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Best 15 Oceanography Degree Programs in 2021

March 25, 2021 | Staff Writers

Oceanography Degree
Degree Finder
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What Is Oceanography? Oceanography is the study of the ocean and its interrelationships with the earth.

What Does an Oceanographer Do? Oceanographers are distinguished scientists who study various aspects of the ocean, including the geology that’s correlated with the ocean, movements of the ocean water, life in the ocean, and biochemistry of the ocean water. Oceanographers are among the most critical researchers in the battle to reduce the effects of climate change, overfishing, and overpopulation.

Best Colleges for Oceanography Degree

1

Coastal Carolina University

  • Conway, South Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 41%

Coastal Carolina University, located in Conway, SC offers of Bachelor of Science in Marine Science. This integrated program provides diversified training with courses in marine chemistry, marine geology, marine biology, and physical oceanography. Coast Carolina University owns a portion of Waties Island which is used in conjunction with student research and course activities. Students have the opportunity to work on a variety of hands-on projects alongside faculty. As a student, you will gain field experience through internships at sites such as Huntington Beach State Park and Ripley’s Aquarium to prepare you for a career in oceanography.

Some of the courses include:

Biology of Marine Mammals

Environmental Ecotoxicology

Coastal Processes

Ecology of Coral Reefs

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Remote Sensing

School Overview

Estimated Tuition: $5,820 per year/ in-state
Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1
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2

Texas A&M University

  • College Station, Texas
  • Graduation Rate: 80%

Texas A&M University offers a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography. You will gain skills in evaluating, analyzing, and handling substantial datasets, and observing different systems. By the end of the first year, you will need to choose one of the tracks for ocean science, including Marine Ecosystem Science and Health, Ocean Climate, or Ocean Observing Systems. Once you have graduated from the oceanography program, you will have job opportunities in water quality monitoring, homeland security applications, and marine operations.

Some of the courses include:

Oceanography

Professional Communication in Ocean Science

Physical Oceanography

Biological Oceanography

Chemical Oceanography

Oceanographic Field and Laboratory Methods

School Overview

Estimated Tuition: $5,863 per year/in-state
Student-to-teacher ratio: 19:1
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3

University of Delaware

  • Newark, Delaware
  • Graduation Rate: 81%

At the University of Delaware, you will learn a wealth of information in the Bachelor of Science in Marine Science with Concentration in Oceanography program such as innovative data assimilation and visualization techniques, and remote sensing through comprehensive coursework and research. If you decide to move on to the graduate level, you will be presented with opportunities to participate in coastal research cruises. You will conduct research alongside faculty from Delaware to other parts of the world.

Some of the courses include:

Marine Science Colloquium

Introduction to Ocean Sciences

Technical Writing for the Marine Sciences

Marine Environmental Studies

Geology of Dynamic Earth

Meteorology

School Overview

Estimated Tuition: $6,365/in-state
Student-to-teacher ratio: 12:1
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4

Western Michigan University

  • Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Graduation Rate: 52%

Western Michigan University’s environmental geology is a flexible major that prepares you for a career in applied environmental sciences. The program also consists of a capstone field experience to meet your individual interests.

Some of the courses include:

Ocean Systems

Dynamic Earth

Planetary Geology

Climate Change Geologic Perspective

Environmental Earth Science

Physical Geology

School Overview

Estimated Tuition: $6,047 per year/in-state
Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1
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5

SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry

  • Syracuse, New York
  • Graduation Rate: 74%

The College of Environmental Science & Forestry offers a Bachelor of Science in Aquatic and Fisheries Science. The program has many field stations where you will have significant opportunities for field-oriented studies through directed independent research and coursework. With an Aquatic and Fisheries Science degree, you will have many career opportunities in oceanography, marine biology, and wetland science. Jobs are common with research institutions, private organizations, and federal and state agencies.

Some of the courses include:

The Global Environment and the Evolution of Human Society

Ecological Monitoring and Biodiversity Assessment

Principles of Genetics

Principles of Evolution

General Ecology

Cell Biology

School Overview

Estimated Tuition: $7,270 per year/in-state
Student-to-teacher ratio: 13:1
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6

Stony Brook University

  • Stony Brook, New York
  • Graduation Rate: 72%

The Bachelor of Science in Marine Sciences degree program at Stony Brook University is a profound interdisciplinary area of study that requires you to have an understanding of basic science such as physics, chemistry, and biology. In the upper-level division of the major, you will gain a broader understanding of certain groups of organisms, including algae, marine mammals, and microorganisms. You will also gain deep knowledge of the habitats such as barrier islands, salt marshes, and the open ocean. There are many opportunities for experiential learning through lab and field courses that are taught at a field station or on-campus.

Some of the courses include:

Oceanography

Environmental Microbiology

Marine Microbiology and Microbial Ecology

Long Island Marine Habitats

Waves, Tides, and Beaches

Experimental Marine Biology

School Overview

Estimated Tuition: $7,070 per year/in-state
Student-to-teacher ratio: 19:1
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7

Humboldt State University

  • Arcata, California
  • Graduation Rate: 46%

Humboldt State University’s Bachelor of Science in Oceanography program is developed for students who have an interest in academic or research careers. The program provides you with a broad science background so you can gain an understanding of essential concepts that are unique to oceanography. HSU doesn’t just limit you to classroom learning, you will also gain real-world experience through paid research opportunities at partnering science organizations.

Some of the courses include:

General Oceanography

General Geology

Biological Oceanography

Physical Oceanography

Chemical Oceanography

Geological Oceanography

School Overview

Estimated Tuition: $7,863 per year/ in-state
Student-to-teacher ratio: 20:1
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8

University of Southern Mississippi

  • Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

At the University of Southern Mississippi, the Bachelor of Science in Marine Science provides a comprehensive education that combines computational and natural sciences. Once you have reached your junior and senior years, you will have access to specially designed classes that use laboratory facilities in Gulfport and Long Beach, California.

