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  • 2 graduates at the commencement ceremony
  • Students in class lecture
  • Marine Science students in class

Marine Science

​​​​​​​​​​​​The Marine Science Department at Orange Coast College offers classes in Introductory Oceanography, Coastal Oceanography, Marine Biology, Marine Mammals, Marine Mammal Field Study, Aquarium Science, Animal Husbandry and Life Support, Intertidal Ecology, and Gray Whale Ecology (Study Abroad).

The department has it's own "wet" marine laboratory where students can get hands-on experience keeping living organisms and maintaining the systems. The facility contains over 4,500 gallons of water and consists of systems exhibiting local cold-water environments, tropical organisms, freshwater planted tanks, stock restoration projects, and student research projects. Marine Science students can also take courses and collect data at our nearby Seabase in Newport Harbor.


Students can earn an Associate in Science degree in Marine Science during their first two years in College. They may then transfer to a baccalaureate program in marine biology or oceanography at one of several private or State Universities. Students anticipating transfer to a four-year College should consult the current Orange Coast College catalogue for curriculum planning assistance and schedule a meeting with a Marine Science faculty.


Students also have the ability to earn a Certificate of Achievement in Aquarium Sciences through coursework and helping to manage the "Student-run" OCC Aquarium. Both the A.S. degree in Marine Sciences and the Certificate in Aquarium Sciences can be taken as preparation for a related Bachelor's degree at a 4-year institution, or as part of a stand-alone qualification for many local jobs, or as a marine-related emphasis to another planned degree (ex: chemistry, communications, computer science, biology, law or engineering among many others).


While at O.C.C. Marine Science majors have the opportunity to explore this fascinating career area and test their sea legs. Students will trawl the ocean bed, take bottom samples with oceanic probes, collect water samples for analysis, interpret oceanic weather information, learn how to care for marine organisms, and learn the fundamentals of marine navigation. The future beckons!