Marine Biology, M.S.

Marine Biology, M.S.

The Master's In Marine Biology

Marine Biology MS

With 70% of the Earth covered in water, marine biologists are a vital link with the medicinal, environmental, and technological applications of marine life to society. Humans not only depend on  marine habitats to sustain life, we also put enormous pressure on our marine habitats. Marine biologists help preserve and restore ecosystems that are collapsing from human activities and natural phenomena. A master’s in Marine Biology from Florida Tech gives graduates the educational foundation and hands-on research experience needed to enter a career in marine biology.


The opportunities for marine-biology careers are diverse. Because there are so many relevant topics, students select a particular interest and specialize in it. Studying for a master’s in marine biology at Florida Tech is a multifaceted experience that includes other scientific disciplines, from aquaculture and oceanography to chemistry, meteorology and zoology.

Gain Practical Experience

The curriculum, laboratories, and field-research programs for students earning a master’s in Marine Biology are robust, encouraging students to and formulate new ideas that contribute to the field. Florida Tech is near some highly diverse marine environments, including the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon, providing students with natural laboratories to conduct cutting-edge research.

Why Pursue A Master's In Marine Biology At Florida Tech?

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Get the facts about graduate studies at Florida Tech

You have two graduate study opportunities:

  1. On Campus
  2. Download the Grad Guide!

  3. At an Education Center near you
  4. Get the Education Center Brochure

You have three graduate study opportunities:

  1. On Campus
  2. Download the Grad Guide!

  3. At an Education Center near you
  4. Get the Education Center Brochure

  5. 100% Online
  6. Learn more about Florida Tech Online

You have two graduate study opportunities:

  1. On Campus
  2. Download the Grad Guide!

  3. 100% Online
  4. Learn more about Florida Tech Online

You have two graduate study opportunities:

  1. At an Education Center near you
  2. Get the Education Center Brochure

  3. 100% Online
  4. Learn more about Florida Tech Online

NASA scientists, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and highly decorated military generals have chosen Florida Tech for its educational excellence in science and engineering. When it comes to graduate programs in marine biology, consider that in 1971 Florida Tech’s undergraduate marine-biology program was one of the first in the United States.

World-Class Faculty Who Mentor Students

At Florida Tech, students experience an intimate, focused environment where professors mentor students throughout their degree, class sizes are small, and faculty-led and personal research is conducted. Professors take an interdisciplinary approach to the degree curriculum, guiding graduate students to collaborate and explore their ideas among a wider view of different biological disciplines. Bringing a wealth of teaching and research experience to the classroom, professors in the Marine Biology program present the latest topics and research from around the world.

High-Tech Labs and Facilities

Students have access to the F. W. Olin Life Sciences Building, a 70,000-square-foot teaching and research laboratory that includes an aquaculture facility; state-of-the-art instrumentation, including NMR spectrometers and an electron microscope; rooms for photochemistry, glassblowing, and computational chemistry; glass aquaria, a marine laboratory, a climate change institute, and the offices and research labs of several of the marine biology faculty.

Students have access to the F. W. Olin Life Sciences Building, a 70,000-square-foot teaching and research laboratory that includes  state-of-the-art microscopy equipment. The 29,000-square-foot L3 Harris Center for Science and Engineering serves the research needs in fish biology and climatology.  It includes eight teaching labs, 12 modern research labs and a 2,500-square-foot indoor aquaculture facility with recirculating systems ranging from small glass aquaria to 720-gallon tanks.

Just a few minutes from campus, where Crane Creek meets the Indian River Lagoon near downtown Melbourne, the Ralph S. Evinrude Marine Operations Center houses small outboard-powered craft and medium-sized workboats. These vessels are available to graduate students and faculty for teaching and research use in the freshwater tributaries and the Indian River Lagoon. Coastal and oceanographic research and teaching are conducted through strategic partnerships to use research vessels in Ft. Pierce, Tampa, Savannah, GA and the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School.

Superb Location for Studying Marine Biology

Florida Tech attracts students from around the world. The university’s location on Florida’s Space Coast puts it in the midst of rich marine environments such as the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River Lagoon, the most diverse estuary in North America; the miles of Florida coastline provides students with the unique benefit of internships and potential employment with many local, state and national agencies, marine environmental consulting firms, public aquaria, mariculture companies, and private marine research organizations.

The Melbourne / Orlando area has the fifth-largest high-tech workforce in the country, with more than 5,000 high-tech corporations and government and military organizations located nearby. This workforce provides an abundance of internship and employment opportunities.

What Marine Biology Research Or Other Opportunities Can I Expect?

Marine biology has a diverse realm of topical interest that could include:

  • Coral-reef ecology
  • Reproductive biology of sharks
  • Polar biology
  • Disease control among fish and marine animals
  • Harmful algal blooms (HABs)
  • Marine mammalogy

In addition to their research activities, graduate students become members of the scientific societies that support the marine biology field. They present their research at scientific conferences. Graduate students are expected to submit their research findings for publication in  journals such as Aquatic Toxicology, Marine Biology, Marine Biotechnology, Fish Biology, and many others. For an extensive list of marine biology journals, visit

How Will A Master's Degree Benefit My Marine Biology Career?

With a master’s in marine biology from Florida Tech, graduates have a chance to find much variety in their career. A career in marine biology allows graduates to contribute to the world they live in by better understanding the interaction of humans with the Earth’s ecosystems and natural resources.

Careers in Marine Biology Expected to Grow

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things.

Marine biology career involve occupations in biotechnology development, aquaria and aquaculture, agriculture, and medical/pharmaceutical research. Other employers are local governments, museums, colleges and universities, private research laboratories, or consulting firms.

According to the bureau, jobs in the biological sciences (included with wildlife biologists) could expect to grow 5% through 2022. New jobs should rise in part from the demand to monitor the effects of climate change on ocean life and sea levels. Related fields like oceanography are expected to experience a 16% growth in jobs during the same period as the need for environmental monitoring, protection, and clean-up expands.

Careers in Marine Biology

  • Oceanographer
  • Environmental scientist
  • Medical scientist
  • Environmental protection scientist
  • Natural resources biologist
  • Fish and wildlife biologist
  • Aquarium director
  • Post-secondary education professor
  • Protected species observer
  • Coastal ecologist
  • Marine researcher
  • Zoologist
  • Fish and game warden
  • Marine policy specialist

Earn a Doctoral Degree

After receiving a master’s in marine biology, many students enter the doctoral program at Florida Tech or at another university. Along with a chance to conduct additional research and find new ways to contribute to the industry, a doctoral degree typically increases an individual’s earning potential as well as recognition as a subject-matter expert.

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