How Do You Become a Marine Biologist?


Quick Answer

Most marine biology jobs require a Bachelors or Masters degree, and many students in this field get a degree in marine biology, with a specific focus on fishery biology. However, other degrees that can lead to a marine biologist career include biology, zoology and other animal science fields.

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Full Answer

Most graduate students in the field of marine biology attain a Bachelors degree in biology or zoology before moving on to more specialized pursuits. Other degrees represented in the marine biology field include biological oceanography, which focuses on the physical and biological aspects of oceans and the interactions between inhabitants of the sea. Conservation degrees are also represented within this field, with a focus on preserving sea life and maintaining the natural balance.

Many universities located in coastal states offer specialized programs for marine biologists. UC Santa Cruz and the University of Hawaii feature programs geared toward those who wish to research and work with marine mammals such as dolphins and whales. Several California universities, including programs at San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography and at UC Davis and Santa Barbara, offer renowned oceanography programs. Texas A & M University offers a fishery and wildlife program at its Galveston campus.

The field of marine biology is highly competitive. The federal government employs a limited amount of marine biologists, but other employers include museums and aquariums, institutes of higher learning, local governments and private research institutions.

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