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Cornell University    
  Jan 21, 2018
Courses of Study 2017-2018

Courses in Marine Biology

Despite Cornell’s inland location, undergraduate and graduate students at Cornell have many opportunities to pursue academic interests in marine biology. Cornell marine scientists come from nine departments and academic units and conduct research in extremely diverse habitats with a varied set of organisms. There is a Marine Biology minor available to students from any college. In addition, a concentration in marine biology is available in the Biology major and a concentration in Ocean Science is part of the Science of Earth Systems major. Requirements for each of these programs are outlined below. For a comprehensive overview of marine sciences at Cornell, see: Questions? Contact Dr. Ian Hewson:

Students who choose the Minor in Marine Biology will learn about the biology, evolution and ecology of organisms that inhabit these environments and the ecological processes linking them. Marine biology draws from a range of disciplines including organismal biology, marine microbiology, ocean biogeochemistry, and biological oceanography. Requirements for the Marine Biology Minor are nearly identical to those of the Marine Biology Concentration for Biology Majors, involving a total of 15 credits of coursework. Therefore, for details on the requirements, go to The minor requires some fieldwork experience in marine systems. Sadly, this is not available in Ithaca, and requires some planning to accomplish. The field experience requirement may be fulfilled by courses at Shoals Marine Laboratory; field courses through the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences; Cornell-accredited courses with the Sea Education Association; or approved independent study (e.g., BIOG 4990 ), volunteer work, or internships involving a marine field work component with faculty at Cornell or elsewhere with approval (e.g., during winter or spring breaks, weekends during semester, etc.). Questions about the minor should be directed to Dr. Matt Hare:

Undergraduate Concentration in Ocean Sciences (through the Science of Earth Systems Program):

Science of Earth Systems majors can concentrate in ocean sciences to study interactions of biological, chemical, geological, and physical processes in the ocean. Students concentrating in ocean sciences are required to take four courses from the following list: