Students who are interested in studying marine biology at the master's degree level in California have a number of different programs to choose from. In order to help students gain familiarity with these programs, this article will cover details about five different universities that offer marine biology or very similar programs below, as well as admission information.
Marine Biology Master's Degree Programs in California
University of California San Diego
The Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego offers a Master of Science in Marine Biology. Within this degree program, students can choose to either pursue marine biology or marine chemical biology. In these programs, students complete the same core curriculum and then a number of more specialized elective courses. This program can be completed in either one year, which would culminate in a comprehensive exam, or over two years, during which students would conduct independent research and write a thesis.
University of San Diego
The University of San Diego offers a Master of Science in Environmental and Ocean Sciences, which prepares students for careers in marine biology. The school is located only minutes away from the ocean, making it easy for students to have access to the rich aquatic life of Southern California. In addition to preparing students for a variety of different careers, this program also is strongly research-oriented and adequately prepares students for the study at the Ph.D. level. When conducting research, students at USD also benefit from the many partnerships the school has with organizations like the Ocean Discovery Institute, the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, and the Southwest Fisheries Science Center.
San Francisco State University
San Francisco State University offers a Master of Science in Biology program in which students can select a concentration in marine biology. Students who enroll in this program will have access to the 30,000-square-foot Paul F. Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies on San Francisco Bay, where they are able to conduct laboratory research. In this program, students will take a combination of classroom-based courses, seminars, and research courses, and they will also conduct independent research. The program can prepare students for careers as marine biologists and researchers, as well as further study at the doctoral level.
California State University Long Beach
California State University Long Beach offers a Master of Science in Biology that allows students to focus on marine biology. Students who are interested in marine biology will work very closely with faculty members to conduct research. In addition to conducting both laboratory and field research, students can also take relevant coursework in marine biology. This program prepares students for teaching jobs at community colleges as well as research positions, in addition to further study at the Ph.D. level.
California State University Monterey Bay
At California State University Monterey Bay, students can earn a Master of Science in Marine Science. Students who enroll in this program can live on campus while conducting the majority of their research at the Moss Landing Marine Labs, which are located on the shoreline of Monterey Bay. This program focuses on making sure that students gain a strong foundation in quantitative abilities, oceanography, and marine ecology. The program offers a wide number of elective courses in marine biology, covering topics like the biology of seaweed, coastal dynamics, and marine invertebrates.
Marine Biology Master's Degree Program Admission Requirements
In general, master's degree programs in marine biology require that students have obtained a degree in a relevant undergraduate field like biology, earth science, or one of the natural sciences, though some programs may accept students with other science and math-related degrees. It is also common for programs to set a minimum GPA requirement, often a 3.0. When preparing an application, students will need to submit an application form, personal statement, transcripts, resume, and GRE score results. In addition, schools may request that students submit an idea for what kind of research interests them in order to find an appropriate mentor, though this may not always be required.
In summary, students can select from a number of marine biology master's programs in California. These programs provide students with opportunities to take advanced marine biology coursework, conduct research, and prepare for careers or further study in marine biology.