Undergraduate Programs

Requirements for the Marine Science major include eight fundamental courses in math and science, as well as eight other science courses identified to provide specific expertise in the marine sciences. A grade of C or above is necessary in all required courses to receive credit toward the major. Each marine science major will be assigned a faculty advisor. This advisor will meet with the student at least once a semester to help set up and implement a program of study.

For more information contact either the Director of the BU Marine Program, Wally Fulweiler (rwf@bu.edu), the Associate Director, John Finnerty (jrf3@bu.edu), or the Program Manager, Julia Hammer Mendez (hammer@bu.edu).

Core Introductory Course. Oceanography (ES144), including discussion/lab section for Marine Science majors.

Biology (2). Biology I (BI107) and Biology 2 (BI108).

Chemistry (2).

  • CH101 and CH102 (for science majors and premedical students, recommended track for Marine Science majors)
  • OR CH109 and CH110 (for biochemistry and molecular biology majors)
  • OR CH111 and CH112 (for chemistry majors and well-prepared science and pre-medical students)
  • OR CH171 and CH172 (this is a terminal sequence)
  • OR CH171 and CH174 (this sequence allows students to also take CH273).

Calculus (2).

  • Calculus I (MA123) and Calculus II (MA124)
  • OR MA 121 and MA 122
  • OR the single semester equivalents of Enriched Calculus (MA127) or Honors Calculus (MA129).

Statistics (1). Basic Statistics and Probability (MA213) OR MA 115.

Physics (1). General Phsyics (PY211) OR PY 105.

Marine Breadth Requirement. Three courses chosen from the following four options:

  • One course in marine biology, BI 260 (including discussion section).
  • One course in marine chemistry, ES/BI 423.
  • One course in marine geology, ES 331, or ES 440.
  • One course in physical oceanography, GE/ES 507, or ES 520.

Participation in the Marine Semester. For detailed information, click here.


Five courses are required for a minor concentration in Marine Science. The grade in each these courses must be C or above to receive credit towards the minor. Most students complete the minor by taking one Marine Breadth course and the Marine Semester.