UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
I cannot find the kind of degrees that an oceanographer needs. Can you help me?
Question Date: 2013-09-03
Answer 1:

Oceanography is a MULTI DISCIPLINARY science. That means, that because the oceans are such complex systems, one needs knowledge in many subjects. These subjects include chemistry, physics, fluid dynamics, geology, marine biology, Icthyology, microbiology and many, many other subjects. So, if one wants to study OCEANOGRAPHY, then usually in the later years of college or in graduate school, after you have a solid basic understanding of ALL these subjects, you might pick one to specialize in.

For example, if you become very interested in marine mammals, then you would focus in Zoology and specifically mammals, and naturally the marine mammals. On the other hand, if you were interested in the connection between the oceans and the atmosphere -the weather and climate- then you would study physical oceanography, which involves studying the fluid dynamics of ocean currents and circulation at all scales, from beach erosion to the large scale flow in oceans basins. If you were interested in submarine volcanoes, then you would study igneous petrology; this is the study of how magma forms and erupts.

So, you see, there are many different aspects to "oceanography". It would be best to find a simple textbook that gives a” bird’s eye” view of all these different aspects to see which ones are of special interest.

Answer 2:

As an interdisciplinary field, oceanography integrates both physical and biological sciences related to the ocean. Many different degrees can lead to a career in oceanography, including degrees in:

marine biology
marine chemistry
marine ecology
marine geology
marine science
atmospheric and ocean sciences
geography and remote sensing
earth sciences
environmental science
(and others)

Of course, an oceanographer does not have to be an expert in all of these fields; these are just some of the common university degrees that lead to a career in oceanography. Most oceanographers have at least a Bachelor's degree, and many have Master's and PhD degrees, as well.

Answer 3:

Oceanography has its own degrees at the M.S. and Ph.D. levels. Some schools also have oceanography at the B.S. level as well, but most don't; instead, it falls under geology or planetary science.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use