Marine Affairs


Bachelor of Arts in Marine Affairs
College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)
School of Marine Programs


Dr. Charles Tilburg
Academic Director, School of Marine Programs


The mission of the School of Marine and Environmental Programs at the University of New England is to help our students gain an understanding of the natural world, develop critical thinking skills, and become scientifically literate. Together, we lay a foundation for lifelong learning and meaningful contributions to society and offer a baccalaureate education to students interested in all facets of the marine environment.

Our programs encompasses a wide variety of disciplines that seek to understand the way the ocean functions, how it is related to earth systems science, and how humans interact with the environment. Students will learn theoretical underpinnings and applications of disciplines from biology to chemistry, geology, and physics. These disciplines are critical to life as we know it on the planet. Students will be able to apply these disciplines to solving real problems encountered in coastal and marine ecosystems and by the human communities that depend on them. 

Major Description

The Marine Affairs major is aimed at providing future student leaders a solid grounding in the vital fields of coastal and marine science, as well as resource use, marine governance systems, management, policy, ecosystems ecology, conservation, and sustainable development. This major is suitable for students who are concerned about the marine environment, and are interested in careers in the ecosystem and human health interactions, ocean management, political decision making, and marine sustainability science and policies. The program focuses on hands-on activities, internships, and research experiences in addition to classroom work.

The Marine Living Learning Community (MLC)

All entering first-year Marine Science, Marine Affairs, and Marine Entrepreneurship majors are invited to participate in a year-long living learning community focused on developing the skills needed to be a successful student, discovery of their majors and associated learning opportunities, and building relationships with peers, faculty, and professional staff.

The MLC integrates classroom learning, student success programming, experiential opportunities, as well as team-building and leadership development programs designed to assist Marine majors in their transitions from High School to College to Career.

Learning Community courses and events allows students an opportunity to expand their interests and grow personally, as well as professionally. A dedicated team comprised of faculty, professional staff, and peer leaders supports the MLC. This community of learning enriches classroom content and allows an opportunity to apply learning in context.

Students who participate in the MLC are expected to:

  • Live together in a Residence Hall Community designed by the Office of Housing and Resident/Commuter Life.
  • Take two (2) or more designated courses in common over the course of their first year.
  • Participate in required experiential learning opportunities and community programs.

Curricular Requirements

CAS Core Requirements* Credits
Total 42–46
Program Requirements Credits
MAR 105/105L – Introduction to Ecology/Evolution of Marine Organisms with Lab Credits Included in Core Requirements
MAR 106/106L – Introduction to Cellular/Molecular of Marine Organisms with Lab 4
MAR 150/150L – Discovering the Ocean Environment with Lab or MAR 270/270L – Oceanography with Lab 4
MAR 250/250L – Marine Biology with Lab or MAR 350/350L – Marine Ecology with Lab 4
MAR 316 – Science in Society 3
MAF 200 – Introduction to Marine Pollution 3
MAF 210 – Introduction to U.S. Ocean Governance 3
MAF 310 – Ocean and Coastal Law 3
MAF 320 – Internship 3–12
MAF 400 – Marine Affairs Capstone 3
Total Program Required Credits 30–139
Program Required Cognate Courses Credits
CHE 110/110L – General Chemistry I with Lab or CHE 130/130L – Principles of Chemistry with Lab 4
PSC 125 – Understanding Law or PSC 210 – Constitutional Law 3
MAT 150 – Statistics for Life Sciences or MAT 170 – Applications of Functions Credits Included in Core Requirements
GIS 161 – Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems 3
BUEC 390 – Environmental Economics or BUEC 395 – Ecological Economics 3
Total Program Required Cognate Credits 13
Choose One (1) Communication and Outreach Courses Credits
SPC 100 – Effective Public Speaking 3
CMM 210 – Understanding Media 3
CMM 240 – Social Media: Theory and Practice 3
CMM 305 – Public Relations in the Digital Age 3
ENV 321 – Environmental Communications 3
EDU 202 – Curriculum Theory and Design 3
WRT 233 – Professional and Technical Writing 3
WRT 317 – Proposal and Grant Writing 3
Total Communication and Outreach Credits 3
Choose One (1) Organization Management Courses Credits
BUMG 301 – Organizational Behavior 3
BUMG 303 – Management of Non-profit Organizations 3
BUMG 311 – Business and Society Relations 3
BUMK 200 – Marketing 3
BUMK 310 – Advertising 3
ORM 335 – Outdoor Recreation Planning and Policy 3
SOC 226 – Environmental Sociology 3
Total Organization Management Credits 3
Open Electives as Needed to Reach 120 Credits Variable
Minimum Required Total Credits 120

*Must take MAR 105/105L as Lab Science Course and MAT 150 or MAT 170 as Math Course

Graduation Requirements

A 2.00 cumulative average in sciences is a requirement for graduation in any of the programs in the School of Marine and Environmental Programs.

