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What is a Marine Biology Major?

Yes, this major is exactly what it sounds like—it’s the biology of marines, their physical make up, their cool camouflage outfits, and the big guns they get to carry around. Now, don’t get this confused with that other type of marine life, the one that involves whales, and fish, and all of the other things that live in the deep blue ocean.

Marine Biology (also known as Biological Oceanography), just like every other biology major, is heavy on the science. Yes, you’ll figure out how the human body works, but that’s not what’s really at the heart of this major. Forget humans; what you want to study can only be found 500 fathoms under the sea (or maybe just one fathom down). From the reproductive mechanisms of the tiniest saltwater microbes to the killer whale’s dietary habits (300 pounds of sea lions, 200 pounds of fish, one cup of coffee), you’ll learn how the greatest ecosystem in the world (it’s called the ocean) supports such diversity of life forms that thrive on and because of each other. Specific instruction in subjects like biochemistry, marine botany, ichthyology, and mammalogy, are par for the course in the Marine Biology major, which should all prepare you to delve into the broader mysteries of the life that exists between the floor and the surface of the seas.


  • Calculus

  • Cell Biology

  • General Biology

  • General Chemistry

  • Genetics

  • Ichthyology

  • Invertebrates

  • Mammalogy

  • Marine Ecosystems

  • Physics


If you’re interested in majoring in Marine Biology, it’s important to have a strong background in the sciences, particularly physics, chemistry, and biology, as well as strong written and oral communications skill.