College or University: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Type of degree: B.S.
Brief overview of program: Although it emphasizes graduate training, the Department of Marine Sciences has offered an undergraduate minor to juniors and seniors since 1990. Requirements are rigorous, and students in the minor program tend to be among the university's best performing undergraduates. Some have written research-based senior honors theses and published their results in professional journals. Others have won undergraduate research fellowships that have allowed them to take time off from their regular studies to pursue individual projects, sometimes in exotic locations (e.g., the Great Barrier Reef off Australia). Nearly all have chosen to work with faculty and/or staff scientists in the laboratory and field settings.
Most undergraduate minors are science majors who go on to pursue advanced degrees. However, some non-science majors have used the minor as a way to explore the relationship between marine sciences and their respective major fields. Journalists interested in covering the environment as a "beat," political scientists wanting to study marine policy/law, and aspiring public school teachers who may one day teach oceanography are among those who can benefit from the program.
All interested undergraduates, regardless of whether they plan to carry a minor, are encouraged to take introductory marine sciences courses and to participate in faculty-directed laboratory and field activities where possible. Opportunities may be found both on campus and at the coast. Summer internships at the Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City are especially popular.
Website: Click here for program website
Program Point of Contact: Carol Arnosti