Top Marine Biology Schools



Did you know that oceans cover two-thirds of our Earth’s total surface area and contain at least 99.5% of the entire planet’s livable habitat? As a marine biology major, you can explore how life thrives within the ocean ecosystem by studying the fascinating subjects of the ocean’s marine mammals, fish, plant life, and microscopic organisms.

In order to get on the right track towards success at one of the nation’s top marine biology colleges, it is recommended that you take helpful prerequisite high school courses in biology, environmental science, and chemistry.

Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Biology

Whether leading to a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science, a marine biology degree at the baccalaureate level will provide students with a foundational knowledge base in all of the contemporary biological sciences, ranging from molecular biology to biochemistry. Along with hands-on training through field experiments and research projects dealing with marine habitats, undergraduate students can expect to take courses in:

  • Biological Diversity
  • Marine Ichthyology
  • Marine Mammology
  • Pollution and Marine Environments
  • Oceanography
  • Marine Phycology
  • Ecological Conservation Biology

Though individuals typically need to go beyond this four-year degree to perform research, bachelor’s degree programs will prepare students for obtaining several entry-level positions. Possible career options for graduates could include:

  • Biological Technician
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Fishery Biology
  • Biological Scientist
  • Animal Caretaker
  • Wildlife Technician
Master’s Degree in Marine Biology

Unlike undergraduate programs, pursuing a master’s degree in marine biology will provide a more in-depth knowledge base in the various subspecialties of the field, including oceanography, ecology, physiology, population genetics, and more. For entrance to the 2-3 year program, applicants typically need to have a bachelor’s degree related to biology. Regardless of whether students choose a thesis or non-thesis option, the curriculum will entail:

  • Deep Sea Biology
  • Ecological Genetics
  • Marine Microbial Ecology
  • Aquatic Ecosystems
  • Invertebrate Biology
  • Marine Conservation Policy

Once students have graduated from one of the colleges for marine biology with a master’s degree, they will have stronger credentials for conducting research in this highly competitive field with more scientists than positions available. Graduates may wish to become a(n):

  • Aquaculturist
  • Marine Biology Scientist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Wildlife Preserve Manager
  • Marine Plant Ecologist
  • Biological Science Teacher
  • Marine/Naval Engineer
Ph.D. in Marine Biology

At the best marine biology schools of the United States, there is a Ph.D. in Marine Biology available to prepare qualified graduates for pursuing advanced research in numerous branches of the field, such as morphology, ecology, oceanography, stream ecology, limnology, and parasitology. Most programs enable applicants to enroll in a doctoral program without earning a master’s degree first. In addition to extensive research, teaching requirements, and an original dissertation, the curriculum generally includes:

  • Molecular Biology
  • Marine Environments
  • Oceanography
  • Biodiversity
  • Marine Populations
  • Population Genetics
  • Physiology

After completing all of the doctoral degree requirements within five to six years after a bachelor’s degree program, graduates have the highest qualifications needed to pursue a marine biology career in academia, research, industry, or government. Some of the most popular career options are:

  • Marine Biologist
  • Aquatic Scientist/Researcher
  • Biological/Chemical Oceanographer
  • Fisheries Biologist
  • University Professor
  • Wildlife Manager

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Top Marine / Aquatic Biology Schools Based On Enrollment

Rank

1

Total 38162 Enrollment

The University of Texas at Austin

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

2

Total 27938 Enrollment

Rutgers University - New Brunswick/piscataway

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

3

Total 25153 Enrollment

California State University - Long Beach

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

4

Total 25011 Enrollment

University of California - Los Angeles

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

5

Total 24638 Enrollment

University of Maryland - College Park

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

6

Total 24213 Enrollment

University of Georgia

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

7

Total 19412 Enrollment

Texas State University - San Marcos

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

8

Total 18326 Enrollment

Auburn University Main Campus

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

9

Total 16496 Enrollment

University of California - San Diego

Institute Type

4-year public

Rank

10

Total 15318 Enrollment

The University of Alabama

Institute Type

4-year public

View All Schools Offering Marine Biology Programs

Title City State Type Enrollment Total
The University of Texas at Austin Austin TX 4-year public 49996
University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 4-year public 36890
Rutgers University - New Brunswick/piscataway New Brunswick NJ 4-year public 35236
University of Maryland - College Park College Park MD 4-year public 33189
University of Georgia Athens GA 4-year public 31288
California State University - Long Beach Long Beach CA 4-year public 30918
University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia SC 4-year public 23728
Texas State University - San Marcos San Marcos TX 4-year public 22423
Auburn University Main Campus Auburn University AL 4-year public 21860
University of California - San Diego La Jolla CA 4-year public 20197
Stony Brook University Stony Brook NY 4-year public 19924
University of Connecticut Storrs CT 4-year public 19393
The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa AL 4-year public 19277
Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale FL 4-year private, not-for-profit 18587
University of Rhode Island Kingston RI 4-year public 14362
University of Miami Coral Gables FL 4-year private, not-for-profit 13963
Troy University Troy AL 4-year public 12541
Western Washington University Bellingham WA 4-year public 12307
University of California - Santa Cruz Santa Cruz CA 4-year public 12144
College of Charleston Charleston SC 4-year public 11129
University of Maryland - Baltimore County Baltimore MD 4-year public 10759
University of North Carolina - Wilmington Wilmington NC 4-year public 10100
Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus Teaneck NJ 4-year private, not-for-profit 9382
Brigham Young University - Idaho Rexburg ID 2-year private, not-for-profit 8949
The University of West Florida Pensacola FL 4-year public 8479
Brown University Providence RI 4-year private, not-for-profit 7723
Hawaii Pacific University Honolulu HI 4-year private, not-for-profit 7553
College of William and Mary Williamsburg VA 4-year public 7530
University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks AK 4-year public 7132
University of San Diego San Diego CA 4-year private, not-for-profit 6943
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Pomona NJ 4-year public 6312
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania East Stroudsburg PA 4-year public 5811
Hampton University Hampton VA 4-year private, not-for-profit 5743
University of Maryland - Baltimore Baltimore MD 4-year public 5337
Drake University Des Moines IA 4-year private, not-for-profit 5126
Coastal Carolina University Conway SC 4-year public 4653
Samford University Birmingham AL 4-year private, not-for-profit 4379
Florida Institute of Technology - Melbourne Melbourne FL 4-year private, not-for-profit 4248
Bemidji State University Bemidji MN 4-year public 4118
Roger Williams University Bristol RI 4-year private, not-for-profit 3750
University of Maryland - Eastern Shore Princess Anne MD 4-year public 3297
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Mansfield PA 4-year public 3113
University of Hawaii at Hilo Hilo HI 4-year public 2874
University of New England Biddeford ME 4-year private, not-for-profit 2684
Southampton College of Long Island University Southampton NY 4-year private, not-for-profit 2595
Palm Beach Atlantic University - West Palm Beach West Palm Beach FL 4-year private, not-for-profit 2295
Savannah State University Savannah GA 4-year public 2166
Saint Francis University Loretto PA 4-year private, not-for-profit 2129
Jacksonville University Jacksonville FL 4-year private, not-for-profit 2049
University of West Alabama Livingston AL 4-year public 1924
Eckerd College Saint Petersburg FL 4-year private, not-for-profit 1572
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania Cheyney PA 4-year public 1496
Spring Hill College Mobile AL 4-year private, not-for-profit 1484
Texas A & M University at Galveston Galveston TX 4-year public 1363
Suny Maritime College Bronx NY 4-year public 776
Saint Pauls College Lawrenceville VA 4-year private, not-for-profit 518