Marine and Coastal Science

About the Major

MCS Major Information

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Sample Study Plans

Marine and Coastal Sciences Major Insert

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The major in Marine and Coastal Science focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of marine sciences by exposing students to core, breadth, and focus area courses in the discipline, in addition to a strong foundation of science preparatory material. The major builds upon existing strengths at UC Davis in marine and coastal sciences as well as field-­based courses offered at Bodega Marine Laboratory to provide students a unique, interdisciplinary, “hands on” education. Major advising is provided by the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences for interested students.

In this major, students will be exposed to the foundation disciplines within marine science (biology, chemistry, geology, physics) as well as modern issues facing marine and coastal environments; e.g., climate change, pollution, carbon cycling, conservation. The major requires field experience, independent research or internship, and concludes with a capstone course featuring current research in marine science. These integrative experiences will require students to synthesize the interdisciplinary topics that they have encountered through this degree program.

Student Learning Outcomes


The Marine and Coastal Science major (any emphasis) will provide students with knowledge and practical experience needed to pursue careers in marine science (government, private sector, research) and/or advanced degree programs. The major program includes both research and internship experiences to help prepare students for these career paths.

For more information about careers in Marine and Coastal Sciences, check out our Marine Science Blog!