Program Completion Timeline

Students have a maximum of seven (7) years to complete the graduation requirements

Students in this major can participate in the pre-health graduate school preparation tracks.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate a strong content-knowledge foundation in their specific field of study (Marine Biology, Oceanography, Marine Entrepreneurship, or Marine Affairs).
  • Students will communicate effectively in both oral and written format to convey their scientific knowledge, interdisciplinary training, and findings to peers, professional audiences, decision-makers, and/or the public.
  • Students will demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving skills in their specific field of study by designing, carrying out, and interpreting the results of their experiments, by evaluating the literature published by professionals, by making recommendations to policy makers and/or by creating and innovating in their field.


Minor Requirements

Required Courses Credits
MAR 105/105L – Ecology/Evolution of Marine Organisms or BIO 105/105L – Bio I: Ecology/Evolution 4
BIO 106/106L – Biology II: Cellular/Molecular or MAR 106/106L – Cellular/Molecular of Marine Organisms) or BIO 104 – General Biology or any 4-credit Lab Science Course (can't double count with other requirements) 4
Total Required Credits 8
Choose Four (4) from the list below 12
BUEC 390 – Environmental Economics 3
MAF 200 – Introduction to Marine Pollution 3
MAF 210 – Introduction to U.S. Ocean Governance 3
MAR 316 – Science and Society 3
MAF 310 – Ocean and Coastal Law 3
MAF 300 – Climate Change, Oceans, and the Law 3
ENV 321 – Environmental Communications 3
BUMG 303 – Management of Non-profit Organizations 3
Total Elective Credits 12
Minimum Total Minor Required Credits 20

UMaine School of Law 3+3 Pathways Program

UNE Marine Affairs-UMaine 3+3 Law Pathway Program Information

The University of New England’s Marine Affairs–UMaine 3+3 Law program is for students who wish to complete a B.A. and a J.D. degree in six years rather than the typical seven, by substituting the courses taken during the first year of law school for the final year of the Marine Affairs degree.  This joint program allows the enrolled student to:

  • eliminate one academic year of undergraduate education,
  • save one year’s worth of UNE tuition, and
  • enter their chosen professional field a year early.
Undergraduate Program Requirements

In order to be eligible for graduation from UNE under this joint program, a student must:

  • Meet with the Marine Affairs academic advisor during the student’s second year and continue to meet with this advisor every semester of the program.
  • Submit the application form for the Marine Affairs-UMaine 3+3 Law Pathways Program by June 1 of the student’s second year.  (The application form is available from the Marine Affairs academic advisor.  Acceptance into the program requires a 3.5 GPA in the Marine Affairs major and a letter of support from a faculty member.)
  • Successfully complete all required courses of the Marine Affairs B.A. degree at the University of New England (except for general elective requirements) by the end of the junior year (a sample pathway through the Marine Affairs major is available from the Marine Affairs academic advisor).
  • Maintain an undergraduate GPA of 3.5.
  • Be accepted into and attend the University of Maine School of Law directly after their junior year.
  • Earn a grade of C- or better in all courses of the 1L curriculum (please refer to Maine Law website to find the 1L curriculum).
  • Transfer the curses back to the University of New England.
  • Successfully complete steps above to gain automatic exemption from the University of New England’s Residency Requirements.

Acceptance into the Marine Affairs-UMaine 3+3 Law Pathways Program does not guarantee acceptance into the University of Maine school of Law.

Honors Program

We offer qualified students the option of graduating with Honors. This includes significant research, scholarship or creative activity under the direction of a faculty member. Interested students should consult with their major advisor.

Transfer Credit

Courses previously completed at another accredited college can be transferred to this degree program. Transferred courses must be reasonably close in scope and content to the marine sciences courses offered at UNE in order to count as exact equivalents. Otherwise, they will transfer as general electives. All Science/Math courses previously completed must be no older than five (5) years.

Other options and restrictions apply. See Undergraduate Admissions for more information.


See Undergraduate Admissions for more information.

Financial Information

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2023–2024 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of the date of publication April 28, 2023.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.