Waves on beach

Planning your MCSci Major

The Marine and Coastal Science major begins with introductory courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, and earth sciences.  These are followed by core courses in Marine Science. The major requirements provide focus and breadth, so that each student gains mastery in one area and broad exposure to many facets of Marine and Coastal Science.  Focus and Breadth areas include: Coastal Environmental Processes, Marine Ecology and Organismal Biology, Marine Environmental Chemistry, or Oceans and the Earth System.


The sample academic plans below are provided for your convenience; classes are subject to change. See your major advisor for help creating a personalized academic plan.

UC Davis General Catalog MCS section

4-year Students | MCSci Sample Academic Plan

4-year Students | MCSci Sample Academic Plan

The following is a sample study plan for first year Marine and Coastal Science majors. It includes Bodega Marine Lab coursework during the summer after Junior year, but this requirement can be fulfilled in different ways or at a different time.

Year 1

  • Fall Quarter Total: 8-9 units 
    • CHE 2A (5)
    • MAT 16A or 17A or 21A (3-4)
  • Winter Quarter Total: 13-14 units 
    • CHE 2B (5)
    • MAT 16B or 17B or 21B (3-4)
    • BIS 2B (5)
  • Spring Quarter Total: 13-14 units 
    • CHE 2C (5)
    • MAT 16C or 17C or 21C (3-4)
    • BIS 2C (5)

Year 2

  • Fall Quarter Total: 11-12 units 
    • BIS 2A (5)
    • CHE 8A* (2)
    • PHY 7A or 9A (4-5)
  • Winter Quarter Total: 11-12 units 
    • CHE 8B* (4) 
    • PHY 7B or 9B (4-5)
    • GEL 16 (3)
  • Spring Quarter Total: 11-12 units 
    • PHY 7C or 9C (4-5)
    • BIS 101* (4)
    • EVE 12 (3)

Year 3

  • Fall Quarter Total: 10-12 units 
    • BIS 105* (3)
    • Depth Course (4-5)
    • Focus Course (3-4)
  • Winter Quarter Total: 9-10 units 
    • BIS 104* (3)
    • GEL/ESP 116N (3)
    • Focus Course (3-4)
  • Spring Quarter Total: 9-10 units 
    • STA 100 (4)
    • Depth Course (4-5)
    • EVE/ESP 111 (1)
  • Summer Total: 10 units 
    • Field Requirement
      • Research/Internship (3)
      • Focus Course (4)
      • GEL/ESP 150C** (3)

Year 4

  • Fall Quarter Total: 7-8 units 
    • GEL/ESP 150A** (4)
    • Breadth Course (3-4)
  • Winter Quarter Total: 6-7 units 
    • GEL/ESP 150B** (3)
    • Breadth Course (3-4)
  • Spring Quarter Total: 6-8 units 
    • Focus Course (3-4)
    • Breadth Course (3-4)

4-year Sample MCSci Academic Plan (pdf)
*Only required for the focus in Marine Ecology and Organismal Biology
**Choose two from GEL/ESP 150A, 150B, and 150C

2-year Transfer Students | MCSci Sample Academic Plan

2-year Transfer Students | MCSci Sample Academic Plan

The following is a sample study plan for transfer students. It assumes that you’ve completed the preparatory coursework. It includes Bodega Marine Lab coursework during the summer after Junior year, but this requirement can be fulfilled in different ways or at a different time. 

Year 1

  • Fall Quarter Total: 11-13 units
    • BIS 101* (4)
    • Depth Course (4-5)
    • Focus Course (3-4)
  • Winter Quarter Total: 6-7 units 
    • BIS 105* (3)
    • Focus Course (3-4)
  • Spring Quarter Total: 10 units  
    • BIS 104* (3)
    • GEL/ESP 150A** (4)
    • GEL/ESP 116N (3)
  • Summer Total: 10 units 
    • Research/Internship (3)
    • Focus Course (4)
    • GEL/ESP 150C** (3)

Year 2

  • Fall Quarter Total: 11-13 units 
    • STA 100 (4)
    • Depth Course (4-5)
    • Breadth Course (3-4) 
  • Winter Quarter Total: 6-7 units
    • GEL/ESP 150B** (3)
    • Breadth Course (3-4) 
  • Spring Quarter Total: 6-8 units
    • Focus Course (3-4)
    • Breadth Course (3-4)
    • EVE/ESP 111 (1)
  • Summer
    • No classes

2-year MCSci Sample Academic Plan for Transfers (pdf)
*Only required for the focus in Marine Ecology and Organismal Biology
**Choose two from GEL/ESP 150A, 150B, and 150C