Dual major optionRegiment Optional

Tackle environmental challenges such as shifting coastal resources, global environmental change, and sea level rise through the coastal and marine environmental science program at Maine Maritime Academy. Through this unique marine environmental science degree, you’ll be well-positioned to become a leader in coastal communities. You’ll benefit from hands-on research opportunities in labs, on research vessels, at nearby field sites, and through service-learning experiences.

At Maine Maritime you’ll experience a low student-to-faculty ratio so you’ll get to know your professors and they’ll get to know you, too. These experts will ensure you have the knowledge and skills you need for marine environmental science jobs, including environmental consultant, aquaculturist, and scientific technician as well as to continue your studies at the graduate level.

71 percent Graduation Rate (6 Year)
#5 Regional Colleges North US News & World Report
991 undergradutate students

Relevant Location

By pursuing your marine environmental science degree at Maine Maritime, you’ll enjoy easy access to the coast through our ideal location in Castine Harbor on upper Penobscot Bay. You’ll conduct research, collect and identify flora and fauna, learn about coastal geology, and engage in laboratory investigations. You’ll also have quick access to field sites for exploration and research, including Holbrook Island, rocky intertidal shores, local estuaries, salt marshes, and mud flats.

Dual Major Option

If you want to operate small vessels and expand your career options, consider Maine Maritime’s unique coastal and marine environmental science and small vessel operations dual major option. Through this five-year degree path you’ll learn to safely handle and navigate small vessels. You also gain eligibility to test for a U. S. Coast Guard license, up to 200 gross tons, operating in near-coastal waters up to 200 miles offshore.


The coastal and marine environmental science major at Maine Maritime is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), a nonprofit, non-governmental membership organization. With this regionally recognized standard in accreditation you can be sure you’re receiving a quality education.

Student Perspective

Phoebe Churney ’24
Marine Biology / Small Vessel Operations
Brunswick, ME
I chose MMA because it is the only school in the country where I can get a degree in Marine Biology, a U.S. Coast Guard license, and have the opportunity to accelerate my scuba licenses! Plus, all of my classes are hands-on so I can apply what I learn in class directly to lab work.
Phoebe Churney Photo

What Is Marine and Coastal Environment?

Coastal and marine environmental science is the study of physics, chemistry, geology, and biology of the coastal and marine environment and their interactions with humans.

Why Study Coastal and Marine Science at Maine Maritime?

When you study coastal and marine environmental science at Maine Maritime Academy, you’ll learn to measure, analyze, and synthesize ocean data and develop solutions to societal issues, such as climate change. Make a positive, impactful change on the ocean environment through this one-of-a-kind marine environmental science degree.

Dedicated laboratories and vessels

Develop strong foundational knowledge in marine science, marine policy, management, statistical methods, and research through state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, including dedicated labs for chemistry, geology, and biology; a running seawater lab; and GIS computer lab. You’ll have access to Maine Maritime’s fleet of vessels, including our 49-foot coastal research vessel, Friendship.

Practical, hands-on learning

Immerse yourself in laboratory courses, including field surveys, collection and identification of local flora and fauna, and coastal geology explorations through this hands-on coastal and marine environmental science degree. Gain real-world experience through summer and field work at places such as the Maine State Aquarium, Boothbay Sea and Science Center, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science, and the Maine Department of Marine Resources. If you choose the dual major option, you’ll be required to complete 120 sea days on appropriate vessels and through laboratories, simulation, cooperative work experiences, and a 14-day training cruise aboard the schooner Bowdoin.

Regiment of Midshipmen

A unique aspect of Maine Maritime Academy is the Regiment of Midshipmen, a uniformed student body devoted to leadership, honor, integrity, discipline, and comradery. While you’re not required to participate when you study coastal and marine environmental science at Maine Maritime, you might choose to join the optional Regiment to build your self-confidence, self-discipline, leadership abilities, and teamwork skills you can use in marine environmental science jobs.

What Can You Do With a Coastal and Marine Environmental Science Degree?

When you graduate with a marine environmental science degree from Maine Maritime Academy, you’ll be well positioned for marine environmental science jobs, such as environmental consultant, aquaculturist, marine technician, scientific support staff, and to work for state and federal agencies, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Maine Department of Marine Resources. You might also work in research or education, or gain admittance to graduate or veterinary school.

Career outlook for coastal and marine science

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow 8% through 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. Heightened public interest in the hazards facing the environment, as well as increasing demands placed on the environment by population growth, are expected to spur demand for environmental scientists and specialists, according to the BLS.

