Bring your love of the ocean and your desire to study and preserve marine life to the marine biology degree program at Maine Maritime Academy. Our location on Castine Harbor provides the ultimate setting to become a marine biologist. From day one, you’ll have hands-on learning experiences in labs, on research vessels, and at nearby field sites, all of which will give you a solid foundation for a career in marine biology.
Through the marine biology degree program you’ll learn from, and work alongside, experienced faculty. These experts and mentors will share their love of science, teaching, and learning with you. They will help you build the critical knowledge and skills you need for marine biology degree jobs, from aquarist to fisheries biologist and researcher to science teacher — or to continue your scientific studies at the graduate level.
Maine Maritime Academy’s location on Castine Harbor on the upper Penobscot Bay is the ideal setting to earn a marine biology degree. Unlike some marine biology college programs, you won’t have to wait to experience life as a marine biologist. Early in your education you can explore and conduct research, collect and identify flora and fauna, and immerse yourself in laboratory investigations. In addition to Castine Harbor, you’ll have access to field sites, such as Holbrook Island, rocky intertidal shores, local estuaries, salt marshes, and mud flats for exploration and research.
If you want to work in the marine biology field and have an interest in operating small vessels, consider the marine biology and small vessel operations dual major option. Through this 5-year degree path, you’ll learn how to safely handle and navigate small vessels. You’ll also prepare to test for a U. S. Coast Guard license, up to 200 gross tons, operating in near-coastal waters up to 200 miles offshore. Expand your career opportunities and make yourself more marketable as a marine biologist with this unique dual major option.
The marine biology degree at Maine Maritime Academy is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), a non-profit, non-governmental membership organization. With this regionally recognized standard in accreditation you can be sure you’re receiving a quality education.
From the start of your marine biology degree coursework at Maine Maritime Academy, you’ll experience what it’s like to be a marine biologist who works on the water with live organisms. With a focus on the interconnections and interactions of ocean animals, seaweeds, and microbes, the marine biology degree program at Maine Maritime Academy prepares you for a broad range of careers and graduate schools.
As a marine biology major at Maine Maritime Academy you’ll use first-rate cellular/molecular laboratory equipment, such as dissecting and compound light microscopes, gel electrophoresis, and a thermocycler for PCR. You’ll also have access to boats, such as the research vessel Friendship, that are unparalleled by other marine biology colleges. You’ll gain practical sea time and the skills to observe, identify, make predictions, and experiment with ocean organisms through this marine biology degree.
You’ll be immediately immersed in laboratory courses, including field surveys, collections and identification of local flora and fauna, and investigations into marine organism physiology. You’ll gain field experience at places such as the Maine State Aquarium, Boothbay Sea and Science Center, Marine Mammals of Maine, and the Clearwater Aquarium. If you pursue the dual major option, you’ll complete 120 sea days on appropriate vessels and through laboratories, simulation, cooperative work experiences, and a 14-day training cruise aboard the schooner Bowdoin.
The Regiment of Midshipmen, a uniformed student body dedicated to leadership, honor, integrity, discipline, and comradery, is a unique part of Maine Maritime Academy. While your participation isn’t required as a marine biology major, some students choose to join the optional Regiment to gain the self-confidence, self-discipline, leadership abilities, and teamwork skills that are highly valued by employers.
Graduates of the marine biology degree program at Maine Maritime Academy go on to work as specialists at aquariums, aquarists, fisheries biologists, marine resource technicians, secondary school science teachers, researchers, laboratory managers, and hydrographers. They are employed at state and federal agencies, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Maine Department of Marine Resources. They also work in animal health, aquaculture, and aquarium/husbandry, and earn advanced degrees at graduate or veterinary school.
Employment of zoologists and wildlife biologists, which includes marine biologists, is projected to grow 5 percent through 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The median annual wage for zoologists and wildlife biologists, which includes marine biologists, was $63,420 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The marine biology degree at Maine Maritime Academy focuses on essential biology, including biology, ecology, physiology, cell biology, and genetics, and more specialized topics relevant to the study of marine organisms. This well-rounded marine biology degree will include courses in the arts and sciences with a focus on tools for clear and efficient communication.
View all courses for the marine biology major.
The Marine Biology/Small Vessel Operations dual major allows the student to complete all of the requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology and Small Vessel Operations, as well as a USCG license as mate of vessels not more than 200 gross tons, Near Coastal (200 miles offshore). This program in marine biology science may be completed in 5 years and is designed for students who plan to work in the marine biology field and may need the capability to operate small vessels.
View all Marine Biology and small vessel operations courses.
Take the next step toward earning your marine biology degree at Maine Maritime Academy.
If you’re ready for a hands-on marine biology degree that leads to a career in marine biology, please contact an admissions representative at Maine Maritime Academy.
Maine Maritime Academy welcomes veterans and has the resources in place to help you transition to student life. Please contact our dedicated admissions representative for veterans.
Maine Maritime Academy welcomes motivated and academically qualified transfer students. Please contact our admissions office to learn more about transferring to Maine Maritime Academy.
We invite you to start your application or request more information about the marine biology major at Maine Maritime Academy.
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