Marine Sciences - BS, License Option

The license option (LO) in this curriculum leads toward a license as a deck officer in the United States Merchant Marine. This program retains the basic physical science core of the Marine Sciences curriculum, and adds coursework which prepares the student to sit for the U.S. Coast Guard examination as a Third Mate of any gross tonnage upon oceans, steam, or motor vessels. Students combine a broad base of courses in physical science and mathematics and practical instruction in seamanship and navigation with four oceanography courses. The objective of the program is to provide students with a sound intellectual and educational background to function in a scientifically and technologically advanced society, while also providing the practical hands-on training needed for employment in the maritime industry. Graduates are particularly well qualified to serve on research vessels where an understanding of the scientific purpose of the voyage is required. Students who wish to enter a physical science graduate program will need to take additional course work in science and mathematics. Midshipmen who enroll in and apply to graduate under one of the license option curricula must complete the appropriate license examination for Third Mate or Third Assistant Engineer in order to graduate from Texas A&M University. Certain USCG courses require a minimum grade of C (70%).

First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 104Composition and Rhetoric 3
GEOL 101
GEOL 102
Principles of Geology
and Principles of Geology Laboratory
MARS 101Marine Science Matters 21
MART 103Basic Safety and Lifeboatman Training 13
MART 201Naval Architecture I 13
MATH 151Engineering Mathematics I 4
 Term Semester Credit Hours18
OCNG 251Oceanography 23
MARS 252Introductory Marine Science Laboratory 21
MART 203Seamanship I 13
MART 204Terrestrial Navigation 13
MATH 152Engineering Mathematics II 4
Communication 3
 Term Semester Credit Hours17
Summer Cruise: select from 4
Basic Communications, Navigation and Seamanship or Basic Communications, Navigation and Seamanship  
 Term Semester Credit Hours4
Second Year
CHEM 101
CHEM 111
Fundamentals of Chemistry I
and Fundamentals of Chemistry Laboratory I
MARS 210Marine Geography 23
MART 202Naval Architecture II 13
MART 312Marine Cargo Operations I 13
American history 3
 Term Semester Credit Hours16
CHEM 102
CHEM 112
Fundamentals of Chemistry II
and Fundamentals of Chemistry Laboratory II
MARS 281Sophomore Seminar in Marine Sciences 21
MART 301Seamanship II 1,33
MART 303Celestial Navigation 13
MART 321Maritime Law I 2
 Term Semester Credit Hours17
Summer Cruise: select from 4
Intermediate Communications, Navigation and Seamanship  
Commercial Cruise Internship  
Intermediate Communications, Navigation and Seamanship  
 Term Semester Credit Hours4
Third Year
MART 304Electronic Navigation 12
NVSC 200Naval Science for the Merchant Marine Officer 13
PHYS 218Mechanics 4
POLS 207State and Local Government 3
Creative arts 3
 Term Semester Credit Hours15
MARS 303Computing and Data Display 23
MARS 440Chemical Oceanography 23
MART 307Global Maritime Distress Safety System 13
MART 406Marine Cargo Operations II 13
PHYS 208Electricity and Optics 4
 Term Semester Credit Hours16
Summer cruise: select from 4
Advanced Communications, Navigation and Seamanship or Advanced Communications, Navigation and Seamanship  
 Term Semester Credit Hours4
Fourth Year
MARS 325Introduction to GIS for Marine Sciences 23
MARS 410Physical Oceanography 23
MARS 481Seminar 21
MART 410Bridge Watchstanding 12
Language, philosophy and culture 3
 Term Semester Credit Hours12
MARS 310Field Methods in Marine Sciences 23
MART 498Maritime Medical Care 12
POLS 206American National Government 3
American history 3
Geological Oceanography Requirement: choose from 3
Geological Oceanography-Plate Tectonics or Geological Oceanography-Earth's Climate 2,3 
 Term Semester Credit Hours14
 Total Semester Credit Hours: 137

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.


 Indicates license courses leading to a USCG 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 GMDSS requires a score of 75% or better.


 Indicates required courses in the Marine Sciences License Option major. These courses will be used to compute the major GPR. Also, if any upper level MARS or OCNG elective courses are taken, they will be used in the major GRP.


 Designated writing intensive course. MARS-LO majors must take two writing intensive courses. One of them is required MART 301. The other course may be chosen from MARS 280, MARS 430 or MARS 431.


 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, NAUT 300 and NAUT 400 or MARR 200, MARR 300 and MARR 400) do not add any required hours to the degree plan.