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Marine and Coastal Science—Marine Ecology and Organismal Biology

College of Biological Sciences

  • Bachelor of Science

Do you want to explore science in an applied, hands-on way? Marine scientists apply scientific skills in the natural and physical sciences to protect ocean and coastal environments and solve modern, global problems. Our oceans account for more than 96 percent of the world’s water, and few of the world’s coastlines are beyond the influence of human pressures.  The marine ecology and organismal biology emphasis concentrates on physiological adaptations to the marine environment and the biology of marine species from the molecular level to entire populations.

Major Requirements

Courses, fieldwork and research opportunities encourage students to think collaboratively and draw upon globally-recognized experts from a wide variety of disciplines as well as the resources of UC Davis' Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute and Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Coursework in mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, and earth sciences lays the foundation for core curriculum in marine science. The marine ecology and organismal biology emphasis provides mastery through coursework covering the ecological processes that determine the distribution and abundance of marine organisms as well as the patterns and mechanisms of evolution in the ocean. The major concludes with a capstone research course.

Contact Information

Degree Outcomes


  • Aquaculture Specialist
  • Aquarium Operations Management
  • Coastal Geologist
  • Ecotoxicologist
  • Environmental Chemist
  • Fisheries Biologist
  • Marine Biologist/Ecologist
  • Ocean/Coastal Policy Coordinator
  • Oceanographer
  • Watershed Planner

Graduate Study

  • Marine biology
  • Environmental sciences
  • International studies
  • Marine biology and biological oceanography
  • Teaching
  • Law

Alumni Employers

  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Antea Group
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
  • UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • UC Davis Bodega Marine Lab
  • AmeriCorps
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Your course roadmap

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The faculty you will work with

Our undergraduates work directly with our faculty through research projects and labs.

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Global learning programs

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Undergraduate research

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What can I do with my marine and coastal science major?

Learn how to connect your marine and coastal science major to career opportunities.

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