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Interdisciplinary Studies Program

>Program Requirements
>Double major
>More Information


The Department of Marine Sciences does not offer a Marine Sciences major, but does participate in the Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) major offered through the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. This program allows students to concentrate in Marine Biology, Marine Chemistry, Physical Oceanography, or other aspects of Marine Sciences.  Students in the program are housed at the University of Georgia in Athens and can obtain field experience at excellent coastal facilities at Skidaway Island in Savannah (The UGA Marine Extension education facility and the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography) and at the UGA Marine Institute on Sapelo Island.

Each student in the Interdisciplinary Studies program in Marine Sciences pursues an approved program of study, designed with the help of a 3-member faculty advisory panel.  The program of study includes a senior thesis, which involves an original project on a topic in the student’s area of emphasis. Students who successfully complete the program are granted a B.S. degree in “Interdisciplinary Studies,” with a certificate stating the Marine Sciences emphasis. 

The IDS program in Marine Sciences has the same requirements as most science majors.   Students who plan on entering the IDS program are advised to take calculus, introductory physics, chemistry, and biology; many of these courses can be taken as part of the core curriculum.  See below for a list of courses required for an IDS program with a Marine Biology emphasis.

You cannot enter the IDS program until you have completed 30 hours of coursework.  Students who are doing a double major often declare their first major (e.g. Biology) upon entering college and add the IDS major later.  See below for more information on double majors.


Students may enter the program after completing at least 30 hours (but no more than 75 hours) of coursework. Your credit hours should also include at least 16 hours of IDS coursework. You must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or above at UGA; this GPA must be maintained to remain in the program. 

Transfer students must wait at least one semester before applying to the IDS program, as the program considers your GPA at UGA only.  However, the number of hours that you have (no more than 75) includes transfer hours.  If you are entering UGA with close to 75 hours (or will have more than 75 hours after completing one semester at UGA), we recommend that you meet with us as soon as you arrive at UGA.

To apply to the IDS program, you need an IDS program of study, which is a list of the relevant courses you have taken (and are planning to take) over the course of your studies.  Your final Program of Study must meet the requirements of the IDS program in Marine Sciences as well as all other College and University requirements.  You also need a three-member faculty committee as well as a completed copy of the IDS petition, which can be obtained from the Dept. of Marine Sciences.

Program Requirements

The courses below are required for an IDS in Marine Sciences with an emphasis in Marine Biology. It is also possible to complete programs with an emphasis on Chemistry, Geology, or Physics.  Programs of study for students interested in these other areas are designed with the help of the student’s advisory panel.

Introductory course requirements: (40 h)

Biology: (8 h)

Chemistry: (12 h)

Physics: (8 h)

  • PHYS 1111-1111L - Introductory Physics-Mechanics, Waves, Thermodynamics (4 hours) or PHYS 1211-1211L (for Science and Engineering students)
  • PHYS 1112-1112L - Introductory Physics-Electricity and Magnetism, Optics, Modern Physics (4 hours) or PHYS 1212-1212L – (for Science and Engineering Students)

Math: (8 h)

  • MATH 2250 - Calculus I for Science and Engineering (4 hours)
  • MATH 2260 - Calculus II for Science and Engineering (4 hours)

Geology: (4 h)

Upper level course requirements: (30 – 33 h)

Biology: (11-12 h)

Marine Sciences: (10 h)

Other:  (9-11 h)

  • INTS 4990 – Directed Study – IDS Senior Thesis (3 hours)
Two additional 3000- or 4000- level courses from any Department in the Division of Biological Sciences (at least 3 hours each)

Double major

Many students in the IDS program choose to pursue a double major in IDS and another science department.  A double major gives students depth in a second area of science.  It also provides additional options for students who do not maintain a GPA of 3.0 or do not complete a senior thesis. 

The most common double major is with Biology.   To meet the Biology requirements, the courses listed above for the IDS degree with a Marine Biology emphasis would require an additional core course (CBIO 3300 - Developmental Biology or CBIO 3400 - Cell Biology or PBIO 3600 - Plant Cell and Developmental Biology (4 hours).  It would also need to be evaluated to ensure that the student has satisfied the organismal and laboratory course requirements.  (See UGA Bulletin for more information about the Biology program requirements.)

For More Information

For more information about the undergraduate program in Marine Sciences, please contact Kristin Miller in the Department of Marine Sciences (706) 542-7162 (  For information about the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, please contact Candee Bradbury in the Dean’s office (706) 542-5745 (


Franklin College of Arts and Sciences Website Contact University of Georgia • Athens, Georgia 30602 • USA • (706) 542-7671