Marine and Coastal Science - Oceans and the Earth System at UC Davis

Marine and Coastal Science—Oceans and the Earth System

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Detailed Major Requirements

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Our oceans account for more than 96 percent of the world's water, and few of the world's coastlines are beyond the influence of human pressures. The interdisciplinary Marine and Coastal Science major highlights the terrestrial-marine interface, coastal issues and human impacts on the marine environment.

Students develop a broad foundation in marine and coastal sciences while focusing on Oceans and the Earth System. The Oceans and the Earth System emphasis concentrates on our changing oceans in the context of earth system history, including climate change, paleoceanography, ecological shifts, conservation and marine policy.

Real World Outcomes

With global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 and an increasing reliance upon oceans, scientifically-based management of marine and coastal environments is critical to sustainability of these valuable resources. Graduates will meet these challenges with a strong foundation for post-graduate study or careers in research, teaching and policy in government and private sector positions.

More examples of what you can do with this major


Courses, fieldwork and research opportunities encourage students to think collaboratively and draw upon globally-recognized experts from a wide variety of disciplines as well as the resources of UC Davis' Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute and Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Coursework in mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, and earth sciences lays the foundation for core curriculum in marine science. The Oceans and the Earth System emphasis provides mastery through advanced coursework in subjects such as atmospheric science, environmental science and management, environmental policy, evolution and ecology, geology, international relations, science and society and wildlife, fish and conservation biology. The major concludes with a capstone research course.