Boston University Marine Program (BUMP)

The Boston University Marine Program (BUMP) offers a rigorous interdisciplinary education in marine science that encompasses coursework and experimental training in biological, chemical, geological, and physical oceanography as well as marine spatial analysis and conservation. BUMP offers both a major and a minor in Marine Science.

In addition to background courses in introductory chemistry, biology, physics, calculus, and statistics, the Marine Science major requires an introductory course in oceanography as well as breadth courses in three of four areas: (1) marine biology, (2) marine biogeochemistry, (3) physical oceanography, and (4) marine geology. The capstone of the major is the Marine Semester.

The Marine Semester consists of 4 monthlong research-based courses chosen from a slate of 12 or more diverse offerings that are taught in the manner of research internships. With guidance from their instructors, students develop testable hypotheses, collect original data, analyze their results, and compose summary presentations, which may take the form of scientific posters, talks, or manuscripts. Courses are taught by leading marine researchers from BU’s faculty and from our academic partners, which include the New England Aquarium, the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, and the University of Belize. The courses transport students to spectacular marine environments, from waters teeming with marine megafauna off the coast of Massachusetts to the world’s second-longest barrier reef system off the coast of Belize. Whether a student’s interests lie in biodiversity, evolution, biomechanics, genomics, physiology, behavior, oceanography, environmental studies, geological processes, urban coastal development, sustainability, or policy, the Marine Semester has something to offer. The Marine Semester may be taken by any student from BU or from an outside institution who has the requisite background (completion of one of our marine breadth courses or a comparable course).

For more information on BUMP opportunities, please contact the program manager at Boston University Marine Program, 5 Cummington Mall, Room 431; 617-358-4961; or by email: