Marine biology is an important field of study. It may not be as popular as other academic disciplines but it serves a vital role so it should be able to educate students who can adeptly handle all the roles expected of marine biologists. Hence, it is important to choose marine biology colleges or schools that provide quality instruction and the right amount of actual experiences to enable better understanding of marine biology. The following colleges described below are some of the best American education has to offer. They can be considered as the leaders amongst the dozens of colleges for marine biology in the US.
10. College of Charleston
College of Charleston is a public sea-grant and space-grant university based in Charleston, South Carolina. Being a beneficiary of the National Sea Grant College Program should imply significant advantages in the college’s marine biology programs. The college offers master’s degree programs in marine biology that are characterized as comprehensive or all-encompassing. The programs offered cover various topics including marine genomics, cell biology, the biology of populations, ecological studies, physiology, and toxicology. Students who want to pursue the master’s program are required to complete at least 30 hours of field work and to have passing marks in the comprehensive exam and thesis presentation and defense requirements.
9. Texas A&M University
Texas A&M is one of the biggest public research universities in the United States that is also designated as a land, sea, and space grant institution. For it to be considered as one of the best providers of marine biology education is something not surprising. The university’s marine biology programs are centered on five primary areas: marine mammals, fisheries, aquatic health, wetlands and biodiversity. Students can expect productive training under Texas A&M particularly in the management and preservation of ecosystems. Most of those who complete their marine biology education at Texas A&M work with environmental consulting firms, government agencies, and biomedical institutions.
8. University of Washington
University of Washington has a School of Marine and Environmental Affairs under its College of the Environment. Students are provided the options to take a major in such areas as aquatic and fishery sciences and oceanography. There are also opportunities for research in coastal and ocean management, ecological and scientific studies, regional assessments and environmental quality, living resources management, and marine ecosystems and management. All University of Washington coursework in marine biology include hands-on learning opportunities.
7. Boston University
Boston University offers marine biology education through the Boston University Marine Program or BUMP. The BUMP was established in 1969 with particular emphasis on marine biology. However, in 2008, the Boston University Marine Program was converted into an interdisciplinary program focusing more on the interrelationships between physical oceanography, marine geology, marine biology, and biological chemistry. The BUMP offers Marine Science BA and minor programs that provide opportunities for hands-on and research-oriented studies.
6. Duke University
Duke University is a Durham, North Carolina based private research university considered as one of the most reputable institutions of higher learning in the United States. It is also known as a quality provider of marine biology education. The university has marine labs dedicated to the study of marine systems. These advanced facilities support the Master’s Program in Coastal Environment Management as well as the PhD Program in Marine Science and Conservation of Duke University. Those who want to pursue marine biology education in Duke University can expect state of the art facilities and expert instruction. It is worth noting that the university’s marine laboratory facilities also help enable the development of better approaches for conserving marine resources.
5. University of California – Berkeley
University of California – Berkeley provides a Marine Science program through the Department of Earth and Planetary Science and the Department of Integrative Biology. The interdisciplinary Marine Science program covers the physical, chemical, biological, and geological aspects of marine ecosystems. Some of the study and research topics students can look forward to include the role of the ocean in climate change, the history of oceanographic and climatic events, coastal erosion, and coastal pollution. Students who complete the Marine Science program can gain the credentials to qualify for technical positions in consulting firms or in government agencies.
4. University of California – Santa Barbara
University of California – Santa Barbara is located on cliffs facing the Pacific Ocean. As such, the university enjoys strengths when it comes to marine biology education and research. The university has dozens of faculty research groups involved in marine studies. It also has a Marine Science Institute that operates research centers involved in studies on coastal ecosystems, marine biotechnology, and ecological analysis and synthesis. Students interested in pursuing marine biology studies in UCSB are bound to experience research opportunities in the fields of aquatic biology, limnology, ecology, and organismal biology.
3. University of Miami
University of Miami is a renowned private nonsectarian academic institution that also has strengths in the marine sciences through its oceanographic research facility on Virginia Key. The university operates the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, a college and research institute dubbed as the lone subtropical applied and basic marine and atmospheric research facility in the continental United States. The Rosenstiel School has several academic divisions namely, Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry, Applied Marine Physics, Marine Affairs and Policy, Meteorology and Physical Oceanography, and Marine Biology and Fisheries. Students can benefit from the campus location as it offers abundant opportunities to access various marine environments.
2. Cornell University
Cornell University is a leading Ivy League research university consistently ranked among top performing academic institutions worldwide. However, many may not be aware of the university’s excellence in the field of marine biology. In conjunction with the University of New Hampshire, Cornell University runs the Shoals Marine Laboratory, a seasonal marine education facility in Appledore Island, Maine. It provides undergraduate and marine research programs. It also offers various summer credit courses for undergraduate and high school students. Programs at the Shoals Marine Laboratory typically include daily laboratory and classroom sessions along with extensive fieldwork.
1. Harvard University
Harvard University is perhaps the most popular Ivy League university. This Cambridge, Massachusetts based urban campus easily comes to mind in discussions on top colleges and universities. However, its outstanding marine science programs are not as popularly known. Students who want to study marine biology in a top academic institution should be delighted to know that Harvard also offers various courses in marine biology. Some of these courses are the Biology of Symbiosis, Biological Oceanography, Physiological and Biochemical Adaptations, Patterns and Processes in Fish Diversity, and Nature and Regulation of Marine Ecosystems.