The BSMAS in Oceanography is designed to give students a broad foundation in both the basic sciences (mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology) and the Ocean Sciences (physical, chemical and biological oceanography, and elements of Earth and atmospheric sciences), together with specialized knowledge in one or more of these subdisciplines.  Students are encouraged, but not required, to complete a minor in chemistry, physics, biology, geological sciences, meteorology, mathematics, computer science or engineering.

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 is conducted in all branches of physical , chemical and biological oceanography.  

The Bachelor of Science degree program is designed to prepare students for graduate studies in Ocean Sciences, for professional school, or for a technical career in government or private industry.

Curriculum Requirements

ATM 103Survey of Modern Meteorology3
MSC 111Introduction to Marine Science3
MSC 112Introduction to Marine Science Lab1
MSC 203Foundations of Computational Marine Science4
MSC 215Chemical Oceanography3
MSC 216Chemical Oceanography Laboratory1
MSC 218Biological Oceanography3
or MBE 230 Introduction to Marine Biology
MSC 301Introduction to Physical Oceanography3
MSC 302Introduction to Physical Oceanography Lab1
Select 12 credit hours from the following courses, or 500-level OCE courses may be selected 112
Earth's Ancient Atmospheres, Climates, and Sea Levels
Climate and Global Change
Earth's Biogeochemistry
Scientific Computing in Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
Biology of Fishes
Biological Oceanographic Techniques
Marine Genomics
Ocean Human Health
Climate Science and Policy
Sea Level Rise
Climate, Oceanography, and Biogeography of the Galapagos
Biophysical Dynamics in the Ocean: Biogeography and Evolution of the Galapagos
Life in Moving Fluids
Tropical Coastal Ecosystems
Ocean Dynamics
Ocean Acidification
Marine Environmental Toxicology
Observing the Ocean
Marine Conservation Science
Coral Reef Science and Management
Marine Biota and Biogeochemical Cycles
Microbial Geochemistry of the Ocean
Marine Ecology of the Galapagos
Marine Conservation Biology and Fisheries of the Galapagos
Origin and Geology of the Galapagos Islands.
Research in Microbial Genomics
Comparative Ecology of Terrestrial and Marine Systems
Spatial Applications in Marine Science
Conservation Genomics
Introductory Geochemistry
Supplemental Science Courses
Select 9 credit hours of science courses from the following:9
Evolution and Biodiversity
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Introduction to Structure and Dynamics
Physical Chemistry I (Lecture)
Introduction to Marine Geology
Introduction to Linear Algebra
Calculus III
Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations
Other Required Courses
BIL 150General Biology4
BIL 151General Biology Laboratory1
CHM 121Principles of Chemistry 24
CHM 113Chemistry Laboratory I1
GSC 111Earth System History4
or GSC 110 The Earth System
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
Select one of the following:3
Environmental Statistics
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Select one of the following options:10
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
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)
Areas of Knowledge:
Arts and Humanities Cognate9
People and Society Cognate9
STEM Cognate (9 credits) (fulfilled through the major)
Additional Electives18
Total Credit Hours120

If both MSC 218 and MBE 230 are taken, one of these courses may be counted toward the required 12 credits.


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.

Sample Plan of Study

This is only a sample.  There are numerous ways students can create plans of study for the Oceanography 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 1 4
GSC 111 Earth System History 4
WRS 107 First-Year Writing II: STEM 3
MTH 162 Calculus II 4
 Credit Hours15
Sophomore Year
MSC 203 Foundations of Computational Marine Science 4
MSC 204 Environmental Statistics 3
CHM 121 Principles of Chemistry 4
CHM 113 Chemistry Laboratory I 1
PHY 201 University Physics I for the Sciences 4
PHY 106 College Physics Laboratory I 1
 Credit Hours17
MSC 215 Chemical Oceanography 3
MSC 216 Chemical Oceanography Laboratory 1
MSC 218 Biological Oceanography 3
GSC 240 Introduction to Marine Geology 1 3
PHY 202 University Physics II for the Sciences 4
PHY 108 College Physics Laboratory II 1
 Credit Hours15
Junior Year
ATM 103 Survey of Modern Meteorology 3
MSC 301 Introduction to Physical Oceanography 3
MSC 302 Introduction to Physical Oceanography Lab 1
CHM 221 Introduction to Structure and Dynamics 1 4
PS Course #1 3
 Credit Hours14
Electives - 15 credit hours (Galapagos semester or study abroad are possibilities) 15
 Credit Hours15
Senior Year
MSC 417 Marine Biota and Biogeochemical Cycles 3 3
MSC 419 Microbial Geochemistry of the Ocean 3 3
HUM Course #1 3
PS Course #2 3
PS Course #3 3
 Credit Hours15
MSC 402 Ocean Acidification 2 3
MSC 460 Spatial Applications in Marine Science 2 3
HUM Course #2 3
HUM Course #3 3
Elective 1-3
 Credit Hours13
 Total Credit Hours120

 Recommended for supplemental science courses and additional electives as needed.


 Recommended for required elective credits.


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 Oceanography at the University of Miami is to graduate students with the ability and desire to integrate knowledge of oceanography into their future careers. 


Students completing the BSMAS in Oceanography will have acquired a broad overview of physical, chemical and biological oceanography, meteorology and earth history.  In addition students will have a firm foundation in basic sciences including mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology, and will have familiarity with modern scientific computational and data analysis tools.  Integration and mastery of these tools gives students the skills to:

  • Have a firm understanding of the scientific process.
  • Contribute to active research projects led by professors and researchers who are experts in their fields.
  • Prepare students for graduate school or for successful careers in industry or public workplaces

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  • Students will acquire analytical and quantitative skills that will provide a basis for both critical thinking and quantitative data analysis.
  • Student will have the skills to perform supervised research in oceanography.