Student Opportunities

Undergraduate Courses 

EARTH 240 Coral Reef Systems introduces students to coral reef environments, past and present. It describes the processes that control the distribution, growth, and morphology of reefs and introduces students to the complexity of the coral reef ecosystem.

EM SC 440 Science Diving introduces students to advanced scuba diving skills following the standards established by the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS).

EM SC 441 Advanced Science Diving introduces students to additional diving safety practices, underwater communication skills, and various approaches to accomplishing underwater scientific research. 

The Marine Sciences Minor

The Marine Sciences Minor provides an excellent opportunity for undergraduates to pursue their interests in the study of the oceans and make more informed decisions about future graduate studies in marine sciences. Students can either complete the requirements for the minor at University Park (UP) or participate in an intensive semester-long oceanography experience at the Southampton, UK, Oceanography Centre (SOC) through education abroad. Read more about the minor in the University Bulletin.

Oceanography at Penn State

If you think that Penn State University, because of its geographical location, is an unlikely place to find world-class research and study-abroad opportunities in oceanography, prepare to be surprised. In fact, Penn State supports an exciting range of educational and research activities in the study of the ocean and its life, chemistry, physics, geology, and interaction with other parts of the Earth. Learn more here:

Scholarships and Internships

Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society provides firsthand experiences in underwater-related disciplines to young people considering careers in the underwater world. Learn more here:  

The AAUS awards The Kevin Gurr Scholarship and The Kathy Johnston Scholarship to graduate students engaged in, or planning to begin, a research project in which diving is or will be used as a principal research tool or studying diving science. Also, the Our World-Underwater Scholarship has collaborated with the American Academy of Underwater Sciences to create a new scientific diving internship. This internship will provide undergraduates with the experience and opportunities necessary for a future in science, diving for research, or scientific diving-related fields. Learn more at

AAUS Kevin Flanagan Travel Award - The AAUS Foundation grants the Kevin Flanagan Travel Award annually providing up to $800 for undergraduate/graduate students to attend an AAUS scientific meeting. The application for this year’s travel award opens 01 November and closes 15 January. For more information and application instructions, visit under the scholarships tab or send questions to the Scholarship Committee Chair at