16 Best Marine Biology Colleges in Florida|Key Information

Students attend the marine biology colleges in Florida for the study of organisms and ecosystems in the oceans and other saltwater environments. 

What they study includes marine plants, animals and other organisms,  both vertebrate and invertebrate, in deep oceans, shallow seas and the laboratory.

The main reason why students attend the marine biology colleges in Florida is to improve their understanding of the marine world while understanding and predicting changes in the ecosystem.

Marine biology is a broad-ranging career. You could go into fieldwork, academic research, laboratory work, consulting, charity, outreach or policymaking. Now let us look at the marine biology colleges in Florida.

What does a marine biologist do?

Marine biologists investigate all kinds of issues and problems. Here are some typical areas of concern:

  • Overfishing has led to a reduction of worldwide stocks of certain fish species
  • Plastic pollution has led to over 12 million tonnes entering the oceans every year, causing huge implications for biodiversity, ecosystems and threats to food security
  • Ocean acidification and warming oceans have resulted in significant levels of coral cover loss and coral bleaching
  • The release of hot water and other effluents by various industries has altered the ecological balance of the oceans
  • Oil spills wreak long-term havoc on local ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Pollution has caused an increase in water-borne infections in humans
  • The use of pesticides and artificial fertilisers in farming has had serious consequences on food chains
  • Chemicals can cause ‘gender-bending’ and fertility problems in fish, shellfish and other aquatic organisms

On a positive note, marine biologists are able to help address many of these problems.

For instance, they are working for offshore oil and gas companies to reduce the negative impact of their operations on marine life.

They are also involved in developing designated marine reserves and creating artificial reefs/wrecks in order to encourage wildlife into an area.

Concern for the marine environment and an interest in water-based leisure activities have made this area of applied biology a popular career choice.

The opportunity of doing a job that involves outdoor work (perhaps including fieldwork at sea) is one attraction.

But don’t be misled into thinking it’s a soft option as the work may involve lengthy, routine fieldwork and one field trip can generate many weeks of laboratory-based analysis.

Obviously, the balance of time spent outdoors and in the lab varies from one job to another.

Most jobs are in research, development and monitoring. You could be involved in pure research – mapping what species are present in a particular area, surveying the health of coral reefs or trying to better understand marine ecosystems through novel research projects.

Or, you could work in applied research, using the results of pure research to solve practical problems and to aid industries based on marine life.

There are also opportunities for consultancy work, for example, conducting environmental impact assessments, environmental audits or waste management studies on behalf of governments, oil companies and organisations involved in renewable energy etc.

Laboratory assistants and technicians support professional marine biologists in the more routine aspects of their work. 

The list of marine biology colleges in Florida

Below are the marine biology colleges:

  • Ave Maria University [Marine Biology] BS
  • Barry University [Biology (BS) Marine Biology concentration]
  • Eckerd College [Marine Science with Marine Biology track] BS
  • Florida Atlantic University [Biology] BS, [Marine Science & Oceanography] MS, [Biology] MS, [Marine Science & Oceanography] PhD
  • Florida Institute of Technology [Marine Biology] BS, [Marine Biology] MS, PhD
  • Florida International University [Marine Biology] BS, [Biology] MS, PhD
  • Florida State University [Biology with Marine Biology track] BA/BS, [Biology] MS, PhD
  • Jacksonville University [Marine Science] BS?, [Marine Science] MS, MA
  • Nova Southeastern University [Marine Biology] BS, [Marine Science] MS, [Marine Biology/Oceanography] PhD
  • Rollins College [Marine Biology] BS?
  • Stetson University [Aquatic and Marine Biology] BS
  • University of Florida [Marine Sciences] BA/BA?[Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences] MS, MFAS, PhD
  • University of Miami: Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science [Marine Biology & Ecology] BS, MS, PhD
  • University of South Florida [Marine Biology] BS, [Marine Science] MS, PhD
  • University of Tampa [Marine Science/Biology (double major)] BS
  • University of West Florida [Marine Biology] BS, [Biology: Marine Biology expertise] MS

Ave Maria University

Ave Maria University [Marine Biology] BS: The marine biology degree is a science specialization in marine-based biological organisms and ecology.

This degree is offered by the Department of Biology, the Marine Biology program is built on the foundation of the B.S. Biology degree but includes additional science courses necessary for a strong marine biology degree.

Barry University

Barry University [Biology (BS) Marine Biology concentration]: Completion of the Marine Science and Oceanography concentration in this institution provides students with a broad understanding of oceanographic science along with the research and inquiry skills necessary to conduct research independently within their area of specialization. 

