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How to Select a Marine Biology Program

Majors Overview February 4, 2013

Professionals who involve themselves in the study of saltwater life are known as marine biologists. A doctoral or master degree is a mandatory requirement for most positions in this field. Students who are pursuing graduate study in marine biology will need a firm grasp of chemistry, math, and biology.

Programs in Marine Biology

Students who want to enroll into a graduate level program in marine biology should consider the area of marine biology they want to focus on in their career. Possible concentration areas include phycology, marine ecology, marine mammals, ichthyology, oceanography, the coast, intertidal zones, and the open ocean. The student should choose the same area of interest as the one in which they want to specialize their future career.

Students may want to focus on research being conducted at different institutions. This is extremely beneficial for Ph.D. students who will work directly under researchers and conducting original research. Students who have an interest in an institution’s research topics will have the opportunity to participate in research, in their specialized area that will make employment search much easier once they have graduated.

Students who are interested in a teaching position after graduation should consider attending a program, which includes teaching experience. Students who have teaching experience will enhance their employment opportunities to become a college professor.

Students in marine biology need to observe marine biology life in its natural environment at every degree level. Students can either enroll in a school located near the ocean where completion of their fieldwork would become easier, or choose to travel to the coast during the summer months to complete fieldwork or coursework.

Overview of Marine Biology Program

Marine Biology Master Degree Program

Students completing a master degree usually focus on a concentrated area and perform research. In many cases, coursework can be tailored and students seek assistance from an adviser in determining the courses most relevant to their interests and career objectives. It takes two years to complete the degree program, which usually requires the completion of a thesis. Applicants enrolling into the program are required to submit their graduation scores and hold an undergraduate degree that includes coursework relating to life sciences.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Marine Biology

A Doctor of Philosophy in marine biology program prepares students for a career in teaching and research. Students will complete advanced coursework during the first two years. In subsequent years, students conduct and develop original research relevant to their dissertation topic. It takes four to six years to complete the entire program. Doctoral program in marine biology will help a student prepare for a career in teaching and research. Advanced coursework is completed by students during the first two years. In later years, students perform original research relevant to their subject of dissertation. It takes four to six years to complete the entire program. Students who enter into a Doctor of Philosophy program with a bachelor degree and adjust their course subject requirements base on their needs.

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