The Marine Science program is offered jointly through the departments of Earth and Planetary Science and Integrative Biology. Marine Science is inherently interdisciplinary. Because the ocean plays a central role in physical, biological, chemical, and geological processes on earth, an understanding of the interactions between the biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere is crucial. When choosing courses for your semi-electives and electives, please speak to the Marine Science Faculty Advisor in EPS about developing a coherent emphasis within your major.
Some examples of the current marine science research (and the directions of societal concern) include: the role of the ocean in climate change; the ocean's role in climate phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña, and their effect on modern marine ecosystems; the history of El Niño and other climatic/oceanographic events recorded in marine sediments and corals; coastal pollution and its affect of coastal marine ecosystems; coastal erosion (natural and human-caused). This major serves as a good foundation for graduate study in the marine, geological or biological sciences, or for technical and consulting positions in/for County, State, and Federal agencies (such as NASA or NOAA), or private industry.
For admissions and application information visit
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Through strategic partnerships and rigorous planning, our dedicated team:
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To see what’s new and access detailed information about the various types of financial aid available at Berkeley, please visit the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office website.
Students apply for financial aid by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), or if a Dream Act student, by submitting a California Dream Act Application. The priority deadline for applying is March 2.
Financial aid is granted on the basis of financial need. (Some exceptions are: fellowships, honorary scholarships, teaching and research appointments, and prizes.) Financial need is the difference between your cost of attendance for the academic year and the amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward those costs. Prizes are determined through competitive processes or in recognition of an outstanding ability in some area of creative/ scholarly endeavor. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic performance and financial need.
Typically, funding for graduate students derives from sources outside of the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. Additionally, fellowships are awarded through the Graduate Division, 318 Sproul Hall.
Student Learning Goals
The goal of the Marine Science BA degree is to provide students with a broad and sound education that provides general and specialized knowledge and is intellectually challenging and stimulating. Upon completion of the degree students are ready to enter graduate school at top-ranking institutions (about half of them choose this path), find employment in the profession (geological and environmental engineering and consulting are major opportunities), continue in public education as teachers, or use their background as a sound basis for a new career such as in public policy, law, or medical sciences.
Learning Goals for the Major
Marine Science majors acquire knowledge through course work, laboratory training (expertise in experimental techniques), primary field research, library research, and computer applications with oral presentations and written reports required in many of our classes.
The undergraduate program provides strong technical training for those who wish to pursue professional careers in the earth, environmental and planetary sciences as well as training in analytical, creative and critical thinking, and communication for those who choose paths in new fields.
The Marine Science track is a good foundation for graduate study in the marine, geological or biological sciences or for technical positions in State and Federal agencies (such as NASA or NOAA) or private consulting firms.
Marine science is inherently interdisciplinary. Since the ocean plays a central role in physical, biological, chemical, and geological processes on Earth, an understanding of the interactions between the biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere are crucial.
For admissions and application information visit