Ocean sciences, or oceanography, is a field that encompasses the study of the global marine environment from broad geographic and disciplinary perspectives. It essentially looks at the interaction between marine life and oceanic processes, covering such diverse topics as coastal and deep-sea food webs, marine animal ecology, physiology and behaviour, plankton dynamics, the effects of pollution or climate change on ocean life and ecosystems, the management and conservation of aquatic resources, and much more.
Ocean sciences at Memorial
The major in Ocean sciences is an interdisciplinary program administered by the Department of Ocean Sciences, providing a solid foundation in ocean studies, including the basic principles of its main sub-disciplines (physical, chemical, geological, and biological oceanography).
The Department of Ocean Sciences (DOS) is housed at the Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) in Logy Bay, which is located approximately 10 kilometers (10 min) from the main St. John’s campus of Memorial University. The OSC is a major facility for marine research on the Atlantic coast and is one of Canada’s largest marine laboratories. By virtue of its location, the department provides scientists and students access to the flora and fauna of the northwest Atlantic Ocean and is uniquely situated for shore-based studies of cold-ocean processes and subarctic, Arctic and deep-sea organisms.
Education and training is one of the Department’s principal mandates, and is achieved by providing a stimulating, research-intensive environment in which students can develop and thrive. The Department offers graduate and undergraduate programs, as well as hands-on field and laboratory research experience through part-time and summer research positions for undergraduates.
Minor in oceanography
This is an interdisciplinary program administered by the Department of Ocean Sciences in cooperation with the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Physics and Physical Oceanography.
Minor in sustainable aquaculture and fisheries ecology
The minor in sustainable aquaculture and fisheries ecology (SAFE) will introduce students to aquaculture and fisheries management practices and help prepare them for a career as a developer, technologist, or researcher.
Admission to the major
Students interested in completing the ocean sciences major should apply for bachelor of science. Direct entry into the Faculty of Science from high school is subject to meeting the general admission requirements for Memorial University.
To be considered for admission to the ocean sciences major, students must complete the following 30 credit hours (10 courses) with a minimum 65% overall average:
- Biology 1001 and 1002
- Chemistry 1050 and 1051 (or 1200 and 1001)
- Earth Sciences 1000
- six credit hours in Critical Reading and Writing (CRW) courses, including at least three credit hours in English
- Mathematics 1000
- Ocean Sciences 1000
- Physics 1020 (or 1050) or one Ocean Sciences course at the 2000 level
Students must complete Ocean Sciences 1000 with a minimum grade of 65%.
Sample first year
Wondering what courses you would take in your first year? Check out a sample program of suggested courses for ocean sciences students.
Our planet is predominantly covered by a vast ocean, which plays a key role in driving its climate and ecosystems, directly or indirectly affecting the lives of most of its inhabitants. Therefore, job opportunities and career perspectives for students with training in Ocean Sciences are extremely varied and rewarding.
Trainees and graduates may find work as laboratory technicians or research assistants in ocean-related fields such as:
- marine biology
- wildlife management
Other potential positions may include, but are not limited to:
- marine science educator
- fisheries officer
- nature interpreter
- aquarium curator
- environmental analyst/consultant
Note: some of these careers may call for supplementary education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential learning or professional courses and exams.
Faculty of Science
Bachelor of Science
Fall, winter and spring semesters
Applications are considered on a rolling basis. Students are encouraged to apply by:
- March 1 for fall admission
- Oct. 1 for winter admission
- Feb. 1 for spring admission