Marine Biology School in Florida with Degree Program Summaries

Oct 14, 2019

There are several different marine biology colleges in Florida, with many offering both undergraduate and graduate programs in the field. Here we highlight some of the marine biology programs in Florida and what makes them unique.

Marine Biology Colleges in Florida

There are many marine biology schools for students to choose from, but very few are available in online formats. This is also the case for the state of Florida, which offers at least 8 different schools with programs in marine biology. These schools include private and public institutions and are typically 4-year schools. While there may be additional schools in the state that offer degree programs in marine science or dual biology and marine science programs, in the table below, you can explore some of the schools in Florida that offer undergraduate and/or graduate degree programs specifically in marine biology.

School Name School Type Location in Florida
Ave Maria University 4-year, Private not-for-profit Ave Maria
Eckerd College 4-year, Private not-for-profit Saint Petersburg
Florida International University 4-year, Public Miami
Florida Southern College 4-year, Private not-for-profit Lakeland
Nova Southeastern University 4-year, Private not-for-profit Fort Lauderdale
Rollins College 4-year, Private not-for-profit Winter Park
The University of West Florida 4-year, Public Pensacola
University of Miami 4-year, Private not-for-profit Coral Gables

Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Marine Biology Programs in Florida

Marine biology degree programs are different than other fields of biology, like wildlife biology degree programs or other fields of marine science, like marine conservation programs. Marine biology combines the study of marine organisms with the study of oceanography and how this affects the interactions of these organisms with their environment. Below we explore a few of the marine biology programs in Florida in more detail.

Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Marine Biology and a Master of Science (MS) in Marine Science with a concentration in marine biology. The BS program gives students the option to study abroad and further specialize in various areas through electives. Students in the bachelor's program may take coursework in topics like:

  • Zoology
  • Genetics
  • Food web dynamics
  • Coral reefs
  • Fish biology

The master's degree program allows for some online learning, but also includes field and laboratory work for hands-on experience. Students in the program can choose a capstone or thesis track.

The University of West Florida

The University of West Florida has a BS in Marine Biology and an MS in Biology with an available concentration in marine biology. Students in the BS program have access to a wide range of resources for the field, such as boats for sampling and computing equipment, and are also close to diverse marine habitats for exploration. Bachelor's students may take courses in:

  • Marine microbiology
  • Marine ecology
  • Animal behavior
  • Fish physiology
  • Cell biology

The MS program offers a thesis and non-thesis track. Students in either track can tailor the degree to their specific interests in the field.

University of Miami

The University of Miami offers a BS, MS, Master of Professional Science (MPS), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the unique combined subjects of marine biology and ecology. Students in the BS in Marine Biology and Ecology program have the option to add a second major or minor and may take courses in subjects such as:

  • Marine mammal disease
  • Tropical marine biology
  • Field techniques
  • Computing for biologists
  • Oceanic productivity

Both the MS and MPS degree programs require 30 credit hours, but the MS program requires 6 credits of research, while the MPS requires 6 credits of internship experience. The PhD program totals 60 credits and includes 12 credits of research. Students in these graduate programs can choose from research areas in:

  • Biological oceanography
  • Fisheries science
  • Marine organismal and biomedical science
  • Coral reef and coastal ecology
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