The Marine Science/Biology degree is a Bachelor of Science degree (BSMAS) that is designed to give students a strong background in the structure and function of marine organisms from the cell and molecular level to their role in ecosystem function. 

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 tropical marine and coral reef ecology, fisheries conservation and management, and the use of marine organisms as models for environmental stress and human disease.

The Bachelor of Science double major in Marine Science/Biology 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
MBE 230Introduction to Marine Biology3
MBE 232Introduction to Marine Biology Laboratory1
MSC 301Introduction to Physical Oceanography3
MSC 216Chemical Oceanography Laboratory1
or MSC 302 Introduction to Physical Oceanography Lab
Select 12 credit hours of approved Rosenstiel School electives within ATM, GSC, MBE, MSC, OCE or RSM courses 1,212
Other Required Courses
BIL 150General Biology4
BIL 151General Biology Laboratory1
BIL 160Evolution and Biodiversity4
BIL 161Evolution and Biodiversity Laboratory1
BIL 250Genetics3
Select three of the following:9
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Evolutionary Biology
Comparative Physiology
Select 9 credit hours of electives as described for Biology majors 2,39
CHM 121Principles of Chemistry 44
CHM 113Chemistry Laboratory I1
CHM 221Introduction to Structure and Dynamics4
CHM 205Chemical Dynamics Laboratory1
Select one of the following:3-4
The Earth System
Earth System History
Origin and Geology of the Galapagos Islands.
MTH 161Calculus I 54
or MTH 171 Calculus I
MTH 162Calculus II (fulfills the Rosenstiel BSMAS quantitative skills requirement)4
or MTH 172 Calculus II
MSC 204 or a Statistics/Computer courses for Biology major3
Select one of the following options: 610
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 Cognate 9
STEM Cognate (9 credits) (fulfilled through the major)
200+ Level Approved Science or Mathematics Elective 73
Additional Elective 81-3
Total Credit Hours120

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.


One of the following courses may fulfill requirements in both Biology and Marine Science: BIL 333, BIL 337, or an MBE or MSC course from an approved list.


The electives must include at least one lab or field course. Up to eight credit hours toward the requirement may be selected from courses with a biological topic within MBE or MSC courses 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.


CHM 222 and CHM 206 are recommended.

Suggested Plan of Study

This is only a sample.  There are numerous ways students can create plans of study for the Marine Science/Biology 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.

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
WRS 105 First-Year Writing 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
WRS 107 First-Year Writing II: STEM 3
MTH 162 Calculus II 4
 Credit Hours17
Sophomore Year
MBE 230 Introduction to Marine Biology 3
MBE 232 Introduction to Marine Biology Laboratory 1
GSC 111 Earth System History 4
MSC 204 Environmental Statistics 3
Elective #1 3
 Credit Hours14
MSC 215 Chemical Oceanography 3
MSC 216 Chemical Oceanography Laboratory 1 1
MSC 203 Foundations of Computational Marine Science 2 4
BIL 250 Genetics 3
Elective #2 3
Elective #3 3
 Credit Hours17
Junior Year
MSC Course 3
BIL 255 Cellular and Molecular Biology 3
CHM 221 Introduction to Structure and Dynamics 4
CHM 205 Chemical Dynamics Laboratory 1
PHY 201 University Physics I for the Sciences 4
PHY 106 College Physics Laboratory I 1
 Credit Hours16
BIL 330 Ecology 3
BIL Course 3
PHY 202 University Physics II for the Sciences 4
PHY 108 College Physics Laboratory II 1
Elective #4 3
 Credit Hours14
Senior Year
MSC 301 Introduction to Physical Oceanography 3
BIL 360 Comparative Physiology 3
Elective #5 3
Elective #6 3 3
Science Elective 3 3
 Credit Hours15
MSC Course 3
BIL/MSC Course 4 3
BIL course 3
Elective #7 3
 Credit Hours12
 Total Credit Hours121

 6 elective courses must include:

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

Students must take one laboratory from MSC 216 or MSC 302.


Recommended elective to take for the Marine Science/Biology major.


CHM 222 and CHM 206 are the recommended choices.


Student will need to take 2 additional elective credits in MSC if the course can be counted for Biology only and not also Marine Science.


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 Biology, acquire valuable technical skills and learn how to apply this knowledge to real-world problems, in a time of increasing stress on marine 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 Biology.
  • 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.