After more than 80 years of development, OUC has already developed into a national comprehensive university with strength in Marine Science and Fisheries, which also offers complete courses in Science, Engineering, Agronomy (Fisheries). Medicine (Pharmaceutics ), Liberal Arts, Management, Law and Economics. In February 2001, the State Ministry of Education, Shandong Provincial government,the State Oceanic Administration and Qingdao Municipal Government reached the agreement to jointly build Ocean University of China into a high-level university, especially world-renowned for its disciplines in Marine Science.
During the 10th "Five Year Plan", OUC was ranked first among the marine-related institutions in terms of number of projects undertaken including the national Project 973 and Project 863 with funds granted by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. OUC has been awarded one national second prize in natural science, two second prizes for science progress, one top prize for science and technology in Shandong Province and 54 first or second prizes at provincial and ministerial levels. There are approximately 2864 articles published in the three largest information retrieval systems as SCI, EI and ISTP. From 2001 to 2004, OUC was granted 93 patents, including 54 patents for invention. The National Research Center for Marine Science of Qingdao has been approved and now is well under construction. In addition, OUC has been ratified to set up an innovation base for studies of philosophy and social science in marine development under Project 985, which is an important force in the research of national marine development strategy.
The 21st century is an ocean-focused century. The development goal of Ocean University of China is to build a high-level university with strength in oceanography and fisheries so as to lay an initial foundation for a research-oriented university in 2010. By 2025 OUC will be further developed into a top-level comprehensive research university with strong emphasis in marine sciences.