The primary mission of the Department of Marine Science is to provide high quality education in the multidisciplinary field of marine science. With faculty actively involved in research, the department embraces the teacher-scholar model and provides active learning experiences in the classroom as well as in field and research opportunities. Research engages students with current applications and ideas while training students to evaluate scientific ideas and pursue scientific studies. Students completing the program will have an understanding of the major concepts and applications of marine science and skills in critical thinking, use of technology, and scientific communication. Program graduates will be well prepared for their pursuit of advanced degrees or employment in marine-science-related fields.
The department emphasizes the active application of the scientific method and marine science concepts to produce scientifically literate citizens within a liberal arts educational setting. The department advises and mentors students at all levels in their development as scientists and professionals. The department undertakes basic and applied research to improve scientific understanding, serves as a source of scientific expertise, and enhances marine science education in the broader community.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students who graduate with a B.S. in marine science should be able to:
- Explain the principles, concepts, applications, and inter-relations of biology, chemistry, geology, physics and mathematics as they apply to the marine environment,
- Use the principles of scientific inquiry to describe, analyze and solve scientific problems involving marine science and related fields,
- Exhibit proficiency in the use of technology, critical thinking, and quantitative tools used in marine-science applications,
- Communicate effectively with peers, mentors, and the larger community, and
- Successfully pursue entry-level jobs or enter graduate programs in various scientific fields.
The marine science major integrates the study of biology, chemistry, geology, physics and mathematics and applies these to the marine environment. Major courses are selected from marine science, biology, chemistry, computer science, geography, geology, mathematics, statistics, or physics. Students are encouraged to select an area of emphasis in marine biology, marine geology, marine chemistry, or physical oceanography. Integrated lecture, laboratory, and field experiences provide a well-rounded scientific program. The facilities available for marine science majors include a lecture and laboratory complex, computer research labs, ocean-going and estuarine research vessels, and a full complement of oceanographic sampling equipment. Laboratory activities and research projects are conducted in various coastal habitats including Waties Island, a barrier island, marsh and upland complex owned by the University, and through collaborative arrangements with a variety of research centers. Marine science graduates are employed as marine and environmental researchers for government agencies, universities, and private industry; marine and environmental educators; high school and middle school science teachers; and in the fields of marine and environmental management and policy. Outstanding students are encouraged to pursue graduate study.
Students must earn a grade of ‘C’ or better in requirements for the major including upper-level science electives. Students seeking to apply for approved study abroad credit to satisfy program requirements must have a ‘C’ or better in each course used for such purpose.
Students who have not earned a grade of ‘C’ or better in a mathematics course within one year of enrollment at Coastal Carolina University are considered to be at risk for the marine science program.
Students may double major in any program which offers a B.S. degree. To complete a double major, students must satisfy the major requirements for both programs and complete a minimum combined total of 48 upper-level credits in the two majors, all with a grade of ‘C’ or better.