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Bachelor of Arts in Marine Science

Bachelor (ISCED 2011 level 6)


Duration 8 semesters
Cost 2019-20 Fee Schedule per semester $5,721.00

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.

Structural components
Laboratory training
Practical/Field work
Research Project

Application procedure

For  admissions and application information visit

Grant opportunities

Education is life-changing...and students worldwide dream of attending Berkeley for the opportunity to change their life. To make these dreams reality, the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office (FASO) works with students to identify and obtain scholarships, grants and many other resources available. FASO provides critical financial literacy so students can worry less about how to pay for college expenses and focus more on obtaining an excellent education.

Through strategic partnerships and rigorous planning, our dedicated team:

  • Counsels students and their families on empowering options to manage their financial wellness.
  • Provides funding: grants, scholarships, research stipends, work-study, and loans.
  • Advocates on behalf of students at the campus, state, and federal level.
  • Recruits, retains, and graduates students, paving the way for success.
  • Encourages community with alumni and donors to give the gift of access to the next generation of students.

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.

Learning outcomes

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

ISCED Categories

Marine Geology
Physical and chemical oceanography