new majors & minor as of fall 2021

The majors and minor in Marine Science and Conservation will be available beginning fall 2021. Students who matriculated in fall 2020 or prior can choose the new major, or an Environmental Sciences major with a concentration in Marine Science and Conservation. If you have questions, please contact Tom Schultz, Director of Undergraduate Studies, at tom.schultz@duke.edu or Katie Wood, Assistant Director, Undergraduate & Marine Lab Programs, at katie.wood@duke.edu.

 

Learn more about the new Marine Science & Conservation majors and minor in this video with Andy Read, Duke Marine Lab Director.


Focus of Study

Marine Science and Conservation (MARSCI) encompasses the interdisciplinary study of marine systems, their protection, and their governance. Coursework and field experiences will ground students in the relevant natural, physical and social science disciplines, and prepare them to dive deeply into specific issues facing our oceans and maritime communities.

The Marine Science and Conservation major is designed to be flexible, allowing students to build proficiency in many aspects of marine science while affording ample opportunity for specialization in a field or topic of interest. Students can choose to pursue independent research projects potentially leading to Graduation with Distinction

Program Hallmarks

While not mandatory, students pursuing a major in Marine Science & Conservation are encouraged to take advantage of the wealth of opportunities available through our coastal campus at the Duke University Marine Lab, in Beaufort, NC.

  • Experiential learning in the marine environment
  • Small-group learning experiences
  • One-on-one interactions with faculty
  • Emphasis on research 
  • Travel courses in Australia, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Singapore

Your Future

While many undergraduates choose an A.B. or B.S. in Marine Science and Conservation in pursuit of careers in marine science, policy or conservation, many others seek careers in medicine, law, finance, engineering, public service, education or management. What they learn through our curriculum prepares them for success wherever their talent leads. Visit the Duke Career Center's resources for exploring careers in Marine Science.

 


A.B. in Marine Science & Conservation

This degree is designed to be a general liberal arts major for students interested in studying social science, policy and governance related to oceans. A minimum of fourteen courses is required for this major.

Co-Requisites – 4 Courses

Choose 3 from the following: 

  • Chemistry: CHEM 101DL or 110DL
  • Chemistry: CHEM 201DL or 210DL
  • Biology: BIO 201L or 202L or 203L
  • Physics: PHYS 141L or 151L or 161L
  • Economics: ENV 155 or (ECON 101 + 201) or (PUBPOL 155+303)

Choose 1 from the following: 

  • Calculus: (MATH 111L + 112L) or MATH 122L
  • Statistics: STAT 101 or equivalent

Gateway & Core Courses – 4 Courses 

All of the following courses are required. There is not a required sequence for these courses.

Gateway Course

  •  Humans and Changing Oceans - will be offered Spring 2022 in Durham

Core Courses

  • MARSCI 202 Marine Biology & Ecology - Fall 2021 in Durham
  • MARSCI 203 Marine Policy & Governance - will be offered in 2022
  • MARSCI 204 Integrative Oceanography - will be offered in 2022

Electives – 5 Courses

Electives provide an opportunity to pursue your individual academic interests while gaining depth in a specific focus area. Students will select five electives from faculty-curated course lists to satisfy the following criteria: 

  • Electives must be MARSCI 200-level or higher courses, or approved electives.
  • At least three courses must be Duke courses.
  • Courses can be a mix of natural, physical and social sciences.
  • A maximum of two independent study projects with MARSCI faculty can be used.

Capstone Experience – 1 Course

Choose one of the following options:

  • Capstone Course: The Capstone is designed to allow students to leverage the knowledge they have gained during their pursuit of the major and apply this knowledge to real-world, or real-ocean, problems. At the beginning of the semester, students will select a major issue facing the oceans (e.g., overfishing, governance in areas beyond national jurisdiction, climate change, acidification, loss of biodiversity). This issue will then be the focus of project teams for the remainder of the semester. Each team will tackle a set of specific topics within the scope of the broader issue.  
  • Graduation with Distinction (GWD): The Marine Science and Conservation degree offers a Graduation with Distinction option.  Interested students with a 3.0 grade point average overall and a 3.2 grade point average in the Marine Science and Conservation major should apply by the beginning of their senior year. Graduation with Distinction requirements & deadlines.

 

B.S. in Marine Science & Conservation

The B.S. in Marine Science and Conservation is designed for students wishing to pursue a career in ocean sciences including graduate studies. A minimum of sixteen courses is required for this major.

Co-Requisites – 6 Courses

Choose 4 from the following: 

  • Chemistry: CHEM 101DL or 110DL
  • Chemistry: CHEM 201DL or 210DL
  • Biology: BIO 201L or 202L or 203L
  • Physics: PHYS 141L or 151L or 161L
  • Economics: ENV 155 or (ECON 101 + 201) or (PUBPOL 155+303)

Choose 2 calculus courses, or 1 calculus + 1 statistics course, from the following:

  • Calculus: (MATH 111L + 112L) or MATH 122L
  • Statistics: STAT 101 or equivalent

Gateway & Core Courses – 4 Courses

All of the following courses are required. There is not a required sequence for these courses.

Gateway Course

  •   Humans and Changing Oceans - will be offered Spring 2022 in Durham

Core Courses

  • MARSCI 202 Marine Biology & Ecology - Fall 2021 in Durham 
  • MARSCI 203 Marine Policy & Governance - will be offered in 2022
  • MARSCI 204 Integrative Oceanography - will be offered in 2022

Electives – 5 Courses

Electives provide an opportunity to pursue your individual academic interests while gaining depth in a specific focus area.  Students will select five electives from faculty-curated course lists to satisfy the following criteria: 

  • Electives must be MARSCI 200-level or higher courses, or approved electives.
  • At least three courses must be Duke courses.
  • Courses can be a mix of natural, physical and social sciences.
  • A maximum of two independent study projects with MARSCI faculty can be used.

Capstone Experience – 1 Course

Choose one of the following options:

  • Capstone Course: The Capstone is designed to allow students to leverage the knowledge they have gained during their pursuit of the major and apply this knowledge to real-world, or real-ocean, problems. At the beginning of the semester, students will select a major issue facing the oceans (e.g., overfishing, governance in areas beyond national jurisdiction, climate change, acidification, loss of biodiversity). This issue will then be the focus of project teams for the remainder of the semester. Each team will tackle a set of specific topics within the scope of the broader issue.  
  • Graduation with Distinction (GWD): The Marine Science and Conservation degree offers a Graduation with Distinction option.  Interested students with a 3.0 grade point average overall and a 3.2 grade point average in the Marine Science and Conservation major should apply by the beginning of their senior year. Graduation with Distinction requirements & deadlines.

 

Minor in Marine Science & Conservation

The minor will allow students to explore their intellectual interests in marine sciences in addition to their own major. The minor consists of five courses.

Minor Requirements – 5 Courses

Gateway Course – 1 Course

  • Humans and Changing Oceans - will be offered Spring 2022 in Durham

Core Course – 1 Course

Choose 1 of the following core courses:

  • MARSCI 202 Marine Biology & Ecology - Fall 2021 in Durham
  • MARSCI 203 Marine Policy & Governance - will be offered in 2022
  • MARSCI 204 Integrative Oceanography  - will be offered in 2022

Electives – 3 Courses

  • Choose three MARSCI courses as electives.
  • Only one independent study with MARSCI faculty can be used toward the minor.