemical Dynamics Laboratory 1
HUM Course #1 3
 Credit Hours15
MSC 204 Environmental Statistics 3
MSC 318 or BIL 250 Ecological Genetics
or Genetics
MSC 366 or BIL 330 Tropical Coastal Ecosystems
or Ecology
GSC 111 Earth System History 4
HUM Course #2 3
 Credit Hours16
Junior Year
MSC Course 3
BIL 360 Comparative Physiology 3
PHY 201 University Physics I for the Sciences 4
PHY 106 College Physics Laboratory I 1
HUM Course #3 3
PS Course #1 3
 Credit Hours17
MSC 329 or 323 Marine Vertebrate Zoology
or Invertebrate Zoology
PHY 202 University Physics II for the Sciences 4
PHY 108 College Physics Laboratory II 1
PS Course #2 3
PS Course #3 3
 Credit Hours14-15
Senior Year
MSC 411 1 3
MSC Course 3
MSC Course 3
Biological Science Elective 3
Biological Science Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
MSC 411
MSC 412
Research in Marine Science
and Undergraduate Thesis in Marine Science 1
MSC Course 3
Biological Science Elective 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours12
 Total Credit Hours122-123


The mission of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric 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 MBE departmental major curriculum will provide the rigor, flexibility, depth and integration to enable students to:

  • Design their course of study that provides both depth and breadth in marine biology and ecology and science related courses.
  • Undertake active research experiences, which will allow them to gain a strong understanding of the scientific process.
  • Learn from the diverse and outstanding group of professors, researchers, and classmates.
  • Prepare themselves for the public and private sector employment, graduate school, and successful careers.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students completing the MBE departmental major will be able to:

  • Master a broad set of fundamental biological knowledge including how to search for, understand, and synthesize primary scientific literature, and understand how fundamental biological principles relate to the marine environment.
  • Solve problems competently by identifying the relevant features of the problem and developing a strategy to solve the problem.
  • Use computers and computational approaches to acquire and process data as well as use software to analyze data.
  • Understand and synthesize the objectives of research experiments, properly conduct experiments, and appropriately record, analyze, and communicate the results.
  • Effectively communicate the concepts, results, and implications of their laboratory experiments and independent research both orally and in the written form to experts in the field, scientists in other disciplines, and the general public.