2021-2022 Humboldt State University Catalog 
    
    Aug 17, 2022  
2021-2022 Humboldt State University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Oceanography, B.S.


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Humboldt’s students have the advantage of living in an ideal natural environment for marine studies, close to both the ocean and a number of estuaries and lagoons. Humboldt State University has a fully equipped marine laboratory in the nearby town of Trinidad and a research vessel docked in Humboldt Bay, allowing students to supplement classroom learning through laboratory and seagoing experiences and field trips.

Flexible coursework and experiences allow students a variety of choices while still providing an education of considerable breadth, an understanding of fundamental concepts unique to oceanography, and an appreciation of how concepts from allied fields interrelate. The intent is to develop an interdisciplinary train of thought essential for understanding the marine environment.

Participants also study in depth a science related to oceanography, such as geology, chemistry, physics, or biology. This program allows a student to:

  • prepare as an ocean scientist to collect, process, and aid in interpreting scientific data collected on oceanographic cruises and other fieldwork conducted by federal, state, educational, or private institutions and agencies;
  • prepare for graduate study in oceanography or a related science by acquiring a broad, sound science background;
  • secure a broad science background and sound fundamental education (for those with an interest in the major who do not intend to use it as a career).

Humboldt’s program prepares ocean scientists who collect, process, and interpret scientific data. Graduates excel in these careers: oceanographer, research assistant, marine biologist, marine products salesperson, aquatic biologist, marine geophysicist, hydrologist, water pollution technician, environmental specialist, scientific officer, hydrographic surveyor, earth scientist, aquatic chemist.

Students should have a good background in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Competence with computers and a language other than English is recommended.

A bachelor’s degree requires a total of 120 units.  For a description of degree requirements to be fulfilled in addition to those listed below for the major, please see “Bachelor’s Degree Requirements ”. The Upper Division Area B General Education requirement is met by the coursework within the major.

Requirements for the Major (81 units)

Mathematics/Physics Course Group


Complete one of the following two groups.

Group One (31 Units)


Group Two (31 Units)


Program Learning Outcomes


Students completing this program will have demonstrated:

  • utilization of scientific concepts from biology, chemistry, geology, physics, and mathematics to understand fundamental oceanographic processes and functions
  • the ability to employ appropriate sampling, laboratory, and computer techniques to collect, measure, and interpret oceanographic information
  • integration of conceptual and technical understanding to address complex interdisciplinary problems in oceanography
  • utilization of reading, writing, and oral skills to effectively communicate oceanographic information.

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