B.S. in Marine Science


Program Description

B.S. in Marine Science

Marine Science is a well-rounded and multi-disciplinary program which has been carefully designed to take full advantage of the unique variety of marine environments available for study around the island of Hawaiʻi. Introductory lecture and laboratory courses in general oceanography and marine biology are followed by intermediate-level courses in marine ecology and evolution, marine methods, and statistical applications in marine science. The most advanced level of the degree programs is composed of specialized courses in geological, chemical, physical, and biological oceanography and electives. The programs culminate in a capstone sequence, allowing students to focus on independent projects involving research or applied internships.


We will be an international leader in marine science education and research. Our kuleana (responsibility and privilege) is to provide student-focused, transformative, authentic science experiences, drawing from the unique natural and cultural environment of Hawai‘i. Our graduates will be broadly equipped to become innovative members of the global workforce, successful life-long learners, and engaged stewards of the marine environment. Faculty, staff, and students will collaborate and draw upon each other’s strengths and diversity to achieve our shared vision of student success.


The marine science program at UH Hilo inspires and enlightens all learners about the ocean through interactive hands-on learning, research involvement, and community outreach centered on the natural and cultural environment of Hawai‘i Island. This is supported by a broad background in the marine sciences, including fundamental knowledge of biology, chemistry, physics, geology, and mathematics.

B.S. in Marine Science Requirements

Group 1. General Education Basic, Area, and Integrative Requirements

Students may choose to graduate under the General Education Basic, Area, and Integrative requirements and graduation requirements in force at the time they entered the UH System, when they entered UH Hilo, or when they graduate, provided there is no break in enrollment.

Students should meet with their academic advisor to ensure that they enroll in courses that will enable them to meet these requirements as well as requirements for the major and for graduation. Some courses may meet both General Education requirements and major requirements.

The new GE basic, core and integrative requirements and lists of certified courses are posted on the General Education website.

Group 2. Major Requirements (90 credits)

1.Required Courses from Marine Science (38)

  • MARE 171-171L Marine Biology-Diversity (3), Marine Biology Laboratory (1)
  • MARE 172 Marine Biology-Cellular Proc (3)
  • MARE 201-201L Oceanography (3), Oceanography Lab (2)
  • MARE 250 Statistical Apps in Marine Sci (3)
  • MARE 265 Marine Ecology and Evolution (3)
  • MARE 350-350L Coastal Methods and Analyses (3), Coastal Methods & Analyses Lab (2) or MARE 353-353L Pelagic Methods and Analyses (3), Pelagic Methods & Analyses Lab (2)
  • MARE 425 Chemical Oceanography (3)
  • MARE 440 Physical Oceanography (3)
  • MARE 461 Geological Oceanography (3)
  • And one sequence from the following:
    • MARE 470 Senior Thesis Research (3) and MARE 471 Senior Thesis Report (3)
    • MARE 480 Senior Internship (3) plus 3 credits of MARE electives at the 300- or 400-level
    • MARE 495 Senior Seminar (3) plus 3 credits of MARE electives at the 300- or 400-level

2.Required Courses from Related Fields (43)

  • CHEM 161-161L General Chemistry I (3), General Chemistry I Lab (1)
  • CHEM 162-162L General Chemistry II (3), General Chemistry II Lab (1)
  • CHEM 241-241L Organic Chemistry I (3), Organic Chemistry I Lab (1)
  • CHEM 242-242L Organic Chemistry II (3), Organic Chemistry II Lab (1)
  • GEOL 111 Understanding the Earth (3)
  • PHYS 170-170L Gen Phys I: Mechanics (4), Gen Phys I Lab (1)
  • PHYS 171-171L Gen Phys II: Elec & Magnetism (4), Gen Phys II Lab (1)
  • MATH 205 Calculus I (4)
  • MATH 206 Calculus II (4)
  • COM 251 Public Speaking (3)
  • ENG 225 Writing for Sci & Technology (3) or ENG 287 Introduction to Rhetoric (3)

3.Required Electives: Choose 9 credits from the following MARE courses (9)

  • MARE 240 Small Boat Operations/Research (3)
  • MARE 264 Quest (3)
  • MARE 282 Global Change (3)
  • MARE 310 The Atoll Ecosystem (3)
  • MARE 325 Coral Reef Ecology (3)
  • MARE 350 Coastal Methods and Analyses (3) or MARE 353 Pelagic Methods and Analyses (3)
  • MARE 360 Marine Resources (3)
  • MARE 364 Advanced Quest (3)
  • MARE 366 Trop Marine Research Investigation (3)
  • MARE 371-371L Biology Of Marine Invertebrate (3), Bio Of Marine Invertebrate Lab (1)
  • MARE 372-372L Biology Of Marine Plants (3), Biology of Marine Plants Lab (1)
  • MARE 390-390L Biology of Marine Mammals (3), Biol of Marine Mammals Lab (1)
  • MARE 394 Special Topics in Subject Matter (To Be Arranged)
  • MARE 405 Watersheds (3)
  • MARE 410 Marine Debris in the Pacific (3)
  • MARE 434 Teaching Marine Science (3)
  • MARE 435 Marine Field Exper Teaching (3)
  • MARE 440 Physical Oceanography (3)
  • MARE 444 Biological Oceanography (3)
  • MARE 445 Marine Microbial Ecology (3)
  • MARE 446 Phytoplankton (3)
  • MARE 446L Phytoplankton Ecology Lab (2)
  • MARE 460 Marine Conservation (3)
  • MARE 484 Biology Of Fishes (3)
  • MARE 484L Biology Of Fishes Laboratory (1)
  • MARE 488 Kuula: Integrated Science (3)
  • MARE 490-490L Sea Turtle Conservation & Ecology (3), Sea Turtle Conservation & Ecology Lab (1)
  • MARE 494 Special Topics in Subject Matter (To Be Arranged)
  • AGEN 400 Aquaculture Engineering (4)
  • AQUA 262 Intro Aquaculture (3)
  • AQUA 425-425L Water Quality & Aquatic Product (3), Water Quality & Aquatic Production Lab (1)
  • AQUA 466 Fisheries Science (3)
  • ECON 380 Natural Resource Environment Eco (3)
  • GEOG 340 Intro to Land Use Planning (3)
  • GEOG 440 Community Planning (3)
  • GEOG 470 Remote Sensing/Air Photo (3)
  • GEOG 480 Geog Info Sys & Visualization (3)
  • GEOL 344 Coastal Geology (3)
  • POLS 335 Envir Politics & Policy (3)

Total Semester Hours Required for the B.S. in Marine Science

120 credits required.


  1. Students must earn a minimum grade of “C-” in all required courses and prerequisite courses.
  2. 9 credits are required at the 300- or 400-level for graduation with a B.S. degree in Marine Science.
  3. To earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marine Science, students must fulfill the requirements for the major and meet all of the University’s other baccalaureate degree requirements.
  4. Students wishing to make timely progress toward graduation are urged to pay careful attention to all degree requirements.
  5. In addition, when planning a schedule of courses, it is imperative to be aware of course prerequisites and the frequency with which courses are offered. This information is available in the course listings in this Catalog.
  6. To ensure progress toward degree completion, students are urged to meet with an advisor each semester before registering.
Last updated Oct 2019

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About the School

The University of Hawai?i at Hilo is a state university with a private college atmosphere. We offer small class sizes, a low faculty-to-student ratio and opportunities for research and hands-on learni ... Read More

The University of Hawai?i at Hilo is a state university with a private college atmosphere. We offer small class sizes, a low faculty-to-student ratio and opportunities for research and hands-on learning. Read less