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Minor in Marine Studies


onboardThe marine studies minor may be taken as a planned and structured sequence of courses in addition to a chosen major or as one of the minor programs in fulfillment of the requirements for the B.A. degree in Liberal Studies. Any undergraduate interested in the scientific and environmental as well as policy and management aspects of the coasts and ocean can participate in the 18-credit minor.

The Marine Studies curriculum has a focus on coastal and marine environmental issues, understanding the coastal and marine environment from a multidisciplinary scientific point of view, and understanding the associated resource management and policy issues. In the broadest sense, we wish to provide students with an in-depth perspective on the coasts and the world ocean as physical, ecological and human systems.

The marine studies minor is well suited for science and non-science majors interested in learning more about the Connecticut coastline, Long Island Sound, coastal and marine processes and environmental issues. Courses provide students an opportunity to learn science and its application to environmental problems using a "hands on" approach at field sites including marshes, estuaries, beaches, rocky intertidal zones, urban harbors, and regional aquaria. Students are encouraged to become involved in research projects, internships, and independent studies in their areas of interest.

The minor could prepare students for graduate study in marine affairs, or for entry-level jobs in coastal zone management, environmental planning, or maritime recreation including careers in local, state, and federal agencies dealing with the coastal and marine environment. In combination with a science major, the minor would help to prepare students for graduate studies in marine science. The program is also well suited for non-science majors with an interest in the oceans who are pursuing degrees in education, journalism, and pre-law.

Required Core Courses in Marine Studies
 Core - Students must complete a minimum of five of the following courses:

MAR 150 — Coastal Marine Studies
MAR 140 — The World Ocean
MAR 250 — Introduction to Coastal and Marine Pollution
MAR 340 — Coastal Environments and Processes
MAR 460 — Field and Laboratory Techniques in Marine Studies
MAR 491 — Seminar in Marine and Environmental Studies (W-course)

Elective Courses in Marine Studies
Elective - The remaining course may be selected from the list of core courses above or from the following list:

MAR 200 — Seamanship and Piloting
MAR 201 — Marine Field Study
MAR 298 — Special Topics in Marine Studies
MAR 398 — Special Topics in Marine Studies
MAR 498 — Advanced Special Topics in Marine Studies
MAR 499 — Research in Marine Studies
BIO 430 — Marine Biology
BIO 431 — Ecological Analysis of Harbor Ecosystems
ESC 106 — General Oceanography – for non-science majors*
ESC 220 — Principles of Oceanography – for science majors*
ESC 421 — Marine Geology
GEO 357 — Marine Geography
LIT 303 — The Literature of the Sea

*Only one of ESC 106 or ESC 220 may be counted as requirement for the minor. No more than two 100-level courses may be used to satisfy the requirements of the program.

Liberal Studies Program: Marine Studies Option

Southern offers a B.A. degree in liberal studies for students whose objectives are not met by the university's established liberal arts majors. The difference between this program and the traditional B.A. in liberal arts is that it does not restrict students to a single major, but rather allows them to broaden their studies by selecting two minors of 18 credits each. Students majoring in elementary education may choose liberal studies as a subject matter major. Those interested should apply to the liberal studies program first by making an appointment with the liberal studies coordinator in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Marine Studies Coordinator

Contact: Vincent Breslin, Professor Science Education and Environmental Studies
Jennings Hall 340;


Vincent Breslin - Professor -
James Tait - Associate Professor -