Kate Sundquist 5 min read Applying to College, College Lists

The List of All U.S. Colleges With a Marine Biology Major

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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.

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List of All U.S. Colleges Offering a Marine Biology Major

 

Alabama State University | ASU

Alaska Pacific University | APU

Auburn University

Ball State University | BSU

Boston University | BU

Bowdoin College

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

Carroll University

Coastal Carolina University | Coastal

College of Charleston

Eckerd College

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

Juniata College

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

Northeastern University

Northwestern Michigan College | NMC

Oberlin College

Ohio University

Oregon Institute of Technology | Oregon Tech

Pace University

Peninsula College

Prescott College

Purdue University

Rider University

Roger Williams University | RWU

Rollins College

Rutgers University–New Brunswick | Rutgers

Sacred Heart University | SHU

Saint Francis University | SFU

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine

Salem State University

Samford University

San Jose State University | SJSU

Savannah State University

Seattle 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

Stockton University

The State University of New York at Stony Brook | SUNY Stony Brook

Troy University (Alabama)

Unity College

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

Virginia Tech

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.

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Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.