Students pursuing a marine science degree typically demonstrate a strong interest in some aspect of the marine environment and in the sciences in general. High school preparation should include a solid background in mathematics and introductory biology and/or chemistry.

Department of Biological Sciences
1325 Science and Engineering Complex

Admission into the Major

Students are expected to formally declare both majors no later than the fourth semester of full-time enrollment (or at 61 semester hours for transfer students). Students can declare a major by completing the Change of Major/Minor Application online under the Student tab of myBama.

Special Opportunities

During the summer semester, a large suite of marine science courses is offered at the Dauphin Island campus of the Alabama Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium.

Students earning the bachelor of science (BS) degree in marine science/biology must complete all University, College and departmental degree requirements. These include the general education requirements, the following double major requirements and other sufficient credits to total a minimum of 120 applicable semester hours.

Code and Title Hours
Major Courses
Select one of the following:4
Principles Of Biology I
and Laboratory Biology I
Honors General Biology I
Select one of the following:4
Principles Biology II
and Biology II Laboratory
Honors Gen Biology II
BSC 300Cell Biology3
BSC 315Genetics3
BSC 385Ecology and Evolution3
BSC electives above 25015
CH 101 or General Chemistry4
CH 117 Honors General Chemistry
CH 102 or General Chemistry4
CH 118 Honors General Chemistry
GEO 101The Dynamic Earth4
GEO 102 or The Earth Through Time4
GEO 105 Sustainable Earth
MS 304Marine Geology4
MS 306Marine Biology4
MS 448Intro Oceanography4
MS elective 300 or 400 level (Consult the marine science coordinator for appropriate MS electives)4
Select one of the following:4
General Physics I
General Physics W/Calc I
Honors Gen Ph W/Calculus
Select one of the following:4
General Physics II
General Physics W/Calc II
Honors Gen Ph W/Calculus II
Credit Hours Subtotal: 72
Ancillary Courses
Grades in ancillary courses are not computed in the major GPA. The major in marine science/biology requires the successful completion of the following courses outside the major:
CH 231Elem Organic Chemistry I3
CH 232
CH 237
Elem Organic Chem II
and Elem Organic Chem Lab
MATH 125 or Calculus I4
MATH 145 Honors Calculus I
ST 260 or Statistical Data Analysis3
BSC 380 Intro Stats Biology
Total Hours87

Laboratory Courses

Other BSC courses numbered 250 and above including two laboratory courses from the following list of laboratory courses (also see "Additional Major Requirements"): 

Code and Title Hours
BSC 310Microbiology3
BSC 313Gen Bacteriology Lab3
BSC 320Freshwater Studies4
BSC 360Plant Biology4
BSC 373Vertebrate Zoology4
BSC 376Invertebrate Zoology4
BSC 390Honors Thesis Research1-8
BSC 396Resident Study1-6
BSC 398Undergraduate Research1-4
BSC 400Vertebrate Funct Morphol4
BSC 425Human Physiology Lab2
BSC 428Biology Of Fishes4
BSC 432Pathogenic Mibrobiol Lab3
BSC 434Plant Systematics4
BSC 436Immunology Laboratory3
BSC 439Bch/Molecular Biology Lab3
BSC 442Integrated Genomics4
BSC 460Human Developmental Biology4
BSC 464Biology Of Algae4
BSC 469Histology Of Vertebrates4
BSC 472Mycology4
BSC 475General Entomology4
BSC 476Aquatic Insects4
BSC 490Stream Ecology4
MS 306Marine Biology4
MS 408Marine Invertebrate Zoology4
MS 419Marine Ecology4
MS 452Marine Vertebrate Zoology4
MS 453Marine Botany4

Grade Point Average

A 2.0 grade point average in each major is required for completion of the degree. Please see the Grades and Grade Points section of this catalog for an explanation on grade point average calculations.

Upper-level Residency

A minimum of 12 hours of 300- and 400-level courses in each major must be earned on this campus.

Required Minor

Marine science/biology does not require a minor.

Additional Major Requirements

Students are not permitted to count the same required major courses toward completion of a second major or minor. Students may count required ancillary courses for one major toward the requirements of another major. The biology department offers a number of courses designed to enrich the learning experience of students beyond the traditional classroom setting. These courses include:

Code and Title Hours
BSC 391Tutorial In Biol Science1-2
BSC 396Resident Study1-6
BSC 398Undergraduate Research1-4
BSC 403Intro To Bsc Instruction2
BSC 404Honors Bsc Instruction2
BSC 407Honors Seminar In Bsc1

Beyond specific restrictions listed for each course, a total of four hours from the group above, may be applied to the requirements of the biology major or minor. An additional four hours may be applied as electives to the requirement for 120 hours for the degree.

Students are responsible for ensuring that they have met all University, College, major and minor requirements. However, each student must meet with an adviser in the major department for academic planning and to be approved for registration each semester. College advisers are also available for additional assistance with minor, College and University requirements.

A dual major in marine science and biology/chemistry/geology prepares students for a wide variety of employment opportunities in environmentally related fields, industries concerning utilization of marine resources, biotechnology, policy, and education.

Types of Jobs Accepted

Recent graduates have worked in entry-level positions in government agencies, ecotourism (e.g., SCUBA divemasters, whale or dolphin watching boats), and K-12 education. A large number of graduates enter professional school (e.g., medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy) or graduate school (master’s degree, Doctor of Philosophy [Ph.D.]).

Jobs of Experienced Alumni

Marine biologist, marine geologist, conservation specialist, laboratory technician, teacher, professor, aquaculture industry specialist, oceanographer, environmental consultant, marine animal veterinarian.

Learn more about opportunities in this field at the Career Center