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Option Marine Biology Undergraduate Option  

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This option is offered within the following major(s):
Biology - College of Science

The Marine Biology option is designed to give students a strong background in the biology of marine organisms and their habitats. The core biological sciences background of the Biology major is coupled with field and laboratory course work in marine biology, ecology, conservation, and oceanography. The option emphasizes research and includes experiential courses completed in residence at the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. Additional research or internship experience is strongly recommended for option students, and three credits can be applied to the option electives. The Marine Biology option provides excellent preparation for graduate programs in marine biology. Students completing the Marine Biology option cannot seek the Marine Biology and Ecology minor.

Options in the Biology major require 15 or fewer additional credits (one term) beyond the basic Biology major, and most students can complete the additional Marine Biology option course work in four years. At least one term in residence at Hatfield Marine Science Center is required (spring). Courses used to satisfy the Marine Biology option also satisfy the Biology and Society, Organismal Biology, Physiology, Writing Intensive Course and the Upper-division Science Electives in the Biology major.

The Marine Biology option requires acceptance into the BI 450 Marine Biology and Ecology course, which is typically taken spring term of junior year at Hatfield Marine Science Center. The course covers marine invertebrates, algae and fishes, as well as sections on marine ecology, conservation and policy. Students apply to, and are accepted, the fall term before the spring they plan to attend. Applications are available in the Integrative Biology office in Cordley Hall 3029.

It is recommended that Marine Biology option students take COMM 111 *Public Speaking (3) to complete the Biology major baccalaureate core communications requirement.

For further information, see MyDegrees or the Integrative Biology website at


BI 150. Introduction to Marine Biology (3)
  or select an additional upper-division marine elective below
BI 450. ^Marine Biology and Ecology (15) (Admission by application only) (Taught at Hatfield Marine Science Center)
OC 201. *Oceanography (4)
OC 440. Biological Oceanography (4) (recommended)
  or OC/FW 434. Estuarine Ecology (4)
Z 423. Environmental Physiology (3)

Oceans and Society (select one course from the following):

AEC 353. *Introduction to Coastal and Marine Resource Economics (3)
BI 347. *Oceans in Peril (3)
OC 333. Oceans, Coasts and People (3)

Upper-division Elective

Complete one of the tracks below. If you did not complete BI 150, Introduction to Marine Biology, above, select a Marine Elective Course to replace it.

Track I Marine Elective Course

Select one course:
BI/FW 302. Biology and Conservation of Marine Mammals (4) (Taught at Hatfield Marine Science Center) (FW 301 lab is optional but recommended)
BI 358. Symbioses and the Environment (3)
BI/FW 421. Aquatic Biological Invasions (4) (Taught at Hatfield Marine Science Center)
BOT 416. Aquatic Botany (4)
FW 316. Systematics of Fishes (3)
FW 331. Ecology of Marine and Estuarine Birds (4) (Taught at Hatfield Marine Science Center)
FW 464. Marine Conservation Biology (3)
FW 469. Methods in Physiology and Behavior of Marine Megafauna (3) (Taught at Hatfield Marine Science Center)
FW 476. Fish Physiology (4)
MB 314. Aquatic Microbiology (3) (MB 422 Aquatic Microbiology Laboratory (2) is optional.)

Track II Experiential Learning Credits

Complete any combination of three credits of the following:
BI 401. Research and Scholarship (1–3 credits) (By approval)
BI 406. Projects: Curatorial Assistant (1–3 credits) (By approval)
BI 410. Internship (1–3 credits) - by approval

Total 35–36 credits


* Baccalaureate Core Course (BCC)
^ Writing Intensive Course (WIC)

Option Code: 572

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