Undergraduate Bulletin

Fall 2020 Bulletin

Requirements for the Major and Minor in Marine Sciences (MAR)

Requirements for the Major in Marine Sciences (MAR)

The major in Marine Sciences leads to a Bachelor of Sciences degree. Completion of the major requires between 69 and 72 credits. Of these, no more than one course (4 credits) with a grade lower than C can be credited to the major.

1. Foundation Courses (41-43 credits)

2. Oceanography Core (13 credits)

  • MAR 349 Biological Oceanography
  • MAR 352 Introduction to Physical Oceanography
  • MAR 351 Introduction to Ocean Chemistry
  • MAR 305 Experimental Marine Biology

3. Marine Biology (15-17 credits)

Five marine biology electives from below:

Other classes may be substituted with permission of undergraduate director

4. Upper-Division Writing Requirement

The advanced writing component of the major in ​MAR requires registration in the 0-credit  MAR 459  and approval of either a term paper or a laboratory report written for an advanced course in ​the appropriate major  at Stony Brook (including Readings and Research courses). Completion of MAR 459 (or BIO 459) with a grade of S will result in approval of the WRTD requirement. A list of preapproved courses can be found at  http://www.somas.stonybrook.edu/education/undergraduate/upper-division-writing-requirement/ 

For MAR/MVB majors, successful completion of BIO 459 will also be accepted.
Students who wish to use material from a participating course should obtain the necessary form and present it to the course director prior to submission of the material. The course director will grade the material and assign a grade for the appropriate section of MAR 459.

Students should consult with the department advisor to ensure that their plan for completing the Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent with university graduation requirements for General Education. Students completing the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) must complete a course that satisfies the "Write Effectively within One's Discipline" (WRTD) learning objective to graduate. The Upper Division Writing Requirement is consistent in most cases with the SBC learning outcomes for WRTD.

1.  MAT 131, MAT 132 or MAT 141, MAT 142 or MAT 171 may be substituted for MAT 125, MAT 126
2. The first semester of any calculus-based Physics with lab can be substituted, such as PHY 131/PHY 133 or PHY 141 or PHY 142.
3. BIO 207 may be substituted for BIO 205.
4. CHE 129/130 may be substituted for CHE 131. CHE 152 may be substituted for CHE 131+132. 
5. CHE 331 may be substituted for CHE 321.
6. CHE 152, 154, 331 may be substituted for CHE 131/132/133/134/321.

Honors Program in Marine Sciences

Graduation with departmental honors in Marine Sciences requires the following:
1. Students are eligible to participate in the Honors Program if they have a 3.50 GPA in all courses for the major by the end of the junior year. Students should apply to the SoMAS undergraduate director for permission to participate.
2. Students must prepare an honors thesis based on a research project written in the form of a paper for a scientific journal. A student interested in becoming a candidate for honors should submit an outline of the proposed thesis research project to the SoMAS undergraduate director as early as possible, but no later than the second week of classes in the last semester. The student will be given an oral examination in May on his or her research by his or her research supervisor and the undergraduate research committee. The awarding of honors requires the recommendation of this committee and recognizes superior performance in research and scholarly endeavors. The written thesis must be submitted before the end of the semester in which the student is graduating.
3. If the student maintains a GPA of 3.5 in all courses in their major through senior year and receives a recommendation by the undergraduate research committee, he or she will receive departmental honors.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Science/Master of Science Degree in Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

Students interested in this program, intended to prepare students for professional employment or graduate school in the field of marine sciences, may apply for admission at the end of the junior year. Students in this combined B.S./M.S. program may complete both degrees in 10 semesters plus two summers (although the exact timing will depend on the student’s progress on the research thesis). Entry in the combined B.S./M.S. program is contingent upon a student identifying a thesis advisor, so students should seek out research experience in the laboratories of prospective advisor prior to the end of their junior year. During the fourth year, students take a mixture of undergraduate and graduate courses (6-12 credits). After the 8th semester (during the summer), students begin M.S. level research. During the fifth year, students complete the remaining graduate requirements for the M.S., likely needing  the following summer to complete the research project. The two to four 500-level MAR courses taken during the senior year may be counted toward required or elective requirements of the undergraduate Marine Science major. Please visit the SoMAS website http://somas.stonybrook.edu/ for further information on the Marine Sciences programs.

Requirements for the Minor in Marine Sciences (MAR)

The minor in Marine Sciences is open to students who either wish to prepare themselves for future graduate education in marine sciences or who are preparing for a career in a marine-related field. The minor, which is interdisciplinary in nature, provides a foundation in marine aspects of biology, chemistry, geology, and physics for the undergraduate. Intended primarily for science majors, the minor assumes completion of basic courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, or geology. No more than three credits of courses taken under the Pass/No Credit option may be applied  toward the minor. Completion of the minor requires 18 credits.

1. MAR 101 or MAR 104
2. At least 15 credits from the following:

Note: No more than three credits each of MAR 487 and MAR 488 may be applied toward this requirement.