Oceanography

Advisers: Paul H. Yancey (Biology)

Whitman College is associated with the School of Oceanography of the University of Washington in a program for liberal education in biological or geological oceanography. The plan requires five years of study; the first three years are spent at Whitman College and the last two years at the University of Washington, where the student takes courses in oceanography and biology or geology. Students who transfer to Whitman College as candidates for the combined plan must complete a minimum of two years in residence at Whitman College and complete appropriate modifications of the requirements outlined below. In the combined plan, two degrees are awarded upon successful completion: the degree of Bachelor of Arts by Whitman College and the degree of Bachelor of Science in Oceanography by the University of Washington. The degree from Whitman College will be in biology or geology, depending on the courses taken as specified below.

Students who are recommended by Whitman will enter the admissions process of the University of Washington. In order to secure a recommendation from Whitman, a student must satisfy the following requirements during his or her three years at Whitman:

  1. Earn at least 94 credits and spend three years at Whitman (62 credits and two years for transfer students) with a Whitman grade-point average of at least 3.0.
  2. Complete the First-Year Experience, required of all first-year students attending Whitman.
  3. Complete the General Studies Distribution Requirements at Whitman.
  4. Complete certain mathematics and sciences courses including those listed below, with a cumulative GPA at Whitman in these courses of at least 3.0.

This plan requires careful scheduling. Students must declare one of these majors by the end of their fourth semester in residence at Whitman College (transfer students must declare at the end of their second semester in residence at Whitman College). It is strongly recommended that interested students consult with one of the program advisers starting in their first year, then consult regularly thereafter to ensure that they are making proper progress in the program

Required Math and Science Courses

  1. Biology-Oceanography majors must complete Chemistry 125, 126, 135, 136 (or 140), 245; Mathematics 125, 126, 225, 235; Geology 110 (or 120 or 210); Biology 111, 112, 205, and one course from each of the three upper-level course categories (Molecular/Cell, Organismal, and Ecology/Evolution). Certain courses are preferable (such as Marine Biology); see a program adviser. A year of physics (eight semester credits) also is required, which may be satisfied with Whitman’s Physics 155 or 165, 156 or 166, or the University of Washington’s Physics 121, 122, 123. At the University of Washington in their fourth and fifth years, students must take at least eight semester-equivalent credits of upper-division biology electives, and three semester-equivalent credits of independent research; and they must take the Biology Graduate Record Examination and attain a score sufficient to satisfy Whitman’s requirements.
  2. Geology-Oceanography majors must complete Chemistry 125, 135, 126, 136, or 140; Mathematics 125, 126, 225, 235; Biology 111, 112; Geology 110 (or 120 or 210), 227, 350, 358, 368, and four or more credits in courses numbered above 300. A year of physics (eight semester credits) also is required, which may be satisfied with Whitman’s Physics 155 or 165, 156 or 166, or the University of Washington’s Physics 121, 122, 123. At the University of Washington in their fourth and fifth years, students must take at least 12 semester-equivalent credits of upper-division geology electives; and they must take the geology department written major examination and attain a score sufficient to satisfy Whitman’s requirements.