How to Choose a College with a Marine Science Program

Dec 11, 2019

Marine science education programs may lead to bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees at a number of traditional colleges and universities, as well as specialized maritime academies and institutes. Opportunities in marine science are varied, so prospective students may want to choose a school based on their areas of interest.

Schools with Marine Science Programs

The following public and private schools offer marine science programs:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2018-2019, In-state)*
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $51,832 (Undergraduate) $54,976 (Graduate)
Duke University Durham, NC 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Doctorate $55,695 (Undergraduate) $54,712 (Graduate)
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Doctorate $51,354 (Undergraduate) $51,354 (Graduate)
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's (minor), Master's $55,188 (Undergraduate) $29,584 (Graduate)
Princeton University Princeton, NJ 4-year, Private Doctorate $51,250 (Graduate)
University of California--Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $14,184 (Undergraduate)

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

College Selection Criteria

Some other considerations for a potential student of marine science programs include:

  • Consider programs that offer specializations that match your interests. Several specializations are available, including marine biology, maritime engineering, oceanography and marine chemistry.
  • Students can also consider related programs in fields like marine education, ecotourism or aquatic veterinary medicine to match their career goals.
  • A school may have specific connections with organizations such as the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, state and local park services, or departments of natural resources that can offer hands-on learning experiences.
  • Consider schools located near the ocean or other large bodies of water, since they generally have more opportunities for hands-on learning and internships to prepare for a career.

Bachelor of Science in Marine Science

Bachelor's degree programs in marine science typically have a general education foundation, as well as many lab sciences and advanced mathematics courses. Common core courses include chemistry, biology, zoology, botany and microbiology.

Master of Science in Marine Science

Master's degree programs usually include seminars in marine science specialties, directed research and case study projects in specialty areas. Generally, programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree or significant coursework in a biological field. Master's degree programs typically include significant field and lab work.

Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Science

Like master's programs, doctoral programs include seminars in marine science specialty areas. They direct the student into new and original research and require the completion of a dissertation in the student's area of specialty. Prospective students are expected to have already completed a significant amount of study in marine science before admission and are usually required to have experience in lab and field research methods.

Students interested in marine science can pursue undergraduate and/or graduate degree programs from several public and private schools. When selecting a program, students should consider the location of the school and the specializations that are offered.

Next: View Schools
Created with Sketch. Link to this page

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?