Skip to main content

Major in Marine Biology

Bachelor (ISCED 2011 level 6)


Duration 8 semesters
Cost $54.686 per year

Occidental’s close proximity to the Pacific Ocean offers you a living laboratory for studying marine biology.

As a biology major who declares an emphasis in marine biology, you’ll participate in a distinguished scientific program that dates back more than a century. For the four upper-level courses you’ll need to take in addition to satisfying all the requirements for the biology major, you’ll have access to a research collection with more than half a million specimens of fish and marine invertebrates. Outside the classroom, marine biology students spend up to 100 days a year on one of the College’s four research vessels; you can take Oxy’s certified research dive course and carry out your research underwater.

You can serve as a research assistant for Oxy’s Vantuna Research Group, which has been monitoring and researching the marine environment of Southern and Baja California since 1966. Past students have spent semesters abroad studying in Australia, New Zealand, the Galapagos Islands, and in other locations adjacent to the South Pacific, Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Our marine biology program is part of the Southern California Marine Institute, a consortium of 23 local colleges, universities and organizations that pool their resources to promote the study of the near shore environment.

Your marine biology training will put you in an excellent position to enroll in top graduate programs, including the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the University of Hawai’i Manoa. You might also pursue a career in biotechnology, environmental science, teaching, aquarium science, research, commercial fishery management, and federal and state marine wildlife programs.

Structural components
Laboratory training
Practical/Field work
Research Project

ISCED Categories

Conservation and environmental management
Physical and chemical oceanography
Environmental protection technology