Marine Sciences Minor

Degree Requirements

Undergraduate Minor in Marine Sciences

Seventy percent of the Earth’s surface is occupied by oceans. This dominance means that oceans exert a major influence on atmospheric dynamics and terrestrial ecology. The societal and economic importance of healthy ocean ecosystems cannot be overstated or ignored. The School of Marine and Environmental Sciences welcomes qualified students who wish to better focus their academic training towards oceanography and marine biology. The undergraduate minor in marine sciences is designed to complement many science and non-science majors offered at USA. Ocean-related science is relevant to many contemporary environmental issues and problems and central to understanding earth-system evolution, dynamics, climate and sustainability. The minor consists of courses and research opportunities offered primarily by faculty and researchers in the Stokes School of Marine and Environmental Sciences and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

Requirements for a Minor in Marine Sciences include a minimum of 18 hours in Marine Sciences related classes. The student must take MAS 134 Ocean Science, MAS 134L Ocean Science Lab, MAS 331 Marine Sciences I and MAS 332 Marine Science II. In addition to these core requirements, students must take 8 credit hours of coursework at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab during the Summer Program which is equivalent to 2-3 electives courses (e.g., MAS 371, MAS 367, MAS 430, MAS 451, MAS 471, MAS 475 or other summer courses). Up to 6 hours required by a student’s major may be applied toward the minor. The Marine Science minor places a strong emphasis on a rigorous natural science foundation; thus, several of the upper division courses related to the minor have prerequisites. Students planning the minor should check catalog course descriptions carefully and should meet with advising staff in the Marine Science Program office.

If a minor is required in your degree program, at least 9 (lower and/or upper-division) hours of courses in the minor must be completed at the University.

Required Courses
MAS 134
Ocean Science
and Ocean Science Lab
MAS 331Marine Science I3
MAS 332Marine Science II-W3
Select 2-3 courses (8 credits needed) from the following:8
Shark and Ray Biology
Marine Biology
Marine Botany
Marine Vertebrate Zoology
Marine Invertebrate Zoology
Marine Ecology
Coral Reef Biology & Ecology
Marine Mammal Hlth/Strd Resp
Field Marine Science II
Other DISL offered courses will be considered for elective
Total Hours18

Course of Study

  1. Freshmen/Sophomore
    On Campus- MAS 134 Ocean Science (3 cr) and MAS 134L (1 cr)
  2. Junior/Senior Level
    On Campus - MAS 331 Advance Marine Sciences I (3 cr lecture)
    On Campus - MAS 332 Advance Marine Sciences II (3 cr lecture)
    Two-three MAS listed electives at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL).