Ecology BS/Marine Science MS(non-thesis)

The Ecology B.S. and Marine Sciences M.S. (non-thesis) pathway is intended for those students who have a strong interest in pursuing careers related to ecological aspects of the marine environment. This program will provide students with the knowledge and quantitative skills necessary to participate in a range of environmental and marine-related fields: natural resources, aquaculture, public policy, water quality monitoring programs, and private consulting. While we recognize the importance of preparing students to conduct research, we also recognize that there are many career paths available to students with advanced knowledge of the marine environment that can be obtained through a combination of graduate-level coursework and a focused internship or research project. We anticipate that students will be well prepared to either pursue doctoral degrees in Oceanography (or related fields) or to seek employment as field/lab technicians, educators, resource managers, environmental consultants, or in government agencies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, these occupations are projected to increase over the next decade as there is a societal need to address marine-related problems in a rigorous and interdisciplinary way.

Admission to Program

Ecology majors may apply to the Ecology B.S./Marine Sciences M.S. (non-thesis) Double Dawgs pathway in their junior year. Students who meet the following eligibility requirements specified below should arrange to meet with either the Marine Sciences and Ecology undergraduate coordinator, Ecology undergraduate academic advisor, and should also meet with the Marine Sciences graduate coordinator early in the semester to discuss program feasibility and to be advised on coursework requirements.

To be eligible for the Ecology B.S./Marine Sciences M.S. (non-thesis) Double Dawgs pathway, students must
• Have completed at least 60 credit hours before the start of their junior year
• Have a minimum GPA of 3.2 at the time they apply to the Double Dawgs pathway
• Have completed the following foundation science and mathematics courses by the end of their junior year (or their equivalent) with a B average: (CHEM 1211-1211L/ CHEM 1212-1212L), (BIOL1107-1107L/ BIOL 1108-1108L), (PHYS 1111-1111L/PHYS 1112-1112L) or (PHYS 1211-1211L/ PHYS 1212-1212L), and MATH 2250.

For the B.S. degree, a minimum of 9 general elective credit hours (outside of major coursework and general education requirements) are required
- a minimum of 13 major elective hours are required
- a maximum of 7 credit hours of independent study (ex. 4960R) hours can count toward the major


Graduate-level courses that may be used to satisfy undergraduate and graduate program requirements.

MARS 6100: Geological and Physical Oceanography (3cr)
MARS 6200: Biological and Chemical Oceanography (3cr)
FISH(ECOL)(MARS)(WILD) 6300-6300L: Environmental Biology of Fishes (4cr)
ECOL 6050-6050L: Ichthyology (4cr)
MARS(FISH) 6380-6380L: Marine Fisheries Biology (3cr)
ECOL(BIOL)(MARS) 6330-6330L: Tropical Marine Invertebrates (4cr)
ECOL 6280-6280L: Coral Reef Ecology (4cr)
FISH(ECOL)(MARS)(WILD) 6550-6550L: Sustainable Aquaculture (4cr)
MARS(MIBO) 6620: Microbial Ecology (3cr) (need MIBO 3500 as a prereq)
MARS 6810: Global Biogeochemical Cycles (3cr)
ECOL 6070-6070L: Invertebrate Biology and Ecology (4cr)
MATH(MARS) 6730: Mathematics of Climate (3cr)
MARS 7380: Quantitative Methods in Marine Science (3cr)
ECOL 6150-6150L: Population Biology of Infectious Diseases (4cr)
ECOL 6640: Cognitive Ecology (3cr)
ECOL 6010: Ecosystem Ecology (3cr)
ECOL 6310-6310L: Freshwater Ecosystems (4cr)

Additional requirements that are unique to this Double Dawgs program:

Up to 12 hours of any of the courses listed above can be used to satisfy both undergraduate and graduate program requirements. MARS 7380 is a graduate program requirement and is approved to satisfy the Methods/Skills requirement or a Major Elective for students accepted into the Ecology B.S./Marine Sciences M.S. Double Dawgs pathway. Students are encouraged to seek out internship or research project opportunities once accepted into the graduate program in the spring semester of the fourth year. Students must enroll in the MARS 7100 Non-Thesis M.S. Research Project or Internship Experience course in either the summer semester of their fourth year or in the fall semester of the 5th year. Also, MARS 6100 (or permission of the department) is required prior to taking the core graduate course MARS 8030.

Admission to Graduate Program

Students will formally apply to the Marine Sciences M.S. (non-thesis) program by the end of the fall semester of year four with acceptance contingent on having successfully completed the undergraduate Ecology major. Prospective students are required to submit a statement of interest as part of the application process. Students will also be required to submit three letters of recommendation; one must be a letter of support from a prospective faculty advisor in the Department of Marine Sciences. The Marine Sciences Graduate Affairs Committee will review applications using the same acceptance criteria that are used for traditional applicants to the program.

Program Advisor

  • Name: Bev Vantine
  • Email:
  • Phone: 706-542-7162
  • Address: Marine Sciences Building, Room 206

Undergraduate Major Information

  • Major: Ecology B.S.
  • Department/College: Odum School of Ecology

Advising Contact

  • Name: Amanda Rugenski
  • Email:
  • Phone: 706-542-9314
  • Address: Odum School of Ecology, 140 E. Green Street, Unive

Additional Advising Contact

  • Name: Misha Boyd
  • Email:
  • Phone: 706-542-0800
  • Address: Odum School of Ecology, 140 E. Green Street, Unive

Graduate Major Information

  • Major: Marine Sciences M.S.
  • Department/College: Marine Sciences

Advising Contact

  • Name: Cliff Buck
  • Email:
  • Phone: 912-598-2418
  • Address: Skidaway Institute of Oceanography