Marine Science (Minor)

Scripps offers an undergraduate minor program in Marine Science. The minor curriculum is designed to complement the strong disciplinary training of UCSD basic science majors by providing a broad interdisciplinary perspective with an environmental focus.

Ocean-related science is relevant to many contemporary environmental issues and problems and central to understanding earth-system evolution, dynamics, climate and sustainability. The minor consists of courses and research opportunities offered primarily by faculty and researchers at Scripps. The mix of these components can be tailored to reflect students career interests through an all courses track or a research track.

The all courses track offers a very flexible curriculum that serves students with a broad range of educational and career interests including environmental management and regulation, teaching, environmental law, economics and policy and a wide variety of graduate programs. The research track is designed for students interested in an undergraduate research experience at Scripps and serves as excellent preparation for graduate research studies.

The Minor consists of twenty-eight units of course work, at least twenty of which must be upper-division. Up to 2 courses for the minor may be taken on a Pass/Not Pass basis (upper or lower division). Students must earn at least a letter grade of C- in the remaining 5 or more courses used for the minor.

The Marine Science minor places a strong emphasis on a rigorous natural science foundation; thus, several of the upper division courses related to the minor have significant prerequisites. Students planning the minor should check catalog course descriptions carefully and should meet with advising staff in the Marine Science Program office.

Please note that all academic advising questions (for current students) are handled via the Virtual Advisor.

Marine Science Minor Requirements

Lower-Division Requirements

  1. SIO 30 The Oceans
  2. Any one (1) of the following lower-division courses may be applied to the minor requirements
    • SIO 10 The Earth
    • SIO 12 History of the Earth and Evolution
    • SIO 20 The Atmosphere
    • SIO 35 Water
    • SIO 40 Life and Climate on Earth
    • SIO 50 Introduction to Earth and Environmental Sciences
    • Additionally: any math, chemistry, physics or biology course that is a prerequisites for an upper division elective for the Marine Science minor (ex. MATH 20 series; CHEM 6A, 6B, 6C, PHYS 2 series; BILD 1, 2, 3) may be applied, by petition, as a lower-division requirement for the minor if NOT already used as a lower-division requirement for the student's major.

Upper-Division Requirements

Option 1 - All Courses Track:

At least 5 courses from the list (below) of upper-division electives

Option 2 - Research Track:

At least 5 courses from the list (below) of upper division electives, at least 3 of which must be courses satisfying Option #1 and at least 2 of which must be Independent Study(SIO 199; 8 units total)
Note: The Independent Study must be designed in mutual agreement and arrangement with an SIO faculty member. Students interested in the Marine Science Minor Research Track must meet with an SIO Undergraduate Program adviser for information and policies.

Upper-Division Electives

  • SIO 101 California Coastal Oceanography
  • SIO 102 Introduction to Geochemistry
  • SIO 103 Introduction to Geophysics
  • SIO 104 Paleobiology and History of Life
  • SIO 105 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
  • SIO 110 Introduction to GIS and GPS for Scientists
  • SIO 111 Introduction to Ocean Waves and Tides
  • SIO 115 Ice and the Climate System
  • SIO 117 The Physical Climate System
  • SIO 119 Physics and Chemistry of the Oceans
  • SIO 126 Marine Microbiology 
  • SIO 127 Marine Molecular Ecology
  • SIO 128 Microbial Life in Extreme Environments
  • SIO 132 Introduction to Marine Biology
  • SIO 133 Marine Mammal Biology
  • SIO 134 Introduction to Biological Oceanography
  • SIO 135 / SIO 236  Satellite Remote Sensing
  • SIO 138 The Coral Reef Environment 
  • SIO 141 Chemical Principles of Marine Systems
  • SIO 143 Ocean Acidification
  • SIO 147 Applications of Phylogenetics
  • SIO 160 Introduction to Tectonics
  • SIO 172 Physics of the Atmosphere
  • SIO 180 Communicating Science to Informal Audiences
  • SIO 181 Marine Biochemistry
  • SIO 183 Phycology: Biology of Marine Plants
  • SIO 184 Marine Invertebrates
  • SIO 185: Marine Microbiology Lab (Lab)
  • SIO 199 Independent Study
  • SIOC 238 Sensor Networks
  • Other SIO courses may be submitted by petition.