Majors & Minors

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Bachelor of Science in Oceanography

The Department of Oceanography offers a 120-hour Bachelor of Science degree in Oceanography. This major provides students with an interdisciplinary education and training in one of four areas of ocean science: Marine Ecosystem Processes (MEP), Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry (MCG), Ocean Observing Systems and Technology (OOST), Ocean Climate (OC). All students will gain skills in handling, evaluating, and analyzing large datasets, such as those generated from long-term oceanographic studies and observing systems.

The exploration of energy resources in deeper waters offshore (e.g. Gulf of Mexico), the continued growth of human populations along the coast, and growing efforts to predict and mitigate coastal hazards (e.g. hurricanes, tsunami, oil spills, and harmful algal blooms) is driving an increase in the need and opportunities for well-trained ocean scientists. Graduates from this program will find jobs in marine operations, homeland security applications, water quality monitoring, human health threat prediction, oil spill response, severe weather prediction, hazards forecasting, search and rescue optimization, and climate change research.

The Department of Oceanography offers a 5-year (3+2) combined degree program that allows a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography major to enter the Master of Ocean Science and Technology at the start of their senior year (typically year four) at Texas A&M University. This enables students to receive their Oceanography undergraduate degree (BS) and a Master of Ocean Science and Technology (MOST) graduate degree in five years.

Students planning to attend graduate school for a thesis-based master's or Ph.D. program after completing the B.S. in Oceanography are encouraged to also complete a minor in a STEM field (e.g. biology, chemistry, math, physics, etc.). Each theme has several STEM minor options that, with the proper selection of theme and technical electives, will not result in any additional coursework beyond the 120-hour major. Contact the Department of Oceanography Academic Advisor for more information.

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Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Oceanography take the following major coursework. A full listing of course descriptions can be found in the undergraduate catalog.

Major Coursework

  • OCNG 203 Communicating Oceanography Lab
  • OCNG 251 Oceanography
  • OCNG 252 Oceanography Lab
  • OCNG 303 Professional Communication in Ocean Science
  • OCNG 310 Physical Oceanography
  • OCNG 320 Biological Oceanography
  • OCNG 330 Geological Oceanography
  • OCNG 340 Chemical Oceanography
  • OCNG 443 Oceanographic Field and Laboratory Methods
  • OCNG 456 MATLAB Programming Lab for Ocean Science
  • OCNG 461 Advanced Oceanographic Data Analysis and Communication
  • OCNG 469 Python for Geoscience
  • GEOS 470 Data Analysis and Methods in Geoscience

Concentration Coursework

At the end of their freshman year, students will select one of the following themes:

  • Marine Ecosystem Processes (MEP)
  • Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry (MCG)
  • Ocean Climate (OC)
  • Ocean Observing Systems (OOST)

Minor in Oceanography

The Department of Oceanography offers a 15-credit-hour minor in Oceanography for undergraduate students. Students may take any combination of Oceanography courses including research credit hours with an individual faculty member. Contact the department academic advisor for more information.

Course Catalog