Which Florida Schools Have Marine Biology Programs?

Find out which Florida schools offer marine biology degree programs. See requirements, prerequisites and school information, and learn about the job prospects for a marine biology career in Florida. Schools offering Anatomy & Physiology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

A few Florida schools offer bachelor's, master's and doctoral level programs in marine biology. In some cases, you can earn a degree directly in marine biology; in others, marine biology can be an area of specialization within a biological sciences program. Both types of programs will provide similar studies; you'll likely take courses in oceanography, ecology and biology no matter which degree you pursue. In addition to traditional classrooms, your studies can be conducted in on-campus marine labs, professional research labs and even foreign locations such as Peru or the Bahamas, depending on which program you enroll in. Due to the hands-on nature of marine biology studies, few programs provide online coursework; however, this option is available for some courses in the Master of Science in Marine Biology program at Nova Southeastern University. More details about these academic programs and the schools providing them are found below.


Marine Biology Bachelor's Degree Programs in Florida

Florida Institute of Technology

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences - Marine Biology
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition: $17,730 per semester for full-time students (cost for 2012-2013 academic year, excluding fees)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent, SAT or ACT test scores, college preparatory high school curriculum
  • Requirements: High school algebra and trigonometry, physics, chemistry and biology
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; about 6,000 undergrad students, over 3,400 grad students
  • Address: 150 West University Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32901
  • Phone: (321) 674-8000

The Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) offers a biological sciences Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program with specialties in 6 areas, including marine biology. Your studies could include oceanography, biometry, invertebrate zoology and marine mammals. The program emphasizes the relationship between various marine organisms. You can also enroll in optional summer courses in locations such as Australia, Africa, Peru and the Bahamas.

Florida International University

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition: $5,327 per year for full-time FL residents; $17,726 per year for nonresidents (cost for 2011-2012, excluding fees)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent, SAT or ACT test scores, high school courses including 4 years of English, 4 years of math, 3 years of social science, 3 years of natural science, 2 years of foreign language
  • Requirements: College-level courses in biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics and calculus or statistics are necessary before taking upper-level coursework
  • School Type: 4-year, public; over 33,800 undergrads, almost 8,400 grad students
  • Address: 11200 S.W. 8 St., Miami, FL 33199
  • Phone: (305) 348-2000

The B.S. in Marine Biology program at Florida International University (FIU) focuses on the study of coastal ecosystems. Course requirements include marine biology and oceanography, ecology, genetics, cell biology and evolution. Most of your upper-level coursework will be completed at the Biscayne Bay campus in North Miami, where oceanic water from the bay is pumped into marine labs.

Florida State University

  • Program Names: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences
  • Specialization Area: Marine biology
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition: $5,825 per year for state residents; $20,992 per year for nonresidents (cost for 2011-2012 academic year, including fees)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent, high school courses including 4 years of English, 4 years of math, 3 years of natural science and 2 years of foreign language
  • Requirements: Proof of current health insurance, 3.0 GPA in lower-level courses
  • School Type: 4-year, public; over 31,400 undergrads, nearly 9,000 grad students
  • Address: 222 S. Copeland St., Tallahassee, FL 32306
  • Phone: (850) 644-2525

The bachelor's degree program in biological sciences at Florida State University (FSU) includes an optional track in marine biology. Your suggested program coursework includes conservation biology and ecology, as well as classes in coral reefs, estuarine ecology, oceanography and marine pollution. This school also offers a marine biology certificate program, which you can apply to if you have a 3.0 GPA after completing your freshman and sophomore years at FSU. This program prepares you for an advanced career in marine biology with internships and field research experience.


Marine Biology Master's Degree Programs in Florida

Florida Institute of Technology

  • Program Name: Master of Science in Biological Sciences
  • Specialization Area: Marine biology
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Tuition: $1,123 per credit for graduate students (cost for 2012-2013 academic year, excluding fees)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • Requirements: GRE test results, statement of objectives, 3 letters of recommendation
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; about 6,000 undergrad students, over 3,400 grad students
  • Address: 150 West University Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32901
  • Phone: (321) 674-8000

The FIT campus is located along the Atlantic Coast, on the Indian River Lagoon, an estuary that contains over 3,500 species of animals, plants and organisms. In the marine biology track of the Master of Science degree program, you're able to select your own coursework from the colleges of psychology and liberal arts, science and engineering. If you want to prepare for a career in research, you can choose to perform rotations in various research labs. Your program culminates in a master's thesis.

Nova Southeastern University

  • Program Name: Master of Science in Marine Biology
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Tuition: $970 per credit hour (as of summer 2010, excluding fees)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in biology or a related field, strong background in natural sciences, GRE test scores, statement of career goals, 3 letters of recommendation
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; nearly 6,200 undergrads, almost 22,600 grad students
  • Address: 3301 College Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314
  • Phone: (954) 262-7300

Core classes for the Nova Southeastern University (NSU) marine biology master's degree program include oceanography, marine ecosystems, marine geology, marine chemistry and biostatistics. Some other courses you might choose to take include biology of sharks, marine genomics and scientific diving. You also have the option to design your coursework to focus on your area of interest; some of the possibilities include molecular ecology and evolution, wetlands ecology, marine fisheries and benthic ecology. Prior to graduation, you'll complete either a capstone paper or a thesis.


Marine Biology Doctoral Degree Program in Florida

Nova Southeastern University

  • Program Name: Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Biology
  • Program Length: About 5 years, full-time
  • Tuition: $10,367 per term (as of summer 2010, excluding fees)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's or master's degree with a 3.0 GPA in oceanography, biology or marine biology (master's preferred)
  • Requirements: GRE test results, dissertation proposal, 3 letters of recommendation, resume
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; nearly 6,200 undergrads, almost 22,600 grad students
  • Address: 3301 College Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314
  • Phone: (954) 262-7300

The Ph.D. program in marine biology is housed at the NSU Oceanographic Center, which includes a marina and 10 acres of university campus surrounded by oceanic ecosystems. Acceptance to the Ph.D. program is based heavily on the content of your dissertation proposal. Some past research topics have included sea turtles, coral reef ecology, deep-sea biology and ecology, marine plankton, microbial ecology and sea-level changes.


Career Information for Marine Biologists in Florida

A marine biologist is a type of wildlife biologist that studies saltwater animals, organisms and ecology. You generally need a bachelor's degree for entry-level jobs in marine biology; advanced roles usually require a master's degree. A doctoral degree is also necessary if you plan to work in marine biology research or academia.

Since oceanic bodies surround Florida, a number of colleges and universities in the state have marine biology programs. Coursework in a marine biology program is typically interdisciplinary, involving the study of various sciences, including biology, genetics and biochemistry.

Job Prospects and Salary for Marine Biologists

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for zoologists and wildlife biologists - including marine biologists - were predicted to increase 7% from 2010-2020, which is considered slower-than-average growth. In May 2011, the BLS reported that the 1,390 zoologists and wildlife biologists working in Florida earned an average annual salary of about $51,000.

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