The List of All U.S. Colleges With a Marine Biology Major
For students passionate about the ocean and the creatures that live in it, marine biology is a fascinating field. Students who study marine biology generally spend some of their time in the classroom and some in the field, doing research on ocean life and ocean life processes. The ability to work outside and on the water is a big draw for many students, and as the ocean habitat changes, there is increased importance in understanding the longterm ramifications.
If you are considering a career in marine biology, you have lots of options for undergrad degree programs. In this post, we’ll outline how to get into the marine biology program of your choice and provide a list of every college in the country offering a marine biology major.
Why Study Marine Biology in College?
Marine biology is an exciting field. In addition to studying the creatures that live in the ocean and their habitats and ecological environments, students also might learn scuba diving, underwater photography, and common field work practices. Students might get the chance to spend a semester at sea, complete summer research projects, or intern at an aquarium or marine science institute.
Marine biology isn’t just a fun pursuit though; it’s also an important one as the world’s oceans are becoming warmer and the habitat they provide is changing. Marine biologists can pursue careers in many different industries. Some marine biologists become researchers, others go into academia, and still more are employed by companies in non-profit or environmental sectors. Some even get jobs for the government or as consultants in industries that may impact or be impacted by the ocean, like transportation.
Jobs in this industry are relatively secure and the compensation is decent. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for wildlife biologists is predicted to be about 8% over the next 10 years, which is aligned with the national average for all occupations. The median pay for a wildlife biologist in 2018 was $63,420.
How to Get Into a Marine Biology Program
Some students assume that because the earning potential isn’t especially high or because the job growth isn’t over the top that marine biology programs won’t be especially selective. While there is a broad range of selectivity from one program to another, in general programs in the STEM fields require a strong foundation. Here are some tips to get you on the right track.
Take High Level STEM Classes
It should go without saying that if you want to pursue a STEM field in college, you should start by taking STEM classes in high school. The more challenging classes you can take, the better off you’ll be. AP Biology and AP Chemistry should be near the top of your to-do list if you’re capable of succeeding at that level. A good score on those AP exams could mean placing out of introductory level classes when you start your degree.
Pursue Extracurriculars that Highlight Your Appreciation for the Environment
Marine biologists spend a lot of time outdoors and a big part of the job can be identifying environmental threats and coming up with solutions to them. Getting involved with the environment now, even if it’s not specifically related to the ocean, is a good way to reinforce your interest and dedication to environmental causes.
Build a Strong Admissions Team
It’s hard to know where to get started when you have an end goal in mind but no road map for getting there. College admissions are no exception, so it’s important to build a supportive and experienced team to help you along the way. You may want to consider a program like the CollegeVine Early Advising Program, which pairs high school ninth and tenth graders with successful students at top-30 schools to provide current high schoolers with advice on everything from selecting classes and extracurriculars to setting and achieving longterm goals.
List of All U.S. Colleges Offering a Marine Biology Major
Alabama State University | ASU
Alaska Pacific University | APU
Ball State University | BSU
Boston University | BU
Brigham Young University–Hawaii | BYU–Hawaii
California State University, Long Beach | Long Beach State
California State University, Monterey Bay | CSUMB
California State University, Northridge | CSUN
Coastal Carolina University | Coastal
College of Charleston
Fairleigh Dickinson University | FDU
Florida Gulf Coast University | FGCU
Florida Institute of Technology | Florida Tech
Florida International University | FIU
Florida Southern College
Gulf Coast State College | GCSC
Hawaii Pacific University | HPU
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania | KU
Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania | LHU
Loyola University New Orleans
Maine Maritime Academy | MMA
Millersville University of Pennsylvania | MU
New Jersey Institute of Technology | NJIT
Nicholls State University
Northwestern Michigan College | NMC
Oregon Institute of Technology | Oregon Tech
Roger Williams University | RWU
Rutgers University–New Brunswick | Rutgers
Sacred Heart University | SHU
Saint Francis University | SFU
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
Salem State University
San Jose State University | SJSU
Savannah State University
Seminole State College of Florida
South Dakota State University
State University of New York at Cobleskill | SUNY Cobleskill
State University of New York Maritime College | SUNY Maritime
The State University of New York at Stony Brook | SUNY Stony Brook
Troy University (Alabama)
University of Alabama
University of Alaska Fairbanks | UAF
University of Alaska Southeast
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff | UAPB
University of California, Berkeley | UC Berkeley
University of California, Los Angeles | UCLA
University of California, San Diego | UCSD
University of California, Santa Cruz | UCSC
University of Central Florida | UCF
University of Delaware
University of Florida
University of Hawaii at Hilo | UH Hilo
University of Hawaii at Manoa | UH Manoa
University of Maryland Eastern Shore | UMES
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth | UMass Dartmouth
University of Mobile
University of New England | UNE
University of New Hampshire | UNH
University of New Haven | UNH
University of North Alabama | UNA
University of North Carolina at Wilmington | UNC Wilmington
University of North Florida | UNF
University of Oregon
University of Rhode Island | URI
University of San Diego | USD
University of South Carolina | USC
University of South Florida | USF
University of South Florida St. Petersburg | USFSP
University of Southern Mississippi | Southern Miss
University of Washington
University of West Alabama | UWA
University of West Florida | UWF
Wisconsin Lutheran College | WLC
Getting into the marine biology program of your choice won’t be easy, but if you take the process one step at a time, it will be much easier to tackle. Start with your college list. Consider things like location, cost, and campus resources. Once you have narrowed down the schools that meet your criteria, look at their admissions statistics. Figure out how your test scores and GPA stack up to those of admitted students. With a college list tailored to you personally, you’re bound to get into a program that is a good fit.
For more help, consider the CollegeVine Applications program, which exists to help you optimize your application and ensure that you’re supported through every step of the way. You can trust us to help you gain the tools you’ll need to attend your dream school.
Want more college admissions tips?
We'll send you information to help you throughout the college admissions process.