Oceanography, Minor College of Letters & Science

Oceanography is the study of the earth's oceans, investigating connections between geological, biological, chemical and physical processes in the marine realm, and the interactions between the Earth's ocean/atmosphere system. The interdisciplinary minor in oceanography is for students with backgrounds in any of these fields, as well as those interested in marine policy and conservation. The curriculum reflects the integrative nature of oceanography, with core courses covering the major disciplines in oceanography and elective courses that allow students to cater the minor to their interests. The oceanography minor includes courses taught at the Davis campus and courses offered at Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Students majoring in Geology may elect to complete a minor in Geophysics, Environmental Geology, or Oceanography. They may not complete a minor in Geology.

Students majoring in Marine & Coastal Science may elect to complete a minor in Geology, Geophysics, or Environmental Geology. They may not complete a minor in Oceanography. 

The minor is sponsored by the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences.


Visit the staff major advisor for help navigating minor requirements, policies, prerequisites, and course offerings. Visit the faculty major advisors for additional advice on courses, careers, and graduate school. Faculty Advisor: T. M. Hill. 

Work with your major advisor and college advisors to fit a minor into your overall academic plan. 

Declare your minor using the OASIS Minor Declaration form, due the quarter before graduation. 

GEL/ESP 150APhysical & Chemical Oceanography4
GEL/ESP 150BGeological Oceanography3
GEL/ESP 150CBiological Oceanography *4
ESP 152Coastal Oceanography *3
Choose at least 8 units from the electives sequence; one course from group (a) and one-two courses from either groups (a) or (b):8-10
Boundary-Layer Meteorology
Biology & Conservation of Fishes
Coastal Ecosystems
Perspectives in Aquatic Toxicology
Biology of Invertebrates
Marine Ecology
Atmospheric Dynamics
Atmospheric Dynamics
Earth History: Paleoclimates
Earth History: Sediments & Strata
Paleobiology of Protista
Marine & Coastal Field Ecology *
Environmental Stress & Development in Marine Organisms *
Mechanical Design in Organisms *
Experimental Invertebrate Biology *
Total Units22-24

Course taught at Bodega Marine Laboratory.