Colleges with Marine Biology Majors and Degree Programs

While studying marine biology, students can expect to examine the organisms that live in oceanic, coastal or deep-sea waters. Marine ecology is also covered in many programs, as the relationship of sea life to the environment is an important part of the field. Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees are available in many colleges that offer marine science programs.

Students who would like to study marine biology or marine science can find many specialties to choose from, such as oceanography or biogeography. Explore the undergraduate and graduate degree program options, as well as some schools that offer these programs.

Schools with Marine Biology and Marine Science programs

Students wishing to study marine biology may wish to consider the following 4-year institutions:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Harvard University Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private Bachelor's $45,278
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $46,320
University of California--Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $13,431 (In-state), $38,139 (Out-of-state)
Princeton University Princeton, NJ 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $43,450
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's $49,116
Duke University Durham, NC 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $49,241
San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $6,476 (In-state), $17,636 (Out-of-state)

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

College Selection Criteria

Other considerations for a potential student of marine biology:

  • Students may look for schools that are linked to surrounding oceanographic facilities, including aquariums, research vessels and marine laboratories.
  • Research opportunities vary by school but may include diverse topics in marine biology and related areas, such as marine botany and ecology.
  • Students who have a particular interest in a geographic area or type of marine organism can review the majors or concentration areas offered to find the best match.

Bachelor's Programs

A Bachelor of Science program in marine biology will include coursework in areas like biology, chemistry, ecology and zoology. Programs may also include research projects and field experiences. Additionally, students must complete their general education requirements.

Master's Programs

Master's programs typically require a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as biology. Students will perform fieldwork and investigate marine biology phenomena, often in a particular area that interests them. Many programs require the completion of a master's thesis, while others give students the option to complete a capstone project instead.

Doctoral Programs

Some Ph.D. programs in marine biology may require a master's degree, but some will admit students with just a bachelor's. These programs focus on research and preparing graduates for careers in academia, research and government policy. Ph.D. students teach undergraduate courses and complete a doctoral dissertation as a capstone requirement.

Marine biology degree programs are available at 4-year public and private institutions at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Students can look at a program's oceanographic facilities and/or research opportunities when trying to make a decision about which school to attend.

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