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A remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV)

Ocean Engineering

The degree provides an important link between other oceanographic disciplines such as marine biology, chemical and physical oceanography, and marine geology and geophysics by allowing scientists to make oceanic measurements not previously achievable.

What Does an Ocean Engineer Do?

Ocean engineers design and build instruments that must stand up to the relentless wear and tear of repeated deployments in the harsh ocean environment. The innovations of ocean engineers have allowed oceanographers to travel farther offshore and deeper into the sea.

Engineering solutions are needed to minimize the impact of storms and other natural hazards on coastal infrastructure and to promote the sustainability of natural resources.

Does working outdoors, using coastal and open ocean as your laboratory to create new sampling technologies, sound compelling?

Potential Career Paths:

  • Coastal Engineering
  • Naval Architecture
  • Coastal Hazard Remediation
  • Unmanned Submersible Vehicles
  • Instrumentation Design


Students first complete the required initial sequences in chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science.

After that, you will begin working with more advanced ocean engineering courses with regular access to world-class research vessels and laboratory facilities; professional training in the methods of ocean engineering; and conducting directed research as part of a student-centered senior thesis.

Degree Options

There is one Bachelor of Science (BS) degree available with this major. While the degree is available at our Gulf Park campus, you may complete your first two years on the Hattiesburg campus.

More about this Major

Southern Miss offers the only ocean engineering degree in the state of Mississippi and one of only 10 programs in the nation!

Courses You Might Take

OE 321: Coastal Engineering & Nearshore Processes

Studying coastal morphology, dune erosion and tidal inlets, coastal and river-bank protection, and breakwater design.

OE 417: Engineering Ethics & Safety Culture

A writing-intensive course designed to introduce students to engineering culture of ethical conduct as a professional and safety principles.

MAR 431: Operating Instrumentation in Marine Environment

Introduction of principal instruments, devices and systems used to measure pressure, temperature, conductivity and speed of sound in the ocean.

OE 493/494: Ocean Engineering Projects & Design

Engineering projects with a focus on final design and fabrication principles needed to solve complex problems. Project testing in an ocean environment will occur.

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Visit our beautiful Hattiesburg or Gulf Park campuses. Seeing for yourself is a great way to get to know us better.

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Be aware of our deadlines, $40 application fee and other items on our checklist. Admission requirements vary for freshmen, transfers, prospective Honors College students and others.

Southern Miss undergraduate degrees are available online, at the Hattiesburg campus, at the Gulf Park campus, and/or through a hybrid delivery that includes both online and on-campus courses.