Best Marine Biology Colleges In USA (2023 List)

Last Updated on September 12, 2022

Marine Biology Colleges In USA

Are you more often in water than on land while at home? Or you love aquatic life and you desire to become a marine biologist to study life in oceans and seas, ranging from microscopic algae and plankton to whales, sharks, and blue whales in one of the best marine biology colleges in the USA, relax for you are in the right place.

In this article, we will help you in discovering the top marine colleges in the USA and help you dive into an exciting career.

Before we consider the list of marine colleges let’s briefly consider what marine biology is and the skill required in becoming a marine biologist.

What Is Marine Biology?

Marine biology deals with the scientific study of marine organisms, their behavior and their interaction with their natural habitat.  It can also be seen as the study of marine habitat animals, their behavior, and their interactions with the environment they inhabit.

To understand marine animals and marine life in general, marine biologists are required to study biological oceanography and related sciences of chemical, physical and geological oceanography.

Specializations in marine biology can be based on a particular species, group, behavior, technique, or ecosystem, whereby researchers apply techniques to many environments that range from coastal marshes to the deep sea and various organisms like fishes, plants, and viruses.

Skills Required In Marine Biology Field?  

The following are the basic skills that are required in marine biology fields:

  • Investigation skills in the field and in the lab.
  • Data collection and recording.
  • Analyzing data.
  • Advanced computer and software skills are required for report writing.
  • Understanding of the law and policy.
  • Observation.

Why Do We Study Marine Biology?

Marine biology is studied for different reasons which include the following: Below are some of the eminent reasons why people study marine biology

  • Human Health
  • The condition of the atmosphere
  • Pollution is a serious problem (toxicology, dumping, runoff, impact of recreation, blooms)
  • Carbon dioxide reduction
  • Sustainability and biodiversity
  • species on the verge of extinction
  • Effects on the global food supply
  • Product Design And Research
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Software in Healthcare
  • Renewable technologies.

Now that you’ve gained an insight into what marine biology is, the skill required in the field of marine biology, and why we study marine biology, in no particular order let’s now dive into the list of the best colleges.

Best Marine Biology Colleges In USA

1. University of Miami

University of Miami is one of the best marine biology colleges in US. With its department of marine biology and ecology located just a few miles from the beaches of southern Florida. University of Miami provides students with the classroom education and fingertip training they require in becoming experts in the most pressing issues facing the world’s oceans today.

2. Boston University

Boston University is also one of the top Marine Biology Colleges in the country. It’s a private research university in the country that provides a fascinating curriculum and explicit opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in conducting significant research in subjects of marine biology.

3. University of California

The University of California being one of the oldest universities in the North America provides students with a research-based education that’s close to the ocean. The institution is well equipped with some of the latest equipment and the best groundbreaking technology available in North America.

 It offers marine biology major, and introduces students to strong life science core curriculum, plus research projects that get them out of the classroom and allow them contact with the sea animals they’re studying. It also has a relatively small undergraduate population which enables incoming freshmen to have a personalized attention from their professors.

4. Sanford University

Sanford University is also one of the best Marine Biology Colleges in the US, which allows students to benefits from the mentorship of lab experts and also the opportunity to undergo up-close marine field research while in the lab: an exceptional experience which helps students when it’s time to apply for graduate school or practicing the profession.

5. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

In SUNY, the school’s aquatic program has won international acclaim for equipping students to work in the field of aquatic science. The school has also attracted many students with the academic desire in aquatic and marine biology because; it is regarded as the nation’s premier institution for studying environmental science and natural resource management.

6. Harvard University

This university is a huge name when it comes to education.  It has a marine biology system faculty through which marine research is conducted. The institution offers a program called integrative Biology. It’s an extremely flexible institution that allows students pick courses in many fields related to biology including marine biology and biological oceanography.

7. University of West Florida

The University of West Florida is also one of the best marine biology colleges in the US. It offers a marine biology degree program at the undergraduate level and also, it has a robust marine scientific program.

8. Nova Southeastern University

This marine college typically offers a dual program in marine science which enables students in getting a bachelor’s degree in marine science and a quasi master’s degree in marine science in six years. It also, offers a marine biology program that aims at providing students with thorough scientific instructions in preparation for further study in ocean science and marine biology.

9. James Cook University marine biology

James Cook University provides students access to a unique tropical learning environment with research stations and state of the art laboratories. It offers programs that educate students on how to preserve and manage marine resources. It allows students to learn investigate alternative and innovative ways to establish and maintain sustainable fishing and aquaculture industries.

10. Florida Southern College

Florida Southern College is also one of the best Marine biology colleges in US. It offers marine biology programs at undergraduate and graduate levels. It also has a curriculum that allows students learn about the diversity of species that are found the oceans of the world.

11. Oregon State University

Oregon State University is among the top college for marine biology, with a great program and highly qualified professors. It offers the most competitive programs in North America, where you need to step up you’re a game if you want to be accepted or pass classes. It offers a unique marine biology courses and also many opportunities for undergraduate research that attracts students from all over the world. The university has many notable alumni, the likes of Eva Godfrey the first female to receive a PhD in Marine biology.

12. The University of North Carolina

The University of North Carolina is also one of the best marine biology colleges in the US. It has a curriculum that includes field work with local coastal communities, and offers a Bachelor degree in Marine Biology and Environmental Science. It offers a marine science minor, which you can then complete with a M.S. in marine sciences.

It also has a strong graduate program too, with PhD’s available in marine sciences. If you are looking for an institution that practices what it preaches, the University of North Carolina is to be considered as it has field research at heart. The school carries out research on oceanography, marine biology, geochemistry, and other related fields.

13. University of Connecticut

If you are looking for one of the excellent schools with an outstanding facilities and professors consider the University of Connecticut. It is also ranked as one of the best marine biology colleges in the US. The university has one of the best oceanography research facilities in North America, plus it has produced many notable marine biologists in the world.

University of Connecticut has an oceanography program that ranks among the top ten if not the number one the country. The marine biology faculty is located in on the campus, on the shores of Long Island Sound. It’s a small campus, yet comes with many advantages.

It has a smaller class size that allows more resources to be devoted to each student and also makes it easier to get personal assistance from a professor.


Finding the right marine biology college that offers students the opportunity to study the behavior, physiology, and ecology of specific species of creatures and their relationship with the aquatic environment can be quite hard, if not a hard task. Unlike other fields, marine biology has specific requirement and top-notch equipments that are more important than raw knowledge for student to be successful in it. To get started on a good foundation, you can pick from the best marine biology colleges we listed above.

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