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THE USA: Subject Guides

Studying Oceanography in USA


Oceanography, also known as Oceanology, is a branch of the Earth Science that deals with marine life. There are branches of Oceanography that deal with Biological, Chemical, Geological or Physical matters of the marine life. Oceanography is an attractive course for people interested in environmental sciences and geography. Being a professional in the field of Oceanography can give you the chance to be a part of marine life protection and restoration projects to save the endangered species of coral reefs and fish. These concerns have been a centre of attention for many environmental activists and professionals since the oil spills in fresh water bodies lead to the death of many living organisms and water pollution.  

Study Options

The location of the university is very important for studying a course in the field of Oceanography. Depending on the location of the campus, some universities will offer more opportunities to explore, experiment, learn and research. The factors worth considering are the proximity of the campus to water bodies, research centres, and laboratories. There are research centres and laboratories in top universities in USA that can prove to be helpful. Also, many universities that offer courses in Oceanography are in close vicinity of the fresh water bodies like the University of South Florida, University of Maine, Florida State University, University of Delaware and many more.

During your course, you will study underwater volcanoes, the greenhouse effect, eddy systems, droughts, floods, ocean circulation and law. Towards the end of your degree you can choose majors to specialise in. Many students also pursue research and attain masters and PhD degrees. The courses will also build your transferable skills including computer, analytical, communication and problem solving skills allowing you to build careers in other fields of work.

Career Options

Many organisations have been established to gather Oceanographers to work on projects for marine life protection and restoration, thus providing them a platform for building their careers. National Oceanographer Centre is one of these organisations. NOC not only focuses on research and development, it also guides its members for higher education and employment.

Oceanographers can choose to establish themselves as coastal engineer, aquatic scientist, data analyst, surveyor, water resource manager or environmental consultant. Having analytical, problem solving, communication and administrative skills, individuals with degrees in Oceanography, can also pursue careers in administration, retail and coordination.


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