About this Program

The physical oceanography concentration in the Ocean & Earth Sciences B.S. degree is designed for students considering employment or graduate work in the field of physical oceanography. Physical oceanography is the study of physical conditions and physical processes in the ocean, especially the transport and physical properties of ocean waters (particularly heat and salt).

Program Highlights

  • The program provides student with the necessary training for employment with a B.S. in a wide range of federal, state, local and private venues

  • The program provides students with the necessary background for graduate work in oceanography, marine science, applied math and environmental science

  • Small class sizes at the upper division level means student work closely with faculty in their discipline as a part of their undergraduate experience

  • The program is unique in the state of Virginia

Degree Level
Degree Earned
Bachelor of Science
Physical Oceanography
Delivery Modes


Check out these ideas from ODU Career Development Services and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). A median salary is a midpoint of what people typically earn—half of those surveyed earned above the median salary, and half earned below.

Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers

$105,830 Median Salary

Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the Earth. May use geological, physics, and mathematics knowledge in exploration for oil, gas, minerals, or underground water; or in waste disposal, land reclamation, or other environmental problems. May study the Earth's internal composition, atmospheres, oceans, and its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces. Includes mineralogists, crystallographers, paleontologists, stratigraphers, geodesists, and seismologists.

Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary

$93,010 Median Salary

Teach courses in biological sciences. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other

$51,160 Median Salary

All life, physical, and social science technicians not listed separately.

Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary

$98,560 Median Salary

Teach courses in the physical sciences, except chemistry and physics. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching, and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Alumni Careers

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U.S. Navy
Environmental Protection Agency
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
U.S. National Science Foundation
NGO's such as The Nature Conservancy


What are the requirements to apply for Physical Oceanography at ODU?
Students entering the Bachelor of Science program in Physical Oceanography should meet the minimum university admission requirements Undergraduate Admission.

Students must first declare the Ocean and Earth science major, physical oceanography concentration, with the chief departmental advisor (CDA).  Entering students should be prepared to take MATH 211 (Calculus I), although students with math deficiencies can take remedial math classes as needed (e.g., MATH 102M, 103M, 162M, 163 or 166, as needed; note that all of these courses will not necessarily be required before taking MATH 211; please consult the catalog or CDA for details).


At ODU, we understand that as a transfer student you have unique needs that require a wide array of campus resources. The Center for Advising Administration and Academic Partnerships aims to create a transfer inclusive culture that supports the successful...


Estimated rates for the 2023-24 academic year. Rates are subject to change. Anyone that is not a current Virginia resident will be charged non-resident rates. That includes international students.

Active Duty Military Rate
Cost Per-Credit $250
Virginia Resident
Cost Per-Credit $393
Technology Delivered Courses Outside Virginia and/or the United States
Cost Per-Credit $407
Cost Per-Credit $1,073

Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending ODU. For more information visit University Student Financial aid


Assistant Professor; Chief Departmental Advisor

NORFOLK, 23529