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).

The Marine Science 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: current deadline for scholarships is December 1, 2017, and the deadline for internships is December 31, 2017.

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

The Divers Alert Network offers an internship program aimed at certified divers currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs in education. The DAN Diver Safety Education Internship is a fully funded, 8-12-week placement in Durham, North Carolina, that gives the recipient the opportunity to work side-by-side with key DAN training department staff while gaining valuable professional – and industry – knowledge and experience. The current deadline for applications is December 31, 2017, and the selected recipient will be notified by the end of February 2018. To register to apply for the internship, go to