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A Student's Guide to an Oceanography BS Online

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen•edited by: Heather Marie Kosur•updated: 12/5/2010

This article discusses earning an oceanography BS online as well as what is involved and the career outlook.

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    Oceanography, also referred to as marine science or oceanology, is a branch of earth science and is a large science discipline. It uses insights from a variety of sciences such as biology, geology, physics, chemistry, and meteorology. Those who obtain a oceanography BS online will perform a variety of activities such as analyzing ocean currents, ocean storms, ocean plate tectonics, marine ecosystems, waves, and ocean floor features including hydrothermal vents, cold seeps, and other exotic biomes.

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    Required Courses

    oceanography B.S. online Those pursuing a bachelor's degree in oceanography online will need to take a variety of classes to complete the degree requirements. The main focus of this degree lies in biology, oceanography, physics, chemistry, and mathematics courses. Other earth science courses are also necessary. Some of these include field methods, exploration and environmental geophysics, geochemistry, structural geology, geophysics, tectonics, paleobiology, stratigraphy and sedimentology, petrography and petrology, and mineralogy. Students must all take all prerequisite courses and necessary electives.

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    Average Completion Time

    An oceanography BS online will take full-time students approximately four years to complete it. Students attending school part-time may need six or more years to complete this online degree. Some online schools have accelerated programs in which students can complete this degree in two to three years when attending school full-time.

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    Top Online Schools

    Very few schools offer a bachelor's of oceanography online, but the University of West Florida does. Those who reside in Florida will pay an estimated $11,449.00 per year and non-Florida residents will pay an estimated $22,613.00 per year. These estimates include everything from tuition and other educational fees to books and internet access charges.

    Students have open enrollment for this program, but only sixty seats are available per term. This school is fully accredited and is delivered through the Internet.

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    Possible Careers

    oceanography B.S. online Oceanographers most often work in one of four disciplines. These include geological oceanography, physical oceanography, chemical oceanography, and biological oceanography. Regardless of the chosen discipline, oceanographers can either work in the field or in academia. Many people in this field choose to work in two or more disciplines and may also work in marine archeology, ocean engineering, or marine policy in addition to their chosen discipline.

    Oceanographers will perform research and experiments, write technical reports, and address and educate the public, government, and private organizations.

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    Career Outlook and Salary

    Entry-level oceanographers earn an average median salary of $50,460.00. The mean annual earnings is $77,890.00. The average median salary for experienced oceanographers is $99,690.00. By 2016, employment opportunities in this field are expected to grow by twenty-one percent.

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    Why Is It Better to Obtain This Degree Online?

    Obtaining a bachelor's degree in oceanography online will allow students to pursue their degree without sacrificing too much. Students will be able to maintain their current employment, family responsibilities, hobbies, social activities, and other responsibilities. They will have assignment deadlines, but they can complete these at any time of day and will not have to adhere to a strict class schedule.

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    An oceanography BS online will open up many doors. It can be used to begin a new career or advance in a current one. Knowing what to expect when pursuing this degree will make obtaining just a little bit easier.

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    • Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence. (2010). Oceanographers. Retrieved on March 4, 2010 from the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence:
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    Image Credits

    • Ocean: Seano1 – Wikimedia Commons
    • Books: lusi – Wikimedia Commons