Writing Courses – You may be surprised how important writing is to both college success and careers in marine science. Seek out opportunities to write whenever you can. Writing classes are one way to develop this skill, but writing for your school’s newspaper or blog or keeping a journal can also help to improve your writing.
Optional Courses – Some high schools offer specialized courses in environmental science and marine biology. These courses are a great way to explore different fields of interest. Some that we recommend:
AP Marine Biology
AP Environmental Science
OCEAN 101 – Oceanography of the Pacific Northwest (available in certain Washington high schools through the UW in the High School program)
ESRM 150 – Wildlife in the Modern World (available in certain Washington high schools through the UW in the High School program)
In addition to coursework, an important part of preparing for a degree in marine science is getting out into the marine environment and getting your hands wet! Get hands-on experience early through volunteer work or internships in the field. If you live you live miles from the nearest ocean, consider volunteering at your local aquarium or getting involved in other environmental/biological opportunities closer home.
Juniors or Seniors starting the application process are encouraged to schedule a visit to campus.You can meet with an academic adviser, tour the campus. Other activities such as class visits, info sessions, or lab tours may also be available depending on the time of year.
Community or Technical College
To facilitate a smooth entry into the UW, transfer students should complete the suggested courses outlined on the transfer planning worksheets for one of the three majors related to marine biology:
Students may apply to transfer at any time, but it is recommended to complete as many of the basic science and math courses listed on the worksheets above prior to admission. Students can match course numbers on the planning worksheets to those from Washington State community or technical colleges with the UW Transfer Equivalency Guide. Students from outside of Washington state can contact an adviser with questions about course equivalency for major or minor requirements.
Both courses have no prerequisites, and can count towards the ‘Areas of Knowledge’ required by all UW majors. Register for the lab versions of these courses to get great, hands-on experience and potentially apply the courses to one of the majors or minors in marine science fields.
Dive in & Declare
The Marine Biology minor and majors in Oceanography and Aquatic & Fishery Sciences can be declared at any time by current UW students through an appointment with an adviser.