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Where did your passion for the ocean begin? Poking around in tide pools or surfing on the Oregon coast? Visiting an aquarium? Watching specials like “Blue Planet,” or maybe “Spongebob Squarepants?”

More importantly, where will that passion take you next?

Our oceanography program, ranked No. 3 in the world, can take you from coastal mangroves in the tropics to the ice-covered poles. Oceanographers study all aspects of the marine environment and how it interacts with and influences planet Earth including humankind. As an Oceanography major at OSU you will be exposed to the tremendous breadth of the marine realm and the diverse ways scientists study it. Dive in!

Explore the degree

Oceanography Advising Worksheets

  • Major (catalog year 2022-23 and beyond)
  • Option (catalog year 2021-22)

Degree Learning Outcomes

  • Each student will learn basic concepts in Earth Sciences in preparation for advanced training in the same. Areas include how the earth, ocean, and atmosphere work and interact.
  • Each student will develop quantitative literacy in techniques specific to the major and option.
  • Each student will learn applied practical skills in the discipline at a basic and advanced level through intensive experiential learning.

Experiential Learning

Field Courses

OSU Catalog

Meet the faculty

Many of our world-renowned faculty teach undergraduate courses and love to host undergraduate researchers in their laboratories. Meet our Oceanography Faculty.

Byron Crump, Program Head

Learn about careers

What can you do with an oceanography degree?  Our recent graduates are working for research institutions, not-for-profit organizations, universities, businesses, governments and more, and many have gone on to grad school. A few recent job titles our graduates have held:

  • Conservation Science Associate, Reef Environmental Education Foundation
  • Research Fellow, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
  • Grants Manager, Public Works Watershed Restoration
  • Research Associate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Additional information on career opportunities in oceanography:


Miguel Goñi

Beaver Tracks: A Dam Good Podcast episode 5 - explore the Ocean with Miguel Goñi

Oceanography in real time

Undergraduates learn what it takes to do science at sea