COA’s oceanfront campus provides an excellent gateway for students and faculty pursuing Marine Science. Every summer, teams of students and faculty conduct research on seabirds, whales, seals, and island ecology on our off-shore research stations . Students also work with Allied Whale , COA’s marine mammal research group, and have access to boat and waterfront resources. Many students go on to do internships and conduct research from the Arctic to the Antarctic, on every continent, and in the oceans and seas around the globe.

Marine science …

You’ll see whales in the Gulf of Maine and, if you’re lucky (and the whale isn’t), you might be able to dissect one .

Students interested in Marine Science gain a strong foundation through introductory courses such as Marine Biology , an introductory biology sequence , and Introduction to Oceanography . Intermediate and advanced classes include Marine Mammals , Invertebrate Zoology , Environmental Chemistry , and Ornithology . All of these courses emphasize field work and natural history . Faculty who teach Marine Science and related classes interact to help students carry lessons from one course to another, challenging and focusing scientific tastes and passions.

… and beyond

Marine science at COA is interdisciplinary. It’s definitely not just science.

There are also opportunities for students to learn about marine policy and the conservation of marine resources through Marine Policy , Environmental Law and Policy , and Fisheries and their Management . Our island research stations are also sites for artistic and cultural exploration.  Classes such as Environmental History and Water Worlds allow students to combine Marine Science with the humanities.

Our location on the Gulf of Maine and our interdisciplinary, self-directed curriculum mean that you can use all academic and creative disciplines to study the marine environment, its inhabitants, and the cultures that live near the ocean and depend on its resources.


  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><strong>Reminder</strong>: ‘Areas of Study’ aren’t the only way to think about courses.  Browse and explore <a href="">here</a>.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><strong>Reminder</strong>: Areas of Study at COA aren’t majors or formal concentrations. All COA students design their own <a href="/academics/human-ecology-degree/">major in human ecology</a> and are free to chart their own path. Your major is defined by you, not us.</p></div>