Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography

B.S. Coastal Engineering

Coastal Engineering

UNCW Coastal Engineering logo

UNCW is an internationally recognized leader in coastal and marine science education and research, and the first university in the U.S. to offer a Bachelor of Science degree focused on coastal engineering.

The Coastal Engineering program teaches students to address issues affecting coastal communities around the world through the application of geological and physical oceanography, coastal management curriculum, applied physics, and civil and ocean engineering fundamentals. The program leverages the university's expertise in earth and ocean sciences, physical oceanography and environmental science, as well as the regional and geographic distinctiveness of coastal North Carolina.

The program focuses on foundational courses and specialized coursework in coastal engineering and marine sciences. Students have the opportunity to experience extensive field research in the area's waterways and coastal habitats under the direction of faculty scholars and access to state-of-the-art facilities, including the UNCW Center for Marine Science (CMS).

Students can take foundational engineering classes at UNCW or via distance education from NC State University as part of the 2+2 Engineering Transfer Program.

 Core coursework includes:

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Statics - Dynamics
  • Materials science
  • Data analysis
  • Coastal processes
  • Geospatial analysis
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Wave mechanics

Coastal Engineering curriculum example (.pdf)

As of fall 2019, current UNCW students in good academic standing with 24+ hours may declare Coastal Engineering as their major through Seaport, but they must change their catalog year to 2019-2020 through the Registrar.
IMPORTANT: Due to the timing of course offerings and the ongoing development of the new program, there is no guarantee that a student can graduate with the Coastal Engineering degree before Spring 2023. Please consider your graduation timeline carefully before declaring.


For more information contact:
Dr. Dylan McNamara, Chair
Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography

Kathryn Stewart, Administrative Specialist
Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography

Nanci Boldizar, Engineering Academic Advisor