Marine Biology - BS, License Option

The Marine Biology License Option program allows the marine biology student to prepare for a career as an officer aboard a sea going vessel by participating in the Texas A&M Maritime Academy Corps of Midshipmen. The curriculum provides the basics of marine biology as well as courses leading toward licensing as a Third Mate of any gross tonnage upon oceans, steam, or motor vessels, in the U.S. Merchant Marine.

The Marine Biology License Option curriculum is an abbreviated version of the Marine Biology curriculum and is oriented toward field activities consistent with service aboard research vessels. Students who wish to attend a biologically-oriented graduate program, or are interested in the medical professions, are advised to take additional coursework in developmental biology, genetics, biochemistry, and physiology.

Midshipmen who enroll in and apply to graduate in this curriculum must pass the license examination for Third Mate in order to graduate from Texas A&M University. Certain USCG courses require a minimum grade of C (70%).

First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
BIOL 111Introductory Biology I 1,24
CHEM 101Fundamentals of Chemistry I 3
CHEM 111Fundamentals of Chemistry Laboratory I 1
MART 103Basic Safety and Lifeboatman Training 33
MART 201Naval Architecture I 33
Select one from: 43
Finite Mathematics  
Functions, Trigonometry and Linear Systems  
Engineering Mathematics II  
Topics in Contemporary Mathematics II  
Introduction to Logic  
 Term Semester Credit Hours17
BIOL 112Introductory Biology II 1,24
CHEM 102Fundamentals of Chemistry II 3
CHEM 112Fundamentals of Chemistry Laboratory II 1
MART 203Seamanship I 33
MART 204Terrestrial Navigation 33
Select one from: 3
Business Calculus  
Engineering Mathematics I  
Any calculus course
 Term Semester Credit Hours17
MART 200 or NAUT 200Basic Communications, Navigation and Seamanship or Basic Communications, Navigation and Seamanship 3,64
 Term Semester Credit Hours4
Second Year
CHEM 227Organic Chemistry I 3
CHEM 237Organic Chemistry Laboratory 1
MARB 300Scientific Methods in Marine Biology 22
NVSC 200Naval Science for the Merchant Marine Officer 1,33
PHYS 201College Physics 4
American history 3
 Term Semester Credit Hours16
CHEM 228Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 238Organic Chemistry Laboratory 1
ENGL 104Composition and Rhetoric 3
MART 301Seamanship II 3,53
MART 303Celestial Navigation 33
PHYS 202College Physics 4
 Term Semester Credit Hours17
ECON 203Principles of Economics 3
ENGL 210Technical and Business Writing 3
Language, philosophy and culture 3
 Term Semester Credit Hours9
Third Year
MARB 303Biostatistics 23
MARB 315Natural History of Vertebrates 24
MART 312Marine Cargo Operations I 33
MART 321Maritime Law I 32
 Term Semester Credit Hours16
MART 202 or MART 305Naval Architecture II or Ship Construction and Stability 33
MART 304Electronic Navigation 32
MART 307Global Maritime Distress Safety System 33
MART 406Marine Cargo Operations II 33
POLS 206American National Government 3
 Term Semester Credit Hours14
Select one from: 3,64
Intermediate Communications, Navigation and Seamanship  
Commercial Cruise Internship  
Intermediate Communications, Navigation and Seamanship  
 Term Semester Credit Hours4
Fourth Year
POLS 207State and Local Government 3
Creative arts 3
MARB 310Introduction to Cell Biology 24
MARB 425Marine Ecology 24
MART 410Bridge Watchstanding 32
 Term Semester Credit Hours16
MARB 311Ichthyology 24
MARB 435Marine Invertebrate Zoology 2,54
MART 498Maritime Medical Care 32
OCNG 251Oceanography 3
American history 3
 Term Semester Credit Hours16
MART 400 or NAUT 400Advanced Communications, Navigation and Seamanship or Advanced Communications, Navigation and Seamanship 3,64
 Term Semester Credit Hours4
 Total Semester Credit Hours: 150

All electives must be chosen in consultation with, and approved by, the student's academic advisor. Unless courses are specifically listed, see University Core Curriculum at for a listing of course options for Communication; Mathematics; Life and Physical Sciences; Language, Philosophy and Culture; Creative Arts; American History; Government and Political Sciences; and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The 6-hour University Core Curriculum requirement for International and Cultural Diversity may be met with courses used to satisfy other degree requirements.


 A grade of C or better is required before advancing to upper level courses.


 Indicates required courses in Marine Biology License Option major. These courses will be used to compute the major GPR.


Indicates license courses leading to a USCG/STCW license endorsement or sea time credit accrual which require a minimum grade of C (70%) or better to earn the endorsement or accrual. Midshipmen will be required to repeat the course until they earn a grade of C (70%) or better. MART 307 requires a grade of 75% or better. 


Other calculus or logic elective may be substituted with approval.


 Designated writing intensive course.


 The total hours may be increased if the student is required to take remedial math, remedial English, foreign language or International and Cultural Diversity courses, or any of the six-hour cruise options. The six-hour cruise options (NAUT 200, 300 and 400 or MARR 200, 300 and 400) do not add any required hours to the degree plan.