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Schools Offering the Best Marine Biology Graduate Programs

Higher Education Articles April 28, 2015

Get information about the schools that offer the best graduate programs in marine biology and what makes these schools the best.

Schools Offering Marine Biology Graduate Programs

Few schools, if any, offer graduate degrees in marine science focused solely on marine biology, which is the study of ocean plants and animals and their relationships. Schools offering the major are on major water bodies (for instance, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi and the College of Charleston). Students enrolled in these schools enjoy direct access to marine plant and animal life.

While one school offers a master’s degree program in the field, both master’s and doctoral degree programs are offered at another. In this article, we take a look at some of the best marine biology graduate programs in the United States:

College of Charleston – Charleston, SC

The U.S. News and World Report accorded tenth rank to the College of Charleston in its 2010 review of universities in the South. The master’s degree program in marine biology is available through the school; graduates of the program may pursue continuing education by enrolling into a Ph.D. program at another school. Alternatively, they may choose to join the workforce as professional marine biologists.

No area of specialization is available in the marine biology degree program, which instead stresses marine genomics, toxicology, population biology, ecology, and cell biology and physiology in its coursework.

At least thirty hours of coursework will be completed by marine biology students before they graduate from the program. They will receive a degree after they pass a comprehensive exam and complete, present, and defend a thesis. They can avail fellowships and teaching assistant positions during their tenure at the College of Charleston.

Texas A&M University (Corpus Christi) – Corpus Christi, TX

Marine biology students get direct access to estuaries, bays, and the Gulf of Mexico at Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, which is on an island owned by it. Corpus Christi offers a marine biology program that is part of an interdisciplinary program wherein marine biology students can benefit from the locations and campuses of not only this school, but also those of Texas A&M University at Galveston and Texas A&M’s main campus at College Station, which boasts the 61st rank on U.S. News and World Report’s 2010 review.

Only three schools offer both a doctoral and master’s doctoral degree in marine biology, and Texas A&M – Corpus Christi is one of them. The programs offered include a Ph.D. and a Master of Science (M.S.) with or without a thesis. Students enrolled in a doctoral or master’s programs are required to complete at least nine credit hours a semester.

Colleges and Universities offering Marine Biology Programs

Name of School Distinction Campus Location
Nova Southeastern University Graduate programs in oceanography are offered as blended courses, online, and evenings and some programs all-online Fort Lauderdale, FL
University of Oregon The Oregon Institute of Marine Biology offer Marine Biology studies Eugene, OR
University of North Carolina – Wilmington This school offer shellfish research hatchery and opened in 2010 Wilmington, NC
College of Charleston There is a $22,000 fellowship in marine genomics available to students enrolled in graduate programs Charleston, SC
University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth This school has a 50ft oceanographic research vessel that can be accessed by students in graduate programs North Dartmouth, MA
Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi Located fifteen minutes away is the Padre Island National Seashore Corpus Christi, TX
Texas A&M University – Galveston This school has a new sea life research facility Galveston, TX

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