Marine Mammal Training Programs and Schools: How to Choose

Associate's and bachelor's programs in biology, marine biology and aquarium science are offered at many colleges and universities. Because marine mammal training is a competitive job market, students interested in this line of work likely will need a degree plus internship experience.

How to Choose a Marine Mammal Training School or Program

Aspiring marine mammal trainers might pursue a degree in marine biology or aquarium science. Marine biology programs involve the study of aquatic organisms, while aquarium science programs teach students how to maintain populations housed in aquariums. Additionally, some schools offer biology majors with concentrations in aquarium science or marine biology. All of these programs typically provide opportunities for field research and hands-on learning with marine mammals.

Students interested in marine mammal training programs and schools may want to keep these considerations in mind when selecting their program:

  • School-sponsored internships at aquariums and marine mammal parks can provide real-world experience for students.
  • Programs with on-campus facilities relevant to marine science help students gain experience working with marine mammals in a confined environment, some programs have expedition vessels as well.

Marine Mammal Training Degree Program Overviews

Associate's Programs in Biology and Aquarium Science

In general, these programs require a sequence in biology, plus foundation courses in other sciences. Some schools give students the option of earning an advanced certificate after graduation by completing a cooperative internship. Course examples include:

  • Physics
  • Organic chemistry
  • Humanities
  • General biology

Bachelor's Programs in Marine Biology and Aquarium Science

Students in aquarium science typically complete business and finance courses, while those in marine biology curricula might take classes in chemistry and physics, with advanced elective topics in animal nutrition and behavior. Bachelor's degree programs include numerous biology courses, in areas such as:

  • Aquaculture
  • Cultured organisms
  • Microbiology

10 Schools with Marine Mammal Training Programs

College/University Institution Type
Moorpark College 2-year, Public
Florida Keys Community College 2-year, Public
Davidson County Community College 2-year, Public
Oregon Coast Community College 2-year, Public
Texas A&M University at Galveston 4-year, Public
University of West Florida 4-year, Public
Florida Atlantic University 4-year, Public
University of Alaska Southeast 4-year, Public
University of Hawaii at Manoa 4-year, Public
University of New England 4-year, Private

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