Program Overview

About Our Program

Palomar College’s Oceanography Program provides courses in oceanography along with laboratory experience. Together, they introduce the interdisciplinary nature of marine science.  The program is part of the Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences Department (ESES). Selected sections of Oceanography 100 Lecture are taught in an online format. Field trips in the Oceanography 100 Lab focus on understanding oceanographic aspects of coastal San Diego County. Students may also examine special topics (OCN195) or complete internships at neighboring research institutions for credit through Directed Study (OCN295). Our program also has a long-held tradition of hosting speakers invited from the professional community of oceanographers to discuss topics of special interest.


Courses are taught by one full-time faculty and a talented group of adjunct instructors, coming from a variety of backgrounds in industry, research, non-profit, and higher education teaching experiences.

Transfer opportunities

Coursework in oceanography is transferable to any 4-year college or university. Course offerings in oceanography provide an excellent lower division background toward degrees in geology, biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, environmental science, and oceanography. Undergraduate studies in marine science or general oceanography are possible at a few select schools; however, most career positions in oceanography require graduate degrees.

Current Textbooks

As we strive to move towards Zero- and Low-Textbook Cost (ZTC/LTC) courses, Open Educational Resources (OER) are utilized to supplement material discussed in Oceanography Lecture and Laboratory courses. Specific OER textbook/manual information can be found within course syllabi. Past textbooks used can be found within Palomar College’s official Course of Records (COR).