Marine Biology - BS

The Marine Biology Bachelor of Science degree emphasizes high impact, hands-on learning, with courses offering lab-and field-based experiences. Our curriculum spans a broad range of topics, including ichthyology and fish physiology, marine mammalogy, ecology, marine botany and coastal plant ecology, vertebrate and invertebrate zoology, and marine conservation. Our diverse curriculum allows each student to tailor his/her education to realize one’s career goals. With state-of-the-art labs and classrooms, a fleet of vessels, and world-class faculty, our educational and research opportunities prepare graduates to become leaders in their field.

Learn from Experts in the Field

The faculty of the Department of Marine Biology comprises some of the top researchers in their respective fields. This international group of scientists, hailing from 10 different countries around the world, is eager to share their knowledge and foster the passions of our undergraduates. Our faculty recognizes the power of networking, and provides students research and professional opportunities through affiliations with NOAA, FDA, EPA, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Foundation, General Land Office, and numerous others. Whether a student desires to study the smallest microbes and plankton to the largest marine organisms, or ecosystems along the coastline to the deepest reaches of the ocean, the faculty of the Marine Biology Department equips each student with the knowledge needed to succeed.

Career Opportunities

The unique flexibility of courses and the unparalleled access to top quality professors, training, and the sea puts our students in a great position to succeed in any number of career paths, including:

  • Conservation
  • Environmental Consulting
  • Research
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Veterinary and Medical degrees
  • Law Enforcement
  • Environmental Outreach
  • Higher/Secondary Education

Endless Learning Opportunities

The courses offered to Marine Biology undergraduates are tailored to give students a solid foundational knowledge of life in the ocean while allowing students to pursue their specific interests. The diverse array of electives includes such courses as: Biology of Marine Mammals, Tropical Marine Ecology, Marine Toxicology, Animal Behavior, Life in Extreme Environments, and Conservation Biology

Learning Outside the Classroom

Sometimes the greatest lessons are learned away from the classroom. For this reason, the Marine Biology Department offers study abroad and field-based courses in Greece, Alaska, and closer to home at Sea World San Antonio. Additionally, take advantage of our on-campus Sea Life Facility for extensive hands-on opportunities. Undergraduates in our program get more than just a degree, they get experiences of a lifetime!

Double Your Career Options

Marine Biology majors have the option to pursue a U.S. Merchant Marine License Option through the Texas A&M Maritime Academy. Those who complete the program will have not only their Bachelor of Science degree, but will qualify to take the U.S. Coast Guard license examination in order to become a Third Mate for ocean going vessels, a vital asset in a number of career fields.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
BIOL 111 Introductory Biology I 1,2 4
CHEM 119 Fundamentals of Chemistry I 4
MARB 101 Succeeding in Science 2 1
MATH 147 Calculus I for Biological Sciences 3 4
American history 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
BIOL 112 Introductory Biology II 1,2 4
CHEM 120 Fundamentals of Chemistry II 4
ENGL 104 Composition and Rhetoric 3
MATH 148 Calculus II for Biological Sciences 4 4
 Semester Credit Hours15
Second Year
CHEM 227 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHEM 237 Organic Chemistry Laboratory 1
MARB 315 Natural History of Vertebrates 2 4
PHYS 201 College Physics 4
POLS 206 American National Government 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
CHEM 228 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 238 Organic Chemistry Laboratory 1
MARB 303 Biostatistics 2 4
PHYS 202 College Physics 4
POLS 207 State and Local Government 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Third Year
COMM 205 Communication for Technical Professions 3
MARB 301 Genetics 2 4
American history 3
Marine biology elective 2,5 6
 Semester Credit Hours16
MARB 310 Introduction to Cell Biology 2 4
MARB 435 Marine Invertebrate Zoology 2, 6 4
Social and behavioral sciences 3
Marine biology elective 2,5 4
 Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
MARB 425 Marine Ecology 2 4
MARB 430 Coastal Plant Ecology 2,6,8 4
Earth science elective 7 3
Marine biology elective 2,5 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
MARB 420 Comparative Animal Physiology 2 4
Language, philosophy and culture 3
Creative arts 3
Marine biology elective 2,5 4
 Semester Credit Hours14
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

All electives must be chosen in consultation with, and approved by, the student's academic advisor. Unless courses are specifically listed, see University Core Curriculum at for a listing of course options for Communication; Mathematics; Life and Physical Sciences; Language, Philosophy and Culture; Creative Arts; American History; Government and Political Sciences; and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The 3-hour University Core Curriculum requirement for International and Cultural Diversity may be met with courses used to satisfy other degree requirements. The 3-hour University Core Curriculum requirement for Cultural Discourse may be met with courses used to satisfy other degree requirements. Up to 4 hours of MARB 491 and/or MARB 484 may be used as marine biology elective courses in your curriculum. Please consult with your academic advisor.