The IBMO curriculum provides both knowledge-based and laboratory- and field-based courses that promote the cross-disciplinary training that students need to face the complex challenges of 21st-century science. 

Eckerd College

Eckerd College [Marine Science with Marine Biology track] BS: The marine science major at this institution provides both an integrative science background and specialized foundation work especially suitable for students planning professional careers in marine fields.

Students majoring in any track of the marine science major are expected to be knowledgeable regarding fundamental concepts of biological, geological, chemical, and physical oceanography as well as scientific methods employed by marine scientists.

Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University [Biology] BS[Marine Science & Oceanography] MS[Biology] MS[Marine Science & Oceanography] PhD: This is one of the marine biology colleges in Florida that is for students who plan to become professional marine biologists.

Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Institute of Technology [Marine Biology] BS[Marine Biology] MS, PhD: Whether you want to explore the mysteries of deep-sea organisms, discover marine animal interrelationships, or become a leader in marine veterinary science, you can reach toward your goals with a marine biology degree from Florida Tech. One of the first undergraduate marine biology programs in the country, Florida Tech’s is also one of the strongest.

Florida International University

Florida International University [Marine Biology] BS[Biology] MS, PhD: The bachelor of science in Marine Biology in this institution gives students a strong foundation in structural and evolutionary developmental biology, physiology, organismal diversity, physical oceanography and ecology. 

Florida State University

Florida State University [Biology with Marine Biology track] BA/BS[Biology] MS, PhD: This is one of the marine biology colleges in Florida that offers seven academic tracks in the following sub-disciplines of the biology of which marine biology is one of the tracks.

Jacksonville University

Jacksonville University [Marine Science] BS?[Marine Science] MS, MA: A Bachelor of Science in Marine Science in this college emphasizes the multi-disciplined approach necessary to understand the marine environment. 

Using a diverse offering of marine science courses, the major includes a strong foundation in the elements of chemistry, physics, and physical science as well as life sciences.

Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University [Marine Biology] BS[Marine Science] MS[Marine Biology/Oceanography] PhD: A B.S. in Marine Biology from NSU comes with many opportunities and experiences. 

This is one of the marine biology colleges in Florida where you’ll learn from experienced professors and researchers at the forefront of their profession. You’ll gain a firm grounding in large ecosystems, laboratory techniques and ecology.

Rollins College

Rollins College [Marine Biology] BS?: The marine biology program in this college is tailored to take full advantage of Rollins’ ideal setting on the Florida peninsula—one hour from the Atlantic Ocean, 90 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico, a few hours from the Florida Keys, and a one-hour flight to the Bahamas.

Stetson University

Stetson University [Aquatic and Marine Biology] BS: The marine biology major in this college is designed for students interested in the study of life in freshwater and marine environments. It is housed within the Biology department.

University of Florida

University of Florida [Marine Sciences] BA/BA?[Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences] MS, MFAS, PhD: This is one of the marine biology colleges in Florida that has been developing new knowledge and educating students and citizens about the sustainable management and conservation of marine environments.

University of Miami

University of Miami: Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science [Marine Biology & Ecology] BSMS, PhD: The Marine Biology & Ecology degree is a Bachelor of Science degree (BSMAS) at the University of Miami that is designed to give students a strong background in biology and quantitative skills, as well as research experience in biomedicine, genomics, evolution, physiology, microbiology, immunology, and ecology.

The strength of the Marine Biology & Ecology program is the opportunity for undergraduates to fully participate in the research with Marine Biology and Ecology diverse faculty.

University of South Florida

University of South Florida [Marine Biology] BS[Marine Science] MSPhD: Students majoring in Marine Biology study life in the oceans. 

This is one of the marine biology colleges in Florida whose program of study explores the unique marine environment and the nature of the organisms that inhabit the oceans. 

The objective of the program is to provide students with a firm foundation in basic biology and the tools necessary to function as professional biologists, with special emphasis on marine ecosystems. 

University of Tampa

University of Tampa [Marine Science/Biology (double major)] BS: The Marine Science Biology degree at this college is one of the defining degrees at The University of Tampa and a pivotal double major to the Department of Biology.

Drawing from general biological principles and very specific marine-related issues, the course of study includes substantial exposure to biological, chemical and physical aspects of marine science.

University of West Florida

University of West Florida [Marine Biology] BS[Biology: Marine Biology expertise] MS: UWF is one of only a few institutions in the U.S. offering a B.S. in Marine Biology.

You will become immersed in the environment you are studying on their campus with 300 acres of marshes and wetlands and 150 acres on the Gulf of Mexico. 

Their program prepares you for a career in environmental regulation, conservation, fisheries, aquaculture and more.

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