Coastal Environmental Science and Society - BS

The Coastal Environmental Science and Society program is a Bachelor of Science degree that focuses on natural environmental processes (physical, chemical/biogeochemical, and geological) and social issues (policy, management, economics, law, etc.) related to the development and exploitation of oceanic and coastal resources and ecosystems. The  Coastal Environmental Science and Society curriculum provides a solid foundation in oceanography, geology, chemistry, biology and physics with additional coursework in economics, policy and management. The curriculum is specifically geared towards understanding the societal and environmental impacts of resource development and exploitation, with the focus on environmental pollution, sustainable development, biological diversity, fisheries and mariculture development and management, or oil and gas extraction and exploration, wetlands, and global climate change.

There is a growing demand for trained entry-level professionals from both government and industry who understand and can use scientific information in the planning and management processes. With a solid scientific foundation, the Coastal Environmental Science and Society graduates are ideally poised to pursue their careers at the interface between government and businesses operating in marine realm. With suitably chosen electives, our graduates are well qualified to enter Master or Ph.D. programs in marine resource management and policy, environmental sciences, oceanography or related disciplines.

Students in Coastal Environmental Science and Society may choose to establish a minor field of study, for example, in Economics (TAMU) or in Maritime Business Administration (TAMUG) through completion of credits as outlined in the available minors' curriculum pages. Obtaining a minor from a department located at TAMU in College Station with coursework completed in Galveston is also possible. An advisor in the MCES Department can help with course selection and facilitate the minor approval process through another department.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
BIOL 111 Introductory Biology I 4
ENGL 104 Composition and Rhetoric 3
GEOL 101
GEOL 102
Principles of Geology
and Principles of Geology Laboratory
MARS 101 Marine Science Matters 1 1
MATH 150 Functions, Trigonometry and Linear Systems 4
 Semester Credit Hours16
BIOL 112
Introductory Biology II
or Historical Geology
MATH 147 Calculus I for Biological Sciences 4
OCNG 251
MARS 252
and Introductory Marine Science Laboratory 1
POLS 207 State and Local Government 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Second Year
CHEM 119 Fundamentals of Chemistry I 4
ECON 202 Principles of Economics 3
MARS 280 Coastal and Ocean Resources 1,2 3
MARS 281 Sophomore Seminar in Marine Sciences 1 1
Select one of the following: 4
College Physics  
Newtonian Mechanics for Engineering and Science
and Physics of Motion Laboratory for the Sciences
 Semester Credit Hours15
CHEM 120 Fundamentals of Chemistry II 4
COMM 203 Public Speaking 3
ECON 203 Principles of Economics 3
MARS 210 Marine Geography 1 3
American history 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Third Year
MARA 363 The Management Process 3
MARS 350 Advanced Computer Applications 1 2
OCNG 420 Biological Oceanography 1 3
American history 3
Professional electives 1,3 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
MARS 310 Field Methods in Marine Sciences 1,4 3
POLS 206 American National Government 3
STAT 303 Statistical Methods 3
Creative arts 3
Professional elective 1,3 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
MARS 325 Introduction to GIS for Marine Sciences 1 3
MARS 491 Research in Marine Sciences 1 1
POLS 347
Politics of Energy and the Environment
or Peak Oil, Global Warming and Resource Scarcity
Select one from: 1 4
Coastal Plant Ecology  
Coastal Wetlands Management
and Coastal Wetlands Delineation Laboratory
Professional elective 1,3 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
MARS 481 Seminar 1
MARS 430
Geological Oceanography-Plate Tectonics 1,5
or Geological Oceanography-Earth's Climate
Language, philosophy and culture 3
Professional elective 1,3 6
General elective 2
 Semester Credit Hours15
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

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 3-hour University Core Curriculum requirement for International and Cultural Diversity and the 3 hour requirement for Cultural Diversity may be met with courses used to satisfy other degree requirements.