The Bachelor of Science degree in Oceanography at California State University Maritime Academy is designed to provide students with a broad, foundational understanding of modern oceanography.
Students gain a theoretical background and practical skills in biological, geological, chemical, and physical oceanography and are challenged to apply their foundational knowledge using the scientific method through hands-on directed research experiences, culminating in a piece of original scholarship.
Like all degree programs at Cal Maritime, the oceanography degree emphasizes workforce-ready skills and the development of professional networks that are crucial for successful placement after graduation.
The global nature of the maritime sector is central to Cal Maritime's identity. Oceanography students gain an appreciation of global perspectives of ocean literacy and stewardship. Our graduates are prepared to serve as leaders in the development of new ocean science knowledge and the ability to make responsible, evidence-based decisions for managing ocean resources.
Our courses emphasize applications to contemporary challenges to the management of marine resources.
The Cal Maritime Advantage
The campus location and facilities, our faculty and staff, and our hands-on approach to higher education make Cal Maritime an ideal campus for the serious study of Oceanography. Cal Maritime sits on the shores of the San Francisco Estuary, the largest estuary on the west coast, and offers exceptional access to conduct oceanographic studies in estuarine, coastal and open ocean environments. Our campus facilities include a protected harbor with deep water dock and a fleet of training vessels that include the 500' Training Ship Golden Bear. The Golden Bear has a global reach, with student training cruises to both the Atlantic and Pacific, and serves as an ocean-going research facility for the management of marine invasive species through ballast water treatment. Cal Maritime is a member of the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS) and hosts a CeNCOOS ocean observing shore station at our pier. Through CeNCOOS, our faculty and students may develop sensor technologies and increase our understanding of ocean processes. A new, dedicated oceanography research lab opened in Spring 2019. Finally, our physical proximity to state government in Sacramento and the technology center of the Bay Area provide vast and varied opportunities for institutional collaborations and student internship experiences.
"The experience I had, and will continue to have, working with the Golden Bear Facility is an opportunity I couldn't have gotten at any other university. It's been an opportunity to work alongside researchers and scientists who are working to create equipment tested to U.S. coast guard regulations and to learn from some of the best in the industry."
– Hannah Foster '15
"The opportunities provided by Cal Maritime – access to research facilities, unique extracurricular activities, and the ability to specialize in marine science – are what made all the difference. You can get an engineering degree anywhere, but Cal Maritime was the only place that could have set me up for where I am now."
– Kevin Reinhardt '14
"I am helping a local high school write curriculum on the cultivation of products from aquaculture and aquaponics. I would attribute topics from the Cal Maritime Marine Science curriculum to my ability and inspiration to undertake these projects during my Peace Corps service in Guatemala."