How to Become a Marine Biologist

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How to Become a Marine Biologist. Marine biologists study ocean life and its relationship to the environment. Studies are conducted from boats, at oceanography centers, at aquariums and in certain coastal areas. Advanced degrees in the field are necessary for positions of responsibility and research.

Take lots of science classes in high school, including biology, chemistry, physics and advanced mathematics. Become as computer literate as possible.

Maintain a high grade point average.

Ask your high school guidance counselor to help you get a list of colleges that are known for their marine biology programs. (Try Marine Biology Web at

Send for college catalogs and applications well before your senior year. Make certain you meet the requirements before you apply for admission.

Choose your college carefully, especially if you have a particular emphasis you would like to study. However, realize that your undergraduate studies will be mostly biological science courses that are meant to prepare you for your advanced degree.

Apply for summer internships in your area of interest.

Decide on your eventual specialty in marine biology before you begin to apply to graduate schools for your master's degree. It is pointless to apply to a school where your desired concentration does not currently exist.


For independent research or teaching at a university, a Ph.D. is required. For some applied research positions, a master's degree will suffice. Be prepared to commit yourself to years of learning if you want to make this your lifetime career.

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