Marine and Coastal Science Major

Brown coral.

MCS Major Student Learning Objectives

Marine and Coastal Science Student Learning Objectives

Graduates of the Marine and Coastal Science Program should be able to:

  • Understand and integrate fundamental principles, including:
    • development and evolution of modern ocean/earth system
    • distribution, diversity and abundance of marine life, and special adaptations to ocean environment
    • impact of ocean circulation on climate, atmosphere, biosphere
    • biogeochemical cycles, ocean productivity
    • processes at terrestrial-marine interface and in the coastal zone
    • anthropogenic impacts and management of ocean resources
  • Utilize the scientific method to answer questions and investigate the natural world
  • Successfully communicate scientific information through presentations and writing
  • Interpret and discuss scientific data, critically evaluate published scientific literature
  • Experience the marine environment in field, research or internship opportunities
  • Explain and evaluate major issues that are facing the modern marine environment

The Marine and Coastal Science major builds upon 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.

The major 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 MCS major begins with introductory courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, and earth sciences.  These are followed by core courses in Marine Science. The major requirements provide focus and breadth, so that each student gains mastery in one area and broad exposure to many facets of Marine and Coastal Science.  Focus and Breadth areas include: Coastal Environmental Processes, Marine Ecology and Organismal Biology, Marine Environmental Chemistry, or Oceans and the Earth System.

The student’s chosen Focus Area will determine the college into which the student is admitted, the college where the degree is awarded, and the associated department (in parentheses), as listed below:

UC Davis Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute
How can MCS Majors become Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute affiliates?

Joining the CMSI community is easy! All affiliates have to do is be a current UC Davis student, faculty or staff actively working or studying in coastal and marine sciences, and sign up.
As a CMSI affiliate, you’ll be part of a growing network of students, faculty and staff who are passionate about marine science. CMSI hosts seminars, salons, and other workshops to help build your network in and outside of UC Davis and expand on the skills and experience needed as a graduate student or in a career in marine science.