Marine Biology

Offered as: major

Do you dream of exploring the ocean environment, conserving species, and understanding the complexity of marine organisms?

When you major in marine biology at UMass Dartmouth, you begin your studies with a solid foundation in fundamental biological principles and practices. Then you'll focus on your specific interests, from the biology of sharks and fishes to marine ecology.

Our faculty's research interests in marine and coastal biology place them at the forefront of their fields, from molecular and cellular biology to marine and terrestrial ecology.

We emphasize field and laboratory opportunities, so you will learn marine biology while studying living organisms. Our nearby coastal environments will be your living laboratories.

You'll be prepared for employment in biological oceanography, ecology, education, fisheries biology, industry, marine biology, project management, and research fields. With a strong background in fundamental biological principles and practices, you'll be prepared for graduate study in marine biology and related disciplines.

Special Opportunities

  • Internships: Gain hands-on experience at ocean and environmental centers, the region's zoo, and faculty research labs
  • Research: Discover unparalleled opportunities for undergraduate research experience
  • Travel: Participate in one of our expeditions to the Galapagos Islands
  • Community: Join the Biology Association and attend special events for biology major

Major in Marine Biology

Our curriculum emphasizes a diversity of ecological and evolutionary approaches including the study of fishes, invertebrates, marine mammals, marine microbiology, and oceanography.

For the major, you'll complete XX credits, consisting of courses in biology, marine biology and related science and mathematics courses, and 120 credits overall.

Expand your career options with advanced study

  • MS in Biology/Marine Biology: Our master's program offers degrees in biology and marine biology
  • Master's of Arts in Teaching Biology: The department works with the School of Education to prepare highly qualified teachers, providing opportunities for students to receive professional licensure as a Teacher of Biology, Grades 8-12
  • PhD in Marine Science: Earn your advanced degree in marine science in the UMass intercampus Marine Science doctoral program
  • PhD in Biomedical Engineering & Biotechnology: Advance your studies at the intersection of biology and engineering in the UMass intercampus Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology PhD program

Related academic areas

Explore more

Success story

Joseph Zottoli
Marine Biology

Read Joseph's story

Career placements

  • A.I.S. Observers, Inc.
  • Barnstable Public Schools
  • Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Electric Boat
  • Environmental Operating Solutions, Inc.
  • MIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • National Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
  • Zoo New England

Sample graduate schools

  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Brown University
  • New York University


Ken Oliveira
Chair, Department of Biology
Science and Engineering Building, Room 321

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