Marine Environmental Science


chemistrySurrounded by the East River and Long Island Sound, students in the Marine Environmental Science program analyze organisms and samples in a lab designed specifically for our students.

As an MES major, your courses will give you a broad and deep understanding of biology, geology, math, meteorology, oceanography and chemistry, as well as fisheries sciences, field methods, and law and policy.

You can minor in marine biology or oceanography and meteorology.

Your academic knowledge is tested and supplemented by professional learning experiences. All students must complete two summer internships or pursue a U.S. Coast Guard third mate’s license by sailing the college training ship, the Empire State VI, and joining the regiment of cadets. The regiment is a disciplined lifestyle program that holds no affiliation with the military.

Academic Program

The Marine Environmental Science program is an interdisciplinary exploration of the natural marine world. Your courses will give you a thorough understanding of biology, geology, math, meteorology, oceanography and chemistry. You may choose to expand your knowledge in a particular area through a minor either in marine biology or oceanography and meteorology.

MES majors may further tailor their academic program in one of two ways:

  • Professional Internship Program. As an intern student, you will have a more traditional college experience and get to complete two professional internships related to your academic studies. MES internship options include:

    • Rehabilitating wildlife with the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research & Preservation

    • Collecting and analyzing data at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

    • Conducting experiments and research with faculty

  • U.S. Coast Guard Deck License Program. You will take additional courses required to earn a U.S. Coast Guard license. A deck license qualifies you to work on-board commercial vessels, navigating, handling cargo, maintaining the ship and ensuring operational safety. Earning a license requires you to belong to the college regiment of cadets, a disciplined lifestyle program that is not affiliated with the military. Regimental students may also choose to complete internships through the cadet-shipping program.

Life After maritime

MES graduates go on to work for any number of environmental companies and organizations. Recent graduates have found jobs with: