Marine Biology is a program sponsored by the College of the Environment to immerse undergraduate students in the study of marine organisms and ecosystems. Drawing upon the courses, faculty expertise and fields of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences, Biology, Friday Harbor Laboratories and Oceanography, students enhance classroom learning with field and research experiences.
Marine biology involves the study of life processes of organisms inhabiting the ocean's environments, drawing on courses offered by Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Oceanography and Friday Harbor Laboratories. The degree integrates core materials on marine aspects of biodiversity, organismal processes, and ecology and ecosystems, examining their relationship with physical processes and ocean change. Graduates of Marine Biology are prepared for careers in management agencies at the local to international levels, environmental consulting, non-profit organizations and a range of educational settings.
This program of study leads to the following credential:
Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Marine Biology
Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: Recommended courses for first-year students: FISH 250/OCEAN 250/ BIOL 250; English composition; calculus; CHEM 120 and OCEAN 295; BIOL 180. Recommended courses for second-year students: OCEAN 210, BIOL 200, and FISH 270/OCEAN 270/MARBIO 270; Q SCI 381, MARBIO 305.
Students in good academic standing may declare this major at any time, including on the application for admission to the UW. After notification of admission and before registration, new students should contact the Student Services Office for help in program planning.
Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Marine Biology
Overview Marine biology involves the study of life processes of organisms inhabiting the ocean's environments, drawing on courses offered by Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Oceanography and Friday Harbor Laboratories. The degree integrates core materials on marine aspects of biodiversity, organismal processes, and ecology and ecosystems, examining their relationship with physical processes and ocean change. Graduates of Marine Biology are prepared for careers in management agencies at the local to international levels, environmental consulting, non-profit organizations and a range of educational settings.
Core STEM (43-50 credits)
Biology(10 credits): BIOL 180, BIOL 200
Chemistry (10-15 credits): one of the following options: (1) CHEM 120, OCEAN 295; (2) CHEM 120, CHEM 220; (3) CHEM 142, CHEM 152, OCEAN 295; (4) CHEM 142, CHEM 152, CHEM 223
Physics (8-10 credits): one of the following options:(1) PHYS 114 or PHYS 121; OCEAN 285 and OCEAN 286; (2) PHYS 114 and PHYS 115; (3) PHYS 121 and PHYS 122
Calculus (10 credits): Q SCI 291 or MATH 124; Q SCI 292 or MATH 125
Statistics (5 credits): Q SCI 381 or STAT 311
Introduction to Marine Environment (14 credits): either FISH 250/OCEAN 250/BIOL 250 (5 credits) or OCEAN 200 and OCEAN 201; OCEAN 210; FISH 270/OCEAN 270/MARBIO 270 or BIOL 220
Marine Biology Core (15 credits): FISH 370/OCEAN 370/MARBIO 370; OCEAN 330; FISH 323
Communications (3 credits): MARBIO 305 or FHL 333
Electives: Minimum 25 credits from approved courses (see department website for list), meeting the following requirements
Minimum one course each in biodiversity, ecology and ecosystems, organismal processes
Minimum two courses from approved laboratory electives
Minimum three courses at the 400 level
Maximum 6 credits total from OCEAN 492, FHL 450/MARBIO 450, FHL 460/MARBIO 460, FHL 470/MARBIO 470, or FHL 492/MARBIO 492/FISH 492.
Integrative Field Experience (6 credits): One from MARBIO 488, FHL 450/MARBIO 450, FHL 460/MABRBIO 460, FHL 470/MARBO 470, or OCEAN 492. Students who take OCEAN 492 toward elective requirements in 5.d. above may apply an additional 6 credits in OCEAN 492 to the integrative field experience requirement.
Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA in courses presented for the major.
Majors must satisfy the College of the Environment general education requirements.
Content: Students will understand, apply, and evaluate:
Basic biological science content (Ecology, evolution, cell and molecular biology)
Basic biological science content, with a marine focus
Basic oceanography to understand influence of unique characteristics of marine environments on marine life
Mechanistic understanding of how processes occurring within organisms interact with higher-level organization. Contributes to students's ability to understand and test cause-and-effect and to use both reductionist and integrative approaches to solving marine biology problems
Integrated perspective on evolution and biodiversity of marine organisms, and relationship with changing marine environment. In depth for select taxa and trophic groups. Enhances advanced application of evolutionary theory and practice in the marine sciences.
Integrated approaches to studying population ecology, marine habitats, and ecosystems. In depth for select habitats or ecosystems. Contributes to student's ability to work in biology across scales, to use integrative skills to understanding the influence of the marine environment on population dynamics, and the influence of marine life on abiotic processes.
How and why oceans change. This area includes reciprocal connections between humans and the environment, in the context of other drivers and scales of variability. Provides students with not just a list of problems, but also empowers them to see how to create and implement solutions.
Skills: Students will demonstrate the ability to use:
Quantitative approaches to collecting and understanding information
Written and oral approaches to communicating information, in order to share one's work with a variety of audiences, including scientific community and general public
Collaboration to work together effectively in teams to solve problems
Instructional and Research Facilities: Marine Biology students study and research at labs and classrooms in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, the School of Oceanography, and marine field station the Friday Harbor Labs.
Honors Options Available: None
Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Opportunities for research, internships, and service learning are shared with all undergraduate students via departmental website and email lists.
Department Scholarships: Contact adviser for more information.
Student Organizations/Associations: The UW SeaDawgs are a registered student organization with the goal of building a community of students who are passionate about marine science through social events, volunteer-work, academic seminars/research, and other projects.