Best Marine Science and Marine Biology Programs: List of Top Schools

Marine biology is a field of study that examines plants and animals in their habitats. Similarly, marine science explores the physical attributes of marine environments. Universities may offer a combined study program of the two fields. Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A. or A.B.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Marine Science or Marine Biology.

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Best Marine Science and Marine Biology Schools

1. Duke University in Durham North Carolina

Duke University is comprised of ten academic schools, including the Nicholas School of the Environment. U.S. News and World Report ranked Duke 10th on its 2012 National University Rankings. Duke's Biology Department offers a B.S. and an A.B. in Biology, with a specialization in Marine Biology. Students in both programs take courses in math, chemistry and ecology and take electives such as microbiology. Duke Department of Marine Science and Conservation offers a Ph.D., with a concentration in Marine Biology or Marine Conservation Biology and Policy. Students in the marine conservation biology and policy track receive training in natural and social sciences. Both doctoral tracks emphasize research in their programs.

2. Boston University in Boston, MA

Boston University (BU) is a private college that offers over 250 academic programs in the areas such as arts and science, engineering and education. The Princeton Review named BU on its 2012 list of The Best 376 Colleges in the nation. BU's College of Arts and Sciences offers a B.A. in Marine Science. Students take courses in subjects such as marine geology and marine biology, as well as core courses in chemistry physics and statistics. Students are required to participate in a 4-course marine semester, which offers classes in sensory biology and tropical oceanography of the Caribbean Sea. A minor is also offered in marine science. Students take a total of five marine biology courses offered through the Department of Biology, Department of Environment and Earth Sciences and Department of Geography.

3. The University of Maine in Orono, ME

The University of Maine (UM) is a designated sea-grant college that offers programs in natural sciences, education and business. U.S. News and World Report ranked UM 81st on its 2012 list of Top Public Schools in the nation. UM's School of Marine Sciences offers a B.S. in Marine Science, with a specialization in Marine Biology, Aquaculture or Physical Ocean Sciences. During their junior or senior year, students can participate in a semester-by-the sea residential program at the Darling Marine Center. Students explore the habitats of the Gulf of Maine and take courses such as marine ecology and biology of marine invertebrates.

List of Ten Good Marine Science and Marine Biology Schools in the U.S.

School Name Distinction Location
Boston University Marine Science Association offers lectures and social opportunities for marine science students Boston, MA
Duke University Biology Department has more than 45 laboratories for research Durham, NC
Eckerd College Marine science program offers hands-on courses St. Petersburg, FL
Oregon State University Offers majors and minors in marine biology Corvallis, OR
University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Arts and Sciences offers a marine biology laboratory course Hilo, HI
University of Maine Honors College is among the oldest in the U.S. Orono, ME
University of New England Marine sciences program prepares students for positions in education and governmental laboratories Biddeford, ME
University of New Hampshire Marine program offers undergraduate internship opportunities Durham, NH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Marine sciences graduate program offers four areas of specialization Chapel Hill, NC
University of Tampa Has a 45-foot research vessel for the study of marine ecosystems Tampa, FL
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    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
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    Areas of study you may find at University of Miami include:
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