May 24, 2024  
Spring 2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
Spring 2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Biology, Specialization in Marine and Aquatic Biology, B.S.

Marine and Aquatic Biology is the study of marine and freshwater organisms, their behaviors, and their interactions with the environment. Marine and Aquatic Biology is a subdiscipline of both oceanography and limnology. To best understand aquatic organisms, students are encouraged to acquire an appreciation for the allied disciplines of chemical, physical, and geological oceanography and limnology.

The oceans are the final frontier of discovery on Earth. They possess vast untapped resources, provide a global transportation network for commerce, and play a pivotal role in moderating Earth’s climate. Likewise, our freshwater resources support both commercial and recreational activities. They serve as readily accessible sources of potable water and influence climate on regional scales. Human activities related to global population growth represent a serious challenge to preserving these important resources. We must build upon our existing knowledge of the ocean and our lakes and their potential to help meet the needs of this and future generations.

Career opportunities in the marine and aquatic sciences are exciting and diverse. Graduates may find work with one of the branches of government, in academia with university research labs, with the private sector (consulting, natural resource exploration, aquaculture, recreation), or with a non-governmental organization.

The Marine and Aquatic Biology specialization requires completion of a suite of core courses in basic biology, genetics, ecology, and aquatic biology. Elective courses in diverse areas of ecology (Group A) provide more specialized training, while advanced courses in organismal biology (Group B) create depth of knowledge in biodiversity. Courses in areas of cell, molecular, and regulatory biology (Group C) offer breadth of knowledge and training in emerging areas that are advancing our knowledge of the complex interactions amongst organisms in aquatic environments. Finally, applied technical training through experiential learning and focused coursework (Group D) in statistics, GIS, remote sensing independent research, service learning, or internships is also integrated into the program.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this specialization, undergraduates will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of marine biology and gain an appreciation of its role as a subdiscipline of oceanography.
  • Gain a better understanding of how the marine environment is impacted by human activities.
  • Develop critical thinking skills as well as an understanding of the nature of science, demonstrate the ability to evaluate biological research, and demonstrate technical skills relevant to marine biology.
  • Demonstrate the ability to articulate their understanding of marine environments in both oral and written formats to professional and non-science audiences.
  • Seek employment consistent with their interest in marine science, pursue professional school or graduate education, or be satisfied that the degree met other personal objectives.

minor required

BG Perspective (BGP) Requirements

Must complete at least 1 course in each of the following:

   English Composition and Oral Communication
   _____________________________    ________

   Quantitative Literacy
   _____________________________    ________

Must Complete at least 2 courses in each of the following:

   Humanities and the Arts
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________    

   Natural Sciences - at least one Lab Science required
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________                                                                                      

   Social and Behavioral Sciences
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________                                                                        

Complete total required BGP credit hours by selecting courses from any of the above categories:

   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________                                                                                    

University Requirements

Designated courses in Humanities and the Arts and the Social and Behavioral Sciences domains may be used to fulfill both the BGP requirement and one of the following university requirements:

Cultural Diversity in the US    ____________
International Perspective       ____________

Composition Requirement:
WRIT 1120 - Seminar in Research Writing                                   

Total BGP Credits: Must be at least 36                      

Arts & Sciences Requirements (WLC and QL)

World Languages and Cultures (_____ yrs of HS_______) 

Consult the Undergraduate Catalog or the Arts and Sciences Student Handbook regarding approved course options in the different language and culture areas. 
​   ________1010_________________    ________ 
​   ________1020_________________    ________ 
​   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________ 

Lab Science  

   _____________________________    ________ 

Quantitative Literacy

    ________    ________ EITHER MATH 1310  OR MATH 1340  & MATH 1350  

Multidisciplinary Component

Select from approved offerings, in consultation with an advisor and a faculty mentor. Four courses total, each with a different subject prefix. At least two courses at 3000/4000 level. Courses applied to the Arts & Sciences MDC may not be used to fulfill other Arts and Sciences degree requirements, nor may they be used to fulfill major, minor, BGP or other program requirements.   
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________ 
   _____________________________    ________  

Major Requirements

Marine & Aquatic Biology Specialization

At Least 10 Hours Of Biology Courses At The 4000-level Selected From Any Of The Elective Groups Listed Below.

Ensure that you have at least 10 hours of Biology courses at the 4000-level selected from any of the elective groups listed below. Complete courses required for the Specialization and Biology electives. For electives, select at least 1 course from each of Groups A-D.

A maximum of 5 credit hours from the following courses may be included in the required 10 credit hours of 4000-level Biology required for the major: BIOL 4010, BIOL 4520 , BIOL 4530 , BIOL 4540 , 4700, BIOL 4890 . These courses may be repeated.

Group D: Quantitative & Applied Science

Total Hours: 36+

Biology Electives:

These courses do not meet the group requirements but do count toward the 10 hours of required courses at the 4000 level: BIOL 4500 , 4700, BIOL 4900 .

Additional Biology Required Courses:

Chemistry & Physics

Minor Requirements:

A “general science” minor is offered to students in place of a conventional minor. Consult your Faculty Advisor. (A conventional minor may also be chosen, usually 20 hours, no Biology courses can be used.)

For Graduation You Will Need:

  1. 122 credit hours minimum.
  2. Minimum GPA 2.00.
  3. At least 30 credit hours of BGSU course work.
  4. 40 credit hours at the 3000/4000 level.
  5. Completion of all degree requirements, including the BG Perspective Core.
  6. A major, and if required, a minor, specialization or emphasis.

Any substitution or waiver of courses required for your major or minor program must originate in the department/school offering the major or minor and must be approved by the College Office.

To ensure a timely graduation, see a College Advisor during the semester prior to your intended graduation.

Remember to complete an Application for Graduation by the end of the second week of classes during the fall semester or spring regular session, or by the end of the first week of the summer semester. For the specific dates, check your DARS. You may log onto MyBGSU to complete the online application. After the deadlines, you will need to complete an application in person in the College Office.