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Top Marine Biology Colleges


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There are many marine biology programs throughout the United States. Depending on the type of employment one seeks after college, colleges for marine biology offer several degree options for prospective marine biologists.

In order to obtain entry level employment, one must complete at least a bachelor’s degree in marine science, marine biology, or a biology degree with a concentration in marine biology. Obtaining a graduate degree in marine biology is often utilized by students wishing to conduct research in the field.

The following is a list of the top marine biology schools in the United States.


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1. Boston University

Located in Boston, MA, Boston University is one of the best marine biology colleges and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in marine science and marine biology. The school is home to excellent faculty in many sub disciplines of marine biology such as evolution development of marine organisms and marine microbial ecology. The marine biology faculty and students also work to find solutions to some of the most pressing marine biology issues

The university offers an undergraduate degree in Marine Science which prepares students for a career as a marine biologist. At the graduate level, students can continue their education and earn a PhD in marine biology. This degree is geared towards students who wish to pursue a career that is more research driven.


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2. Duke University

Duke University is one of the top marine biology schools in the United States with a biology department dating back to the 1920’s. All students pursuing a marine biology degree in the department have access to research facilities and study abroad opportunities.

The school offers a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in marine biology. Students are required to spend a portion of their studies at Duke University Marine Laboratory gaining actual experience in the field. Students can earn a PhD in either Marine Biology and Marine Conservation Biology and Policy. Both degrees give students the opportunity to conduct research in the field.


3. Eckerd College

Located in St. Petersburg, FL, Eckerd College has an excellent program that prepares students to engage in environmental and scientific problem solving. The location of the college also benefits students as it is located on the coast and students can gain valuable marine science experience being so close to the water.

The college offers a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science which consists of 11 core courses in the subject. Students can specialize in one of four areas of marine science: Marine Biology, Marine Chemistry, Marine Geology and Marine Geophysics.


4. Oregon State University

The Department of Integrative Biology at Oregon State University is committed to providing students with an education that spans different areas of biology including ecology, evolutionary neology, and genomics. There are currently 1200 students in the department.

The university offers a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree with a marine biology option. Completing this course of study requires core courses in biology plus the completion of several marine biology courses and electives and a term spent at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.


5. University of Hawaii Hilo

The location of the University of Hawaii allows students to study in a diverse marine environment. The school combines hands on and classroom instruction and is committed to educating students to appreciate and understand the importance of marine ecosystems.

There are several options for prospective students interested in marine biology. The school has a BA and a BS in Marine Science which requires the completion of marine biology courses, research work, and an internship.


6. University of Maine

Located in Orono, Maine, the School of Marine Science at the University of Maine allows students who enter the undergraduate program the opportunity to study in an interdisciplinary setting. Students can opt to specialize in such areas as Aquaculture, Marine Biology, or Oceanography. Undergraduates can also take part in Semester by the Sea at the Darling Marine Center.

The University of Maine has marine science degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level. The Bachelor of Science in Marine Science provides students with the tools to work in various related careers or to continue on with graduate school. The Master of Science and PhD in Marine Biology educates students in such areas as taxonomy, cellular and molecular biology, and ecology.


7. University of New England

The University of New England is located in Biddeford. Maine and allows marine science students an opportunity to study in a diverse seaside environment. The Biddeford Campus also offers top notch facilities including two flow-through seawater teaching labs and an additional lab for research in aquaculture and marine biology.

The school offers a B.S. in Marine Sciences within the Marine Biology Track. This program allows students the opportunity to study at Biddeford Pool, and students can also take advantage of a Global Education Program and study in exotic locations. At the graduate level, a Master of Science in Marine Sciences is available for students seeking to further their education and conduct advanced research.


8. University of New Hampshire

The University of New Hampshire is a top marine biology school, housing 30 highly experienced marine biology faculty members. The school is also home to numerous marine facilities that provide education and research in the marine science field.

The college offers several degree options for those interested in a marine biology career. At the undergraduate level, there are several Bachelor of Science degree programs for those interested in a marine biology career. MS and PhD programs are available in Oceanography, Ocean Engineering and Marine Biology.


9. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This program is dedicated to research and public service and is made up of the Department of Marine Sciences (MASC) in Chapel Hill and the Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS) in Morehead City.

The university has a Masters and PhD program in Marine Sciences. Most students in the master’s program earn an undergraduate degree in a science or engineering field. Students who hold a master’s degree in Marine Sciences will be admitted into the PhD program. Graduate students have the option of specializing in marine biology/ecology, marine microbiology, marine chemistry, biogeochemistry, marine geology, or physical oceanography.


10. University of Tampa

At the University of Tampa, the Marie Science Biology degree is one of the most prominent the school offers. Therefore, there is an assortment of resources accessible to both faculty and students including four powered research vessels.


There are two degrees available at the University of Tampa in Marine Science. The first is the Bachelor of Science in Marine Science-Biology which is a double major that combines marine biology and general biology. The second major is the Bachelor of Science in Marine Science-Chemistry which is also a double major consisting of marine biology and chemistry.



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