4 Best Marine Biology Colleges in Hawaii

Now is a suitable moment to explore Marine Biology and Oceanography.

Discover the ideal school for you in this field from our compilation of the Top Marine Biology Colleges and Universities in Hawaii.

Dive into the Best Marine Biology Colleges in Hawaiiy, where students passionate about marine life can find excellent institutions. 

Hawaii, with its stunning landscapes and diverse marine ecosystems, offers a unique setting for pursuing marine biology education. 

Aspiring marine biologists are drawn to the island’s rich biodiversity and research opportunities. 

This remarkable location for studying ocean ecosystems offers diverse schools to cater to this growing career field. 

The study of marine biology can be defined as the exploration of life in the oceans, encompassing microscopic plankton to colossal creatures like blue whales and more. 

Specializations range from examining the impacts of global warming on marine communities to marine veterinary medicine. 

This field includes diverse studies such as molecular biology, physiology, and ecology, all unified by the saltwater environment. 

Specialized disciplines within marine biology cover areas such as marine microbiology, phycology, marine toxicology, fisheries, aquaculture, deep-sea ecology, invertebrate zoology, ichthyology, marine mammalogy, and marine conservation biology.

Diverse career opportunities span from research laboratories and government agencies to roles in aquaculture, fisheries science, environmental analysis, marine policy, and more. 

Students with aspirations to become leaders in the field or pursue advanced degrees will find the necessary background and options, including the Master of Science in Marine Science program offered by these universities. 

If you are in search of Top Marine Biology Universities in Hawaii,  consider this list of top Hawaii colleges listed below, featuring four schools with various learning opportunities in Marine Biology. 

List of Top Marine Biology Colleges in Hawaii

  • Brigham Young University-Hawaii 
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa 
  • University of Hawaii at Hilo
  • Hawaii Pacific University 

Brigham Young University-Hawaii 

Brigham Young University-Hawaii, situated in Laie, Hawaii, is a private not-for-profit university catering to over 614 bachelor’s degree candidates. 

With a competitive admission rate, the institution offers a comprehensive biology major that provides students with a robust, research-based education in the life sciences. 

The program emphasizes meaningful research opportunities in various areas, including anatomy, genetics, physiology, molecular biology, evolution, natural history, and marine biology.

The Marine Biology program, taking advantage of the island’s Pacific Ocean surroundings, allows students to study marine organisms and their behaviors in their natural habitats at various scenic beaches on Oahu.

Graduates from the Marine Biology program have diverse career opportunities, ranging from marine biologists and environmental scientists to marine life researchers or pursuing further education in graduate school. 

The dedicated faculty of the Sciences department contributes to creating a conducive learning environment for students interested in the field of biology.

Contact Info: 

  • Visit the Website: https://sciences.byuh.edu/biology 
  • Phone: (808) 675-3801
  • Address: Faculty of Sciences BYU–Hawaii #1938, 55-220 Kulanui Street Bldg 5, Laie, Hawaii 96762-1293

University of Hawaii at Manoa

The University of Hawaii at Manoa, located in Honolulu, Hawaii, stands out as a prominent institution for marine biology studies. 

It is a public university with an enrollment of over 1,968 bachelor’s degree candidates and a somewhat competitive acceptance rate of 83%. 

The university’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) provides students with access to cutting-edge research facilities, diverse marine environments, and a comprehensive curriculum.

The university also offers an Undergraduate Certificate in the Marine Option Program and Mathematical Biology.

The institution offers various academic opportunities, allowing students to specialize in Microbiology, obtain a certificate in the Marine Option Program (MOP), explore Mathematical Biology, or become certified as a Clinical Microbiologist. 

The university’s mission emphasizes promoting learning and discovery through scientific research, maintaining high educational standards, and fostering a positive educational experience for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Degrees, minors, and certificates offered by the School of Life Sciences include Bachelor’s Degrees in Biology, Botany, Marine Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Cell Biology. 

Contact Info: 

  • Visit the Website: https://mbiograd.manoa.hawaii.edu/
  • Phone: (808) 956-6182
  • Email: mbiograd@hawaii.edu
  • Address: 1680 East-West Rd, POST 802, Honolulu, HI 96822

University of Hawaii at Hilo

Located on the Big Island, the University of Hawaii at Hilo is another hub for marine biology enthusiasts. 

The Marine Science Department offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, allowing students to explore marine ecosystems and contribute to ongoing research efforts. 

