Marine Science Technician Certificate Program

Rapid growth of the field of marine environmental management in Southern California brings demand for marine science technicians having the practical seamanship skills of navigation, vessel operation, marine systems and equipment maintenance as well as scientific expertise. Flexibility in study areas of concentration allows for tailoring coursework to specific employment opportunities.

Classroom work in oceanographic disciplines is combined with seagoing laboratory experience aboard marine research vessels, both sail and power. The program is designed to develop a solid educational foundation so that graduates will be prepared to work closely with scientists, researchers, engineers, marine survey and operations personnel as they endeavor to manage this enormous resource for the good of mankind.

Training will include classroom and laboratory work at the Saddleback College campus and at sea. When at sea, students will work aboard oceanographic research vessels, both sail and power. Field study experiences will be done throughout Southern California where government and private operations will be viewed firsthand.

About the Program

 The Marine Science Technician Certificate  
 Program answers the demand for Marine Science  Technician's having the practical seamanship skills of navigation, vessel operation, marine systems and equipment, as well as, scientific expertise. As you progress in the program you'll learn how to sail and navigate, perform sea water test, and biological investigations at sea, and focus on marine ecology and sea going ocean science. Then you'll be ready to go to sea as a technician aboard oceanographic vessels or work in a laboratory ashore, with a good understanding of conditions based at sea.


 Click here to view a video to learn more about the Marine Science Technician Program at Saddleback College.

 Click here to view a video to learn more about Marine Science Technicians in the US Coast Guard.





Curriculum changes as industry standards transform. Please refer to the Saddleback College Catalog website.


Course ID Title Units
ENV 18  Intro to Ecology 4
BIO 19*  Marine Biology 4
MS 4  Southern California Coastal Ecology 4
MS 20  Introduction to Oceanography  4
                   Select from Restricted Electives 15
      Total Required Units 23

Restricted Electives:

Course ID Title Units
MST 201  Marlinspike Seamanship 2
MST 202  Marine Weather 3
MST 210 Coastal Navigation 3
MST 211  Celestial Navigation 3
MST 212  Sailing, Seamanship, and Boating Safety 3
MST 214A*  Intermediate Ocean Sailing 3
MST 214B* Advanced Cruising Under Sail 3
MST 215*  Vessel Command and Organization 3
MST 218* Electronic Aids to Navigation 3
MST 219*  Marine Ecological Survey/GIS 3

*Course has a prerequisite, co-requisite, limitation, or recommended preparation; see course description in catalog.

   Associate Degree

Associate in Science Degree

Completion of the certificate program and a minimum of 60 units including the general education requirements with an overall GPA of 2.0 qualifies the student for the Associate in Science degree. A minimum of 12 units must be completed at Saddleback College.

General Education Requirements for Associate Degrees

Refer to the Graduation Requirements or to the CSU-GE and IGETC patterns in the catalog for specific courses which meet general education requirements. Refer to and to the transfer institution's catalog for transfer requirements.

Suggested coursework not required for the major: CHEM 1A, 106; CIM 1; DR 100; PHYS 2A.