University of South Carolina College of Arts & Sciences Marine Science Program School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment



Marine Science Program University of South Carolina 712 Main Street, PSC 108, Columbia, SC 29208

Send Mail to: 701 Sumter Street, EWS 617 Columbia, SC 29208, USA

Phone: 803.777.2692     Fax: 803.777.6610

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  • About the Marine Science Program

    Our diverse and collaborative program provides students with award winning instruction and hands-on technical and field experiences.

  • Faculty & Research

    Marine Science Faculty are highly active researchers that maintain funding from a variety of private, state, and local agencies, including the NSF, NASA, NOAA, and Seagrant. Find out more.

  • Undergraduate Program

    Students in Marine Science may choose to specialize in biological, chemical, geological or physical oceanography or coastal resource management/marine affairs. Find out more.

  • Graduate Program

    The Marine Science Graduate Program is designed to train scientists for careers in research, teaching and scientific leadership in fields pertaining to Earth's oceans. Learn More.


The Marine Science Program (MSCI), a division within the School of Earth, Ocean, and the Environment, is an interdisciplinary academic program offering curricula that lead to Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Marine Science. With 15 internationally recognized Jointly Appointed Faculty, and more than 330 undergraduate and graduate students, the Marine Science Program is a highly regarded center of research and teaching excellence at the University of South Carolina. While the North Inlet estuary and salt marshes along the South Carolina coast continue to be important study sites for many of our Faculty, research programs funded via numerous private, federal and state agencies literally stretch from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Our diverse and collaborative program provides students with award winning instruction and hands-on technical and field experiences that allow them to successfully pursue careers in industry, government, and academic settings.  View a message from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences regarding the programs offered at Carolina.

Latest News

Congratulations to Dr. Subra Bulusu and Dr. Joe Quattro!  They each received Excellence in Teaching Awards from the University of SC Alpha Order Chapter of Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society!

Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson is the recipient of the Sulzman Award for Excellence in Education and Mentoring! This annual award is presented by the Biogeosciences Section of the American Geophysical Union.

Dr. Ryan Rykaczewski's research, Window on the Ocean's Past, is featured in the September 24th Edition of the UofSC News!

Congratulations to Dr. Ryan Rykaczewski!  His NSF proposal, "Collaborative Research: Climate Change and Upwelling - Comparative Analysis of Current & Future Responses of the California and Benguela Ecosystems, "has been funded ($149,947)!

Dr. Jean Ellis re-elected to the Board of Directors for the International Society of Aeolian Research and was appointed as an Editor for the Elsevier journal, Aeolian Research!

Dr. Robert Thunell has his co-authored paper, "Northern Pacific's tropical anoxic zone might shrink from climate change," featured in ScienceDaily!

Congratulations to Dr. Lori Ziolkowski!  Her NSF proposal, "Bioavailability of Arctic Soil Carbon: Examining the Relationship Between Chemical Composition and Lability During the Holocene" has been funded ($331,872)!

We are thrilled to announce the establishment of the Richard C. Morris Marine Science Endowed Scholarship Fund!  The fund will provide support for scholarships in the Marine Science Program.

Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson just received an NSF award ($362,164) for her project entitled "Collaborative Research: Isotopic Insights to Mercury in Marine Food Webs and How it Varies with Ocean Biogeochemistry"

Dr. Ryan Rykaczewski co-authored paper featured in this month's Science!

Dr. Seth John and Dr. Tim Conway have their research published in Nature and in ScienceDaily!  

MSCI graduate student Yuan Shen (Ph.D. - Benner) has received a grant from the Slocum-Lunz Foundation to conduct research on the bioavailability of dissolved organic matter in coastal estuaries!

Congratulations to MSCI professor George Voulgaris!  He is to receive this year's USC Educational Foundation Research Award for Science, Mathematics and Engineering!

MSCI undergraduates Morgan Cunningham, Josh Helgoe, Suneil Iyer, Stephanie LaPlaca, Avery Lee, Kelly McCabe and Victoria Young win Magellan Scholars for Fall 2014! 

MSCI graduate student Michael Philben (PhD, advisor Ron Benner) wins First Place for Oral Research Presentation at USC's Graduate Student Day!

MSCI alum Erin McParland received a NDSEG Fellowship!

MSCI undergraduate Riley Brady was awarded an Outstanding Student Presentation Award at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii!

MSCI undergraduate Dan Utter received an Honorable Mention in the UDALL Competition this year!

MSCI undergraduates Riley Brady, Alicia Cheripka, Charlotte Eckmann, Chandler Green, Suneil Iyer, and Kelly McCabe have just won prestigious NOAA Hollings Scholarships!   That's six MSCI majors, a new record!