Marine environmental science salary

The median annual wage for environmental scientists and specialists was $71,360 in May 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Alumni Perspective

Huxley Connor ’19
Oceanography / Small Vessel Operations
Lewes, Delaware
I loved the small school environment. You really get to know your peers and professors well, especially in the Ocean Studies department. I will be able to use these connections in the future, as I advance my career.
Huxley Connor Photo

Explore Classes for Coastal and Marine Environmental Science

Through your courses in coastal and marine science, you’ll build a strong knowledge of geological and ecological processes that govern the coastal environment as well as how humans interact with the coastal environment. You’ll take signature courses, such as introduction to sustainability, land margin ecosystems, global environmental change, geographic information science, and coastal resource management. Through your studies, which include courses in the arts and sciences, you’ll learn to communicate scientific knowledge to a broad audience as well as other skills valued in marine environmental science jobs.

  • General Biology I
  • Chemistry I
  • Composition
  • Introduction to Marine Science
  • General Biology II
  • Chemistry II
  • Humanities I
  • Calculus I
  • OS Seminar I
  • Any PE Course
  • Any Swim PE Course
  • Marine Botany
  • Intro to Organic Chemistry
  • Calculus II
  • OS Seminar II
  • Technical Physics
  • Marine Zoology
  • OS Seminar II
  • Design & Applied Stat in Science
  • Marine Geochemistry
  • Technical Phsyics III
  • Any PE Course (2)
  • Ecology
  • Marine Organism Physiology
  • Physical Oceanography
  • OS Seminar IV
  • Any BI or OS Course
  • Cell Biology
  • Seminar V
  • Prep for Research in Marine Science
  • Any BI or OS Course
  • Any EC,HC, HMSS, HY or PY Course
  • Humanities II
  • OS Seminar VI
  • Research Project
  • Any Course
  • Any Course EC,HC, HMSS, HY or PY Course
  • Genetics
  • Any Course (2)
  • Any EC,HC, HMSS, HY or PY Course

View all coastal and marine environmental science courses.

Explore Classes for Coastal and Marine Environmental Science and SVO Dual Majors

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  • General Biology I
  • Chemistry I
  • Pre-Calculus
  • Introduction to Oceanography & Environmental Science
  • First Year Experience
  • Seminar 0
  • Ocean Survival
  • General Biology II
  • Chemistry II
  • Calculus
  • Composition
  • Seminar 1
  • Hum-SS Elective
  • Humanities I
  • Physical Geology
  • Introduction to Sustainability
  • Seminar II
  • Intro to Nautical Science
  • Basic Sailing
  • USCG Firefighting
  • Land Margin Ecosystems
  • Chemical Oceanography
  • Design & Applied Statistics
  • Tech Physics I
  • Seminar III
  • USCG Firefighting Live Burn
  • Lifeboat Exam
  • Physical Oceanography
  • Ecology
  • Global Environmental Change
  • Tech Physics III
  • Seminar IV
  • Intro to Vessel Operations
  • Any PE Course
  • Research Prep
  • GIS
  • Hum-SS Elective
  • Dept/Program Elective
  • Seamanship
  • Seminar V
  • Any PE course
  • Research
  • Humanities II
  • Coastal Resource Management
  • Seminar VI
  • Small Craft Technology
  • Small Craft Construction
  • Dept/Program Elective
  • Dept/Program Elective
  • Hum-SS Elective
  • Free Elective
  • Free Elective
  • SVO Co-op
  • Cargo I
  • Marine System
  • Terrestrial Navigation
  • Terrestrial Navigation Lab
  • SVO Dept. Elective
  • Meteorology
  • Navigation Rules
  • Electronic Navigation
  • Electronic Navigation Lab
  • Topics in Small Vessel Operations
  • 200 Ton License Seminar

View all coastal and marine environmental science and small vessel operations courses.

Department Faculty

Kerry Whittaker
Visiting Professor/Instructor
Jessica Muhlin
Department Chair
Carey Friedman
Assistant Professor
Sarah O’Malley

Get Started on Your Bachelor’s Degree in Coastal and Marine Environmental Science

Take the next step toward earning your marine environmental science degree at Maine Maritime Academy.

Contact an Admissions Representative

If you’re ready to pursue a marine environmental science degree at Maine Maritime, please contact an admissions representative.


Maine Maritime Academy welcomes veterans and has the resources in place to help you transition to student life. Please contact our dedicated admissions representative for veterans.


Maine Maritime Academy welcomes motivated and academically qualified transfer students. Please contact our admissions office to learn more about transferring to Maine Maritime Academy.

Apply Now and Request More Information

We invite you to start your application or request more information about Maine Maritime’s marine environmental science degree.

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