Ocean Engineering Major (B.S.)

This is an archived copy of the 2017-2018 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalog.unh.edu.


Ocean engineering is a field of study that seeks to solve engineering problems associated with the ocean, including those problems associated with the sustainable utilization of ocean resources and the scientific exploration and study of the ocean environment. Ocean engineering is an interdisciplinary field with roots in mechanical, electrical, civil, and environmental engineering, with strong ties to physical, chemical, biological, and geological oceanography. Students of ocean engineering are best served when they are formally trained inside a framework that fuses the expertise of these often-disparate fields.

The BSOE curriculum provides students with a solid engineering core and prepares students for professional engineering careers or for graduate study. The BSOE starts with foundational classes in math, physics, chemistry, and engineering computing, along with introductions to ocean engineering through seminars and oceanography coursework. Students develop their engineering acumen through coursework and laboratory studies that are focused on analysis, experimentation, and design. Students proceed to increasingly advanced coursework in ocean instrumentation, waves and tides, the design of ocean structures, coastal engineering, ocean measurements, and ocean acoustics. Opportunities exist for at least four technical electives, which help students gain further competence in an area of their choice. Students finish their curriculum with a two-semester senior capstone design project. Elective courses in the arts, humanities, and the social sciences are included to provide a well-rounded education.

Students work with an adviser to plan a program that is based on the courses shown in the ocean engineering course outline below that totals not less than 128 credits. The outline is considered a guideline and may be modified to suit student needs and desires within the constraints of meeting minimum credit hours, course pre-requisites, and non-major elective course requirements. Some ocean engineering elective courses may not be offered every year.

The ocean engineering program curriculum requires four technical electives that are CEPS 600-level or higher courses that have been approved by the OE undergraduate curriculum committee. Sequences have been identified that will provide students more in-depth opportunities in one of the ocean engineering sub-areas.

Students must satisfy the University's Discovery Program requirements. The following features are unique to students in the Ocean Engineering program:

As is the case across the University, all students are required to take an Inquiry course or an Inquiry Attribute course during their first two years. This is satisfied with ESCI 501 Introduction to Oceanography. The Discovery Environment, Technology, and Society category requirement is met upon receiving a B.S. degree in ocean engineering. The Discovery Social Science category must be satisfied with either ECON 402 Principles of Economics (Micro) or EREC 411 Environmental and Resource Economics Perspectives. The Discovery senior capstone experience is satisfied with TECH 797 Undergraduate Ocean Research Project.

In order to graduate with an ocean engineering B.S. degree, students must have at least a 2.0 grade-point average in all engineering and science courses, including required technical electives, normally taken as department requirements after the start of the junior year as defined in the degree plan below.

Predictor courses: To enter the sophomore year, students must achieve a greater than (but not equal to) 2.00 GPA in PHYS 407 General Physics I and MATH 426 Calculus II with no grade below a C. To enter the junior year, students must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.00 in ME 525 Statics, ME 526 Mechanics of Materials, and ME 503 Thermodynamics with only one C- grade allowed and no grades below C-. Students are allowed two repeats of these courses to achieve the predictor rule requirements. This can be a single class repeated twice or two classes repeated once. Students are removed from the program if they obtain a semester GPA <1.5 three times. Students may petition to be reinstated after one year out of the program.

Transfer Policy for UNH Students into the Department of Mechanical Engineering:

CEPS Students: To transfer into the freshman or sophomore year, students must earn a combined GPA greater than (but not equal to) 2.00 in PHYS 407 General Physics I and MATH 426 Calculus II with no grade below a C in these two courses.

If students are enrolled in ME 525 Statics (or CEE 500 Statics for Civil Engineers), ME 526 Mechanics of Materials (or CEE 501 Strength of Materials), or ME 503 Thermodynamics, they must earn a combined GPA of 2.00 with no grade below a C- in two of these courses to transfer in and advance to the junior year. Note: a combined GPA greater than (but not equal to) 2.00 in PHYS 407 General Physics I and MATH 426 Calculus II with no grade below a C is also required.

Non-CEPS Students: To transfer into the Department of Mechanical Engineering from another college at UNH, students have to satisfy the CEPS college transfer policy as well as the Department of Mechanical Engineering transfer policies listed above according to status.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
CHEM 405
Chemical Principles for Engineers 1
or General Chemistry I and General Chemistry II
MATH 425 Calculus I 2 4
ME 477 Introduction to Solid Modeling 1
OE 400 Ocean Engineering Seminar 1
Discovery Program Elective 4
Discovery Program Elective 4
ENGL 401 First-Year Writing 3 4
MATH 426 Calculus II 4
OE 401 Ocean Engineering Seminar 1
PHYS 407 General Physics I 1 4
Second Year
ESCI 501 Introduction to Oceanography (satsifies the Discovery Inquiry requirement) 4 4
IAM 550 Introduction to Engineering Computing 4
MATH 528
Multidimensional Calculus 5
or Linearity I
ME 525 Statics 3
PHYS 408 General Physics II 4
MATH 527
Differential Equations with Linear Algebra 5
or Linearity II
ME 503 Thermodynamics 3
ME 526 Mechanics of Materials 3
OE 690 Introduction to Ocean Engineering 4
Third Year
ECE 537 Introduction to Electrical Engineering 4
ME 608 Fluid Dynamics 3
ME 627 Dynamics 3
OE 754 Ocean Waves and Tides 4
Discovery Program Elective 4
OE 610 Ocean Instrumentation Lab 4
OE 758 Design of Ocean Structures 3
OE 765 Underwater Acoustics 3
Discovery Program Elective 4
Fourth Year
OE 710 Ocean Measurements Lab 4
OE 757 Coastal Engineering and Processes 3
TECH 797 Undergraduate Ocean Research Project 2
Discovery Program Elective 4
Technical Elective 3-4
TECH 797 Undergraduate Ocean Research Project 2
Discovery Program Elective 4
Technical Elective 6 4
Technical Elective 3-4
Technical Elective 3-4
 Total Credits128-131

PHYS 407 General Physics I or CHEM 405 Chemical Principles for Engineers satisfies the Discovery Physical Science (with lab) category.


MATH 425 Calculus I satisfies the Discovery Foundation Quantitative Reasoning category.


ENGL 401 First-Year Writing satisfies the Discovery Foundation Writing Skills category.


ESCI 501 Introduction to Oceanography satisfies the Discovery Inquiry requirement.


MATH 525 Linearity I and MATH 526 Linearity II may be substituted for MATH 527 Differential Equations with Linear Algebra and MATH 528 Multidimensional Calculus, and a technical elective course. 


At least one of the four required technical electives must be 4 credits