Bachelor Degrees in Oceanography

Riser Lab 2

Oceanography is an interdisciplinary science that starts with a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, physics, math and geology.  The UW School of Oceanography offers both BA and BS degrees, and both degrees have similar requirements at the 200- and 300-level:

  • At the 200 level, students take a sequence of foundational oceanography courses (Ocean 200/201 and Ocean 210), learn introductory python programming and basic statistics in Ocean 215, and experience field methods in Ocean 220
  • At the 300 level, majors complete a full year course sequence in ocean science from the interaction of the seafloor and water column (Ocean 310), to coastal oceanography (Ocean 320), to global biogeochemical cycles (Ocean 330).  Majors also learn the fundamentals of how ocean sensors work (and build their own!) in Ocean 351.  

At the 400-level the BS and BA requirements differ.

  • For the BS degree, at the 400 level, majors complete a year-long senior thesis and take a selection of upper division special topics courses that provide both breadth and depth.
  • For the BA degree there is no requirement to complete the senior thesis, and with fewer and more flexible upper division elective requirements students have the flexibility to tailor their upper division work to complement their work in other fields, or their plans for post-graduate work or study.