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Earn an Online Marine Biology Degree: Program Overviews

Research online marine biology courses and programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

Online degree programs in marine biology are not available since they typically require laboratory work, field work, research and other practical hands-on training. Students who would like to study this field can complete a campus-based program and potentially take a few courses online. General biology bachelor's degree programs can be found in a fully online format. This article discusses marine biology bachelor's degree programs that can be completed on campus. Master's and doctoral degree programs in marine biology can also be completed on campus, although they aren't discussed in this article. Other majors that may have courses in marine biology include biology and marine science.

Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology

Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology or Marine Science programs require a substantial amount of hands-on training, research in a supervised classroom environment and educational field trips. Students gain a broad and comprehensive knowledge of the biological and genetic make-up, evolution and social habits of marine animals and wildlife. Typically, students major in a scientific field such as biology while taking classes toward a specialization in marine biology or marine science.

Program Information and Requirements

A Bachelor of Science in Biology or Marine Biology program usually takes four years to complete. A high school diploma or its equivalent is a prerequisite to beginning undergraduate studies.

Students interested in distance-learning opportunities may be able to start their degree online with some select basic science classes in biology and chemistry, as well as certain general education and elective classes. Those enrolled in such classes need access to a computer and the Internet. Teachers combine traditional texts with audio and video presentations to give the students a well-rounded, comprehensive experience on the web.

Course List

The curriculum of a marine biology bachelor's degree program consists primarily of courses in the sciences such as biology, chemistry, genetics, oceanography and ecology. Many basic science classes can be completed entirely online, including the following:

Biology: Principles of Cells

This course examines the most basic form of life: the cell. Students study the cellular and molecular make-up of living organisms.

Biology, Evolution and Adaptation of Fishes

This course in ichthyology, the study of fish, covers how different species of fish adapt to their surroundings. It also covers behavior patterns, genetic make-up, reproductive systems, morphology and evolution of fish.

Organic Chemistry

This course serves as an introduction to the chemical principles of synthesis and provides students with a broad and detailed knowledge of aliphatic and aromatic chemistry. Also studied are the principles and procedures of nomenclature and the analysis of observable chemical reactions.


Career Information

Although marine biology is a fairly specialized field, new graduates have a wide assortment of career paths from which to choose, such as a lab or research technician, public or private high school teacher, or environmental consultant to name just a few. As the need for new ways to conserve marine life is ever increasing, marine biologists are in high demand. Throughout their careers, marine biological scientists can expect to earn anywhere from $41,740-$112,820 according to a survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015.

Continuing Education Information

While there are many career options for those with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology or Marine Science, many individuals continue their education to obtain a master's or doctoral degree in a related field. Advanced degrees are helpful for those wishing to work as marine biologists, research scientists, mammologists, marine life conservationists and other related occupations. Graduates who hold a Ph.D. usually work at colleges or universities as researchers or professors.

A Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology is not available online, but students may be able to take some online courses within the program to study biology, chemistry and ecology. Graduates may pursue graduate degree programs or find work as marine biological scientists.


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