The campus’s proximity to diverse marine environments enhances students’ exposure to real-world applications of their studies.

The Marine Science degree at UH Hilo curriculum covers a range of subjects and equips students with in-depth knowledge and proficiency in various areas, such as marine biology, oceanography, marine ecology, chemical oceanography, geological oceanography, and physical oceanography. 

The educational goals encompass scientific method proficiency, critical thinking, and technical skills like laboratory safety, oceanographic and marine biological methods, and bio-statistical and computer techniques.

Graduates from the Marine Science program at UH Hilo enjoy diverse career opportunities, including marine research technicians, roles in marine-oriented government agencies, eco-tourism, teaching, environmental law, and pursuing higher education in various fields. 

The university manages a fleet of marine vessels, including the R/V Makani ‘Aha, a research/education catamaran, and facilitates SCUBA diving activities. 

The Marine Option Program (MOP) offers additional avenues for hands-on experience, research programs, and certificates, fostering skills in areas such as underwater photography, sailing, and marine-related activities.

The mission of the Marine Science undergraduate degree program is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the world’s oceans. 

The program achieves this through a combination of hands-on laboratory and field experience, inquiry-based instruction, and direct interactive learning, supported by a broad background in the marine sciences. The aim is to prepare students to be innovative, successful life-long learners, and engaged stewards of the marine environment. 

The university encourages students to conduct their research projects, participate in the Marine Option Program, and intern with various programs and agencies, contributing to their growth as marine scientists.

Contact Info: 

  • Visit the Website: http://www.mare.hawaii.edu/ 
  • Phone: +1 (808) 932-7900.
  • Address: 2024 University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, 200 W. Kāwili St., Hilo, HI, 96720.

Hawaii Pacific University 

Hawaii Pacific University, located in Honolulu, is a notable private not-for-profit university offering marine biology programs with a strong focus on hands-on learning experiences. 

It boasts an enrollment of over 500 bachelor’s degree candidates, with a competitive acceptance rate of 74%. 

The University’s Pacific Center for Environmental Studies plays a pivotal role in providing students with practical exposure through fieldwork, research projects, and internships.

The university’s location in the heart of the world’s largest ocean makes it an ideal place for studying marine biology and oceanography.

The Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology at HPU equips students with skills and a robust academic foundation essential for diverse career paths in marine and aquatic science. 

Upon completion of the program, graduates leave with an in-depth understanding of marine science and practical skills that position them for success in various career paths. 

The program also prepares students for leadership roles and advanced degrees, including a Master of Science in Marine Science offered by HPU.

The marine science faculty’s expertise spans various disciplines, ensuring a well-rounded educational experience. 

They offer small class sizes to foster constructive interactions between faculty and students, providing individualized attention. Emphasis on hands-on learning is woven into laboratory and field courses throughout the curriculum.

The Oceanic Institute of Hawai’i Pacific University (OI), a non-profit research and development organization, aligns with HPU’s commitment to marine science. 

Dedicated to aquaculture, biotechnology, and coastal resource management, OI’s mission focuses on developing and transferring environmentally responsible technologies to enhance aquatic food production, thereby promoting the sustainable utilization of ocean resources.

Contact Info: 

  • Visit the Website: https://www.hpu.edu/cncs/natural-science/marine-bio.html
  • Phone: +1 808 544-0200
  • Address: Hawaii Pacific University1 Aloha Tower Drive, Honolulu, HI 96813

Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology

The Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) integrates current marine science research into its education programs. 

These programs cater to various educational levels, offering school groups and undergraduates a range of tours, labs, and marine science training programs. 

While HIMB doesn’t confer degrees, it provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate research collaborations. 

Graduate students can align with HIMB faculty through UH Manoa’s diverse graduate programs, including Marine Biology, Oceanography, Zoology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering, and Microbiology.


Choosing the right college for careers such as marine biology in Hawaii offers students a unique blend of academic excellence and unparalleled access to marine ecosystems. 

The diverse marine life surrounding the islands, coupled with dedicated faculty and state-of-the-art research facilities, creates an environment where aspiring marine biologists can thrive. 

Whether exploring the coral reefs, studying marine mammals or conducting research in marine laboratories, Hawaii’s marine biology colleges provide a gateway to a fulfilling and impactful career in marine science.

This article delves into the marine biology colleges in Hawaii, highlighting the academic institutions that provide an immersive and educational experience in the field. 

Explore the list above and make that career choice. 

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