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Bachelor Degrees T - Z

Marine Biology Degree Facts

Smart biologist
May 25th, 2014

A Marine Biology Degree qualifies you to study creatures living underwater. This is usually a 4-year program, with subjects in ecology, geology, physics, organic chemistry, and cell and molecular biology. The coursework that’s directly related to marine biology includes marine phycology, physiology, invertebrate zoology, conservation biology, marine ichthyology, and biological diversity.
You will learn about marine animals, their environments, and the effect of pollution. There will be a lot of field study involved, as you may have to do some research on islands, sand dunes, and wetlands. There will be field experiments and lab work as well.
To get into a Marine Biology program in college, you’ll need a college prep track in high school with a lot of science subjects. You will also need a high grade point average.
What Can You Do with a Marine Biology Degree?
Many types of institutions require the services of a marine biologist. Government agencies may need you, and schools may also hire you to help in research. You can also work with laboratories, environmental groups, and aquariums. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a 7% increase in the demand for marine biologists is expected in the coming years. A large part of this increase will be because of the greater need to monitor how climate change is affecting ocean life. In 2012, marine biologists earned an average of $62,500 a year.
With a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology, you can get entry level jobs at marine-related institutions. The work you can get will include:

  • Research assistant. For example, you may help develop fish farming methods which are more efficient and also environmentally sustainable. You can also help a pharmaceutical company develop new medications based on the disease-resistant compounds discovered in marine species.
  • Aquarium employee. As an aquarist, you can go out into the seas and oceans to collect specimens for aquariums and zoos. You may also be in charge of feeding the marine specimens, applying treatments for diseases, and making sure that the water tanks are properly cleaned and maintained. You can also work in aquariums as an exhibit coordinator, which combine all the work of the others to create feature products for aquariums and museums.
  • Education specialist. As a marine biologist, you can also teach visitors about the marine specimens featured by an institution. You can also be a writer by producing press releases, news articles, and materials that will be used for exhibits.

After gaining an entry-level job, you may find that advancement will generally require more advanced degrees.
What are the Best Schools to Get a Marine Biology Degree?
All of the schools on this list offer good Marine Biology programs, although the top 3 are especially excellent.

  1. Duke University
  2. Boston University
  3. University of Maine
  4. Oregon State University
  5. Eckerd College
  6. University of New England
  7. University of Hawaii – Hilo
  8. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
  9. University of Tampa
  10. University of New Hampshire

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