Marine biology is an exciting science that delves into the depths of the ocean to learn more about this mysterious watery world. Marine biology students study more than just the individual organisms that inhabit the oceans. A large part of a marine biology program involves a study on the habitats and ecological environments in which these creatures live and thrive. Learning about the relationships between marine organisms and their habitat is an integral part of the program.

Marine Biology graduates pursue careers in a variety of fields, from aquaculture, fisheries and marine technology to environmental conservation and regulation.

If you are planning on majoring in marine biology, you may want to start by checking out these colleges. The exact programs differ from one university to the next, with some offering a degree in Marine Biology at the undergraduate level, and others offering a Bachelor’s in Marine Sciences with a focus in Marine Biology.

University Of West Florida

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University of West Florida offers a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology.

As far as locations go, you’d be hard put to find a better university to study marine sciences. The 450 acres of marshes and wetlands located both, on the university campus and the neighboring Santa Rosa Island campus serve as natural laboratories for students of the program with diverse ecosystems and an abundance of live specimens of marine flora and fauna.

Students have access to a fleet of boats for sampling, state of the art research facilities, an extensive array of collection gear and advanced laboratory, field instruments and computing equipment. Being located in Florida, students also have plenty of opportunities to gain hands-on experience and participate in fields studies throughout the state.

Stony Brook University

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Stony Brook University offers a BS in Marine Sciences with a focus in Marine Biology. The program is structured to give students a solid background in the basic biology, chemistry, and physics of the ocean, after which they progress to courses such as Oceanography, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Molecular and Cell Biology. After completion of these required courses, students can choose Marine Biology, which is one of the electives offered.

Students of the Marine Biology program at Stony Brook University get plenty of opportunities for experiential learning, research and internships. They also have an exciting choice of undergrad majors including marine vertebrate biology, oceanic sciences and environmental studies.

Cheyney University Of Pennsylvania

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Cheyney University of Pennsylvania offers a Bachelor’s in Marine Biology.

Students of this program study a wide range of basic and advanced subjects from cellular, molecular, and biochemical studies of specific habitats, ecosystems, and species to physical, chemical and geological oceanography, invertebrate biology, ichthyology, principles of oceanography, and marine paleoecology.

The course is structured to prepare students for diverse careers related to marine life. Students who graduate from the Marine Biology program Cheyney University of Pennsylvania are qualified to work as fishery biologists, ichthyologist, and marine mammologists among other specialist fields.

University Of Maine At Machias

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University of Maine At Machias offers a Bachelor’s in Marine Biology.

Its location at the headwaters of the Machias River estuary on the Down East coast of Maine makes the UMM ideal for courses related to marine biology, mariculture, and ecology. The campus is located mere minutes away from salt marshes, mudflats, sand beaches, and rocky shores giving students easy access to aquaculture sites, marine habitats and organisms, and hatcheries.

Students get plenty of hands-on learning opportunities, whether they are studying microscopic marine flora or large marine animals. Students interested in research have access to a Geographic Information Systems lab where they can master mapping skills and gain expertise in tracking biological phenomena. Students interested in conducting research on finfish and shellfish have access to the advanced research facilities at the Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research and Education.

California State University—Monterey Bay

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California State University—Monterey Bay offers a BS in Marine Science with a marine biology concentration.

Students enrolled in this program have an exciting array of courses and electives to choose from, with core courses in The Oceans and Atmosphere, Marine Sciences in the Community, and Seafloor Mapping. Electives include Aquatic Ecology, Marine Fish Ecology, and Environmental Modeling.

The course is structured to equip students with the expertise and skills necessary to monitory and analyze marine problems. This is done through extensive lab and field experiences in acquiring, analyzing and presenting marine data. Students also get to visit other Monterey Bay institutions where they learn about marine and coastal ecology from local experts.

Florida International University

Flickr user Eduardo Merille

Florida International University offers an interdisciplinary Bachelor’s in Marine Biology. If you like the idea of planning your own course selections, this is the program for you.

The curriculum consists of a combination of general science and marine biology classes taught by several different departments including the departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, and Earth and Environment, among others. Students attend biology, chemistry and physics classes as well as Physical Oceanography, Cell Biology, Marine Ecology, and other classes related to marine biology. Marine biology electives include subjects such as Marine Geology, Fisheries Science, and Coastal Marine Conservation.

University Of North Alabama

Flickr user Phillip Hendon

University of North Alabama offers a Bachelor’s in Marine Biology where students study specific courses such as Microbiology, Marine Behavioral Ecology, Marine Botany, and Evolution. The standard courses for the major are offered on the university campus, with specialty courses being taken through the nearby Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) located near Mobile, Alabama.

Interested in any of these schools? Use College Raptor’s match tool to see if they’re a good fit for you!