Majors & Programs


Degrees Offered: BS Minor

The Oceanography program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree is unique to California and is designed to allow the student to accomplish any of the following educational objectives:

  • Preparation as an ocean scientist to collect, process, and aid in the interpretation of scientific data collected on oceanographic cruises and in other field work conducted by federal, state, educational, and private agencies.
  • Preparation for graduate study in Oceanography or in other closely related sciences by acquiring of a broad, rigorous science background.
  • Provision of a broad-based science background and sound fundamental knowledge of the oceans for those students who have an academic interest in Oceanography but do not intend to pursue it as a career.

In order to meet these objectives, course work and experience required to attain a B.S. degree in Oceanography are purposely kept flexible and provide a variety of pathways which the student may follow. In all cases, however, the student acquires a science background of considerable breadth, an understanding of fundamental concepts unique to Oceanography, and an appreciation for how concepts from various closely allied science fields are interrelated and applied to the solution of oceanographic problems. Our goal is to develop as fully as possible an interdisciplinary train of thought which is essential to the study and understanding of the oceans. At the same time, students acquire in-depth knowledge in a science field closely related to Oceanography (e.g., biology, geology, physics, mathematics or chemistry) by way of a block (at least 10 units) of approved electives.

A wide variety of nearshore and open ocean environments exist in close proximity to our main campus and to our marine laboratory in Trinidad. These provide excellent natural laboratories which are utilized by classes and for independent student research and are reached by way of a fleet of small boats and a seagoing oceanographic vessel.