Some of the courses include:

Chemistry and Our Environment

Weather and Climate

Land and Water

Physical Geology

Historical Geology

Introduction to Ocean Science

School Overview

Estimated Tuition: $8,786 per year/in-state
Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1
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9

University of Washington

  • Seattle, Washington
  • Graduation Rate: 84%

The University of Washington has a diverse student population and the school values and honors diverse experiences and perspectives. The oceanography program at UW is a small close-knit community that allows more opportunities for you to customize individual courses of study. You will gain experiential learning through classroom education, field activities, and in the laboratories. There are hands-on experience opportunities for research associated with international programs. You will have access to state-of-the-art research vessels that are near to open ocean and coastal waters.

Some of the courses include:

Oceanography of the Pacific Northwest

The Changing Oceans

Deep Sea Exploration: Submarine Volcanoes and Novel Life Forms

Introduction to Oceanography

Integrative Oceans

Introduction to Field Oceanography

School Overview

Estimated Tuition: $11,659 per year/ in-state
Student-to-teacher ratio: 21:1
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10

Rutgers University

  • New Brunswick, New Jersey

The Rutgers University Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences delves into critical processes in the ocean. In the oceanography program, you will work in classrooms, world-class laboratories, and on vessels through hands-on experiential learning opportunities. The Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology & Biological Oceanography prepares you for graduate study in oceanography and for professional career opportunities.

Some of the courses include:

Introduction to Experimentation

Organic Chemistry

Physics for Sciences

Introduction to Oceanography

Oceanographic Methods Data Analysis

Biology Ocean: Water Column Ecosystems

School Overview

Estimated Tuition: $12,230 per year/in-state
Student-to-teacher ratio: 16:1
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11

Stockton University

  • Galloway Township, New Jersey
  • Graduation Rate: 76%

Stockton University has multiple campus locations in New Jersey. The marine science program is comprised of two areas of study—oceanography and marine biology. Throughout the program, you will gain comprehension in several areas of science. Stockton University offers a number of experiential learning opportunities through field and laboratory courses, internships, and independent studies. You will also have the opportunity to work alongside faculty to design and execute research projects.

Some of the courses include:

Physical Oceanography

Marine Geology

Ocean Chemistry

Resource Management

Estuarine/Marine Ecology

Marine Technology

School Overview

Estimated Tuition: $12,245 per year/in-state
Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1
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12

Oregon State University

  • Corvallis, Oregon
  • Graduation Rate: 63%

Oregon State University’s oceanography program is one of the best in its class. You and the faculty will be at the forefront of delving into and protecting a vital resource. As a student, you will be surrounded by award-winning faculty and teachers. You will be exposed to the diverse ways that scientists study the marine realm. Once you have graduated with an oceanography degree from Oregon State University, you will be presented with a number of professional career options, including outreach/technical positions at marine aquariums or museums, fisheries technicians, and local, state, and federal environmental agencies.

Some of the courses include:

Biological Science

Physical Science

Oceanography

Physical Geology

Earth Systems Science

Climate Science

School Overview

Estimated Tuition: $12,165/in-state
Student-to-teacher ratio: 18:1
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13

Millersville University of Pennsylvania

  • Millersville, Pennsylvania
  • Graduation Rate: 60%

Millersville University of Pennsylvania offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ocean Sciences and Coastal Studies and it’s among the best oceanography programs in the country. The school has a dedicated oceanography laboratory used for instruction on various ocean-related courses. The laboratory is also equipped with a rotating tank to demonstrate geophysical fluid concepts and a 25-ft wave tank to study surface wave phenomena. With modern techniques and research tools, you will gain valuable hands-on experience.

Some of the courses include:

Meteorology

Intro to Ocean

Chemical Oceanography

Physical Oceanography

Remote Sensing & Image

Climate Dynamics

School Overview

Estimated Tuition: $12,250 per year/in-state
Student-to-teacher ratio: 19:1
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14

Nova Southeastern University

  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 62%

The Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology explores physical sciences and uncovers the complexities of the marine environment. An entire campus and complete marina are dedicated to marine science. At Nova Southeastern, you will gain an understanding of modern laboratory techniques and large ecosystems in the classroom and out in the field. You also have the option of independent study and to study abroad. The program will prepare you for additional graduate study or a professional career in oceanography.

Some of the courses include:

General Ecology

Invertebrate Zoology

Genetics

Introduction to Marine Biology

Oceanography

Biochemistry

School Overview

Estimated Tuition: $16,185 per year/in-state
Student-to-teacher ratio: 17:1
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15

Florida Tech

  • Melbourne, Florida
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

Florida Tech allows you to concentrate on one of five subfields of oceanography, including chemical oceanography, biological oceanography, marine environmental science, physical oceanography, and coastal zone management. You will have access to some of the finest marine laboratories and field research sites located on the Indian River Lagoon. Once you have reached your senior year, you will polish your practical skills in specialized labs, a research project, and technical electives.

Some of the courses include:

Introduction to Biodiversity and Physiology

Oceanography

Environmental Geology

Physics

Scientific and Technical Communication

Marine and Environmental Chemistry

School Overview

Estimated Tuition: $19,295 per year/in-state
Student-to-teacher ratio: 14:1
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Our Ranking Methodology

We made a list of 15 schools that offer Oceanography degrees. For tuition, we used undergraduate, in-state tuition based on what was stated on the school’s website. We also factored in the student-to-teacher ratio.

Questions About Your Ranking?

If you work for one of the schools we ranked and you notice any incorrect information we used to rank you, please contact us to let us know what needs to be corrected.

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