Marine Science

About Marine Science

The Marine Science program is offered jointly through the departments of Earth and Planetary Science and Integrative Biology. Marine Science is inherently interdisciplinary. Because the ocean plays a central role in physical, biological, chemical, and geological processes on earth, an understanding of the interactions between the biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere is crucial. When choosing courses for your semi-electives and electives, please speak to the Marine Science Faculty Advisor in EPS about developing a coherent emphasis within your major.  

Some examples of the current marine science research (and the directions of societal concern) include:  the role of the ocean in climate change; the ocean's role in climate phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña, and their effect on modern marine ecosystems; the history of El Niño and other climatic/oceanographic events recorded in marine sediments and corals; coastal pollution and its affect of coastal marine ecosystems; coastal erosion (natural and human-caused). This major serves as a good foundation for graduate study in the marine, geological or biological sciences, or for technical and consulting positions in/for  County, State, and Federal agencies (such as NASA or NOAA), or private industry.


Marine Science Major Requirements

Earth and Planetary Science Majors: Course Offerings Schedule

AP/IB Exam Scores & A-Level Course Equivalencies for EPS Majors

Spring 2024 EPS Enrollment FAQs

Preapproved Courses for the Marine Science Major and Minor

These courses have been approved by the Marine Science faculty advisor, Prof. Bethanie Edwards, for all prospective and current Marine Science majors and minors. However, it will not be published in the Berkeley Academic Guide until the 2022-2023 Academic Year. The undergraduate advisor will update declared students' APRs to reflect these requirements if needed.

Preapproved electives by the Marine Science Faculty Advisor, Prof. Bethanie Edwards, which will count towards the Marine Science semi-electives, electives, and the Marine Science minor for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. For the major, at least 12 upper division electives must be EPS courses. For the minor, 2 of the 5 upper division classes must be EPS courses. 

Course Substitutions

If you want to take a course for your major that is not listed under the major requirements, please follow the process below for a course substitution:

1) Approval from the faculty advisor, Prof. Edwards from the Course Approval Form or an email approval

2) Upload the signed Course Approval Form or a PDF of the email approving the course substitution in the EPS Course Substitution Form

3) The undergraduate major advisor will process your course substitution in your Academic Progress Report (APR)

Your Marine Science Faculty Advisor

For more information about specific course and unit requirements please refer to the Marine Science Major Requirements or Prof. Bethanie Edwards, faculty advisor, at

Spring 2024 Office Hours: Tuesdays, from 11:00am-12:00pm on Zoom (link tbd).

The Marine Science minor is also offered in EPS. For more information on the minor, please see here.

For EPS undergraduate student services inquiries, please visit the Student Services Advising page.

Chasing Carbon aboard the Research Vessel Oceanus

"Chasing Carbon aboard the Research Vessel Oceanus" was created by marine science alum, Jessica Kendall-Bar. This video documents their recent research expedition from San Diego o San Francisco in August 2016. They were out in the Pacific Ocean to detect sinking carbon and calibrate autonomous carbon-profiling robots. 

Ocean Society of Berkeley - Marine Science at Cal Day

"Berkeley Ocean Society Presents Marine Science at Cal" presented at CalDay 2014! Created by Kaitlyn Kraybill, Jessica Kendall-Bar and Ocean Society of Berkeley