marine biology certificate programs online

Last Updated on August 16, 2022 by Alvina Ibe

There are many choices when it comes to earning a marine biology degree online. The best way to decide which type of program is right for you is by doing your research. In this guide, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about online marine biology programs so that you can make an informed decision about where and how to get your degree!

Online Marine Biology Programs

You can also find marine biology courses online, but these are typically at the graduate level and require extensive research experience. The same is true for online marine biology certificates.

Online marine biology programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate level, with some universities offering a certificate in marine biology as well. These programs may be offered completely or partially online, or they may be available only on campus.

Marine Biology Courses Online

If you’re interested in marine biology, you may be wondering what kind of courses are available. Marine biology is a broad subject that encompasses many different disciplines. A degree in marine biology will always include some core classes: biology, physics and chemistry. But depending on the school and program you choose to attend, your curriculum could also include geology or geophysics; geography or global studies; ecology or environmental science; and even engineering (if you want to focus on ocean engineering).

What will I learn in an online marine biology program?

A marine biology certificate program is a great way to prepare yourself for a career in the field. You will learn about different aspects of the world, including life at sea and environmental issues. Courses may include:

  • Marine ecology (biology of organisms)
  • Aquatic invertebrate zoology
  • Marine biology (university level)

Step 1 Admissions Requirements

To get into a marine biology certificate program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or higher on your last 60 semester hours at an accredited college or university. Your cumulative GPA will also be considered if your grades are not available for the most recent 60 semester hours.* If you have not completed 60 semester hours at an accredited college or university, then you should review our admissions requirements for students who have not yet earned an undergraduate degree.* Complete standardized exams such as the SAT or ACT (see below).
  • Successfully complete one college prep course in biology with a grade of C- or better at an accredited high school before enrolling in this course.* Be eligible to register for classes at any community college, junior college, four-year institution, technical institution, trade school or vocational/technical school that is regionally accredited by one of six regional accrediting bodies approved by the U.S. Department of Education (Note: Students who do not meet these eligibility requirements may still be admitted on special terms.)

Step 2 Choosing a Program

  • Choose a program that is accredited by the American Academy of Aquatic Sciences (AAAS).
  • Choose a program that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN).

Step 3 Program Length and Structure

Once you’ve decided on the school and program, it’s time to find out how long your studies will take. The amount of time it takes to complete one of these programs can vary greatly, but generally most certificate programs require between 12 and 36 months. If you’re planning on attending part-time, some schools offer day and evening classes that allow students to balance their education with a full-time job or other commitments. However, if you prefer full-time study (and have the schedule flexibility), this may be an option as well.

Some marine biology certificate programs are designed specifically for people who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field; these accelerated programs can be completed within two years. Other institutions offer online courses for learners who don’t need all of their credits from traditional college courses, but still want an advanced degree without leaving their home or taking time off from work–these typically take anywhere from 24 months to 48 months depending on the course load.

Step 4 Costs and Financial Aid

If you have decided that an online marine biology degree is for you, it’s time to start thinking about how you will pay for it. The good news is that the financial aid options are similar to those offered at on-campus colleges and universities.

But before we get into what types of financial aid are available and how to apply for them, let’s first take a look at some ways that you can save money while earning your marine biology degree online.

  • Compare different schools’ tuition rates: CollegeBoard publishes this information annually under its College Navigator program ( This information includes cost breakdowns by year so that prospective students can see exactly how much they’ll need each semester when they enroll in classes. If possible, try not to wait until the semester begins before figuring out how much money will be coming out of your pocket each month—it could help prevent any surprises along the way!

You have a lot of choices when it comes to earning a marine biology degree online.

As you look into online marine biology programs, you’ll find that the amount of choice is overwhelming. The good news is that there are many online marine biology degree programs available at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels from a variety of colleges and universities around the world. You can choose from a wide range of areas within marine biology such as:

  • Marine Biology
  • Marine Ecology
  • Oceanography
  • Fisheries Biology

If you’re interested in teaching children about ocean life or protecting certain species from extinction then maybe a career as an educator is for you instead. If this sounds like something that interests you then keep reading because we’ve got some great tips on how to become one!

How to Become a Marine Biologist

Marine biologists are scientists who study marine, or saltwater, organisms. Some marine biologists work with marine animals like fish and whales, while others study the activities and habitats of marine plant life or microscopic organisms. Marine biologists vary not only in the types of organisms they study, but in the ways they conduct their work. Some work out in the field conducting observation or preservation activities, while others work in research laboratories, and many work in both types of settings.

The research that marine biologists do may focus on marine ecology, conservation, and understanding the evolution, behavior, and physiology of marine organisms.Looking for an Online Biology Degree? Search Over 17,000 Online Programs:- Select a Program – Accounting Anthropology Art & Design Automotive Technology Biology Business CAD/Computer Aided Drafting Child Development Christian Counseling Civil Engineering Clinical Psychology Communications Computer Forensics Computer Networking Computer Programming Computer Science Conflict Resolution Construction Management Counseling Counseling Psychology Creative Writing Criminal Justice Curriculum & Instruction Database Administration Dental Assistant Developmental Psychology Early Childhood Education Economics Education Educational Leadership Electrical Engineering Electrician Elementary Education Engineering Engineering Management English Entrepreneurship Environmental Science ESL Fashion Finance Fine Arts Fire Science Forensic Psychology Forensic Science Graphic Design Gunsmithing Health Education Health Psychology Health Sciences Healthcare Administration Healthcare Informatics Healthcare Management Higher Education History Hospitality Management Human Resources Human Services HVAC Industrial/Organizational Psychology Information Technology Instructional Technology Interior Design Journalism Landscape Design Law Law Enforcement Legal Studies Liberal Studies Library Science Library Technology Management Marketing Marriage & Family Therapy Mathematics MBA MBA in Accounting MBA in Finance MBA in Healthcare Management MBA in Human Resources MBA in Information Systems MBA in International Business MBA in Management MBA in Marketing MBA in Organizational Leadership MBA in Public Administration MBA in Technology Management Medical Assistant Medical Billing & Coding Medical Office Administration Ministry Music Network Administration Network Security Neuropsychology Non-Profit Management Nurse Practitioner (Adult-Gerontology Acute Care) Nurse Practitioner (Adult-Gerontology Primary Care) Nurse Practitioner (Adult) Nurse Practitioner (Family) Nurse Practitioner (Gerontological) Nurse Practitioner (NP) Nurse Practitioner (Pediatric Primary Care) Nurse Practitioner (Psychiatric-Mental Health) Nursing Nutrition Occupational Therapy Assistant Organizational Leadership Paralegal Personal Training Pharmacy Pharmacy Technician Philosophy Photography Physical Therapy Physician Assistant Physics Plumbing Technology Political Science Project Management Psychology Public Administration Public Health Public Safety Management Reading & Literacy Education Real Estate Management Religious Studies Respiratory Therapy School Counseling School Psychology Secondary Education Social Psychology Social Sciences Social Work Sociology Software Engineering Special Education Sports Management Sports Psychology Substance Abuse Counseling Supply Chain Management Taxation Teaching Technology Management Veterinary Technician Video Game Design Vocational Web Design Web Development Writing  – Select a Degree Level – Bachelor’s Degree Master’s Degree  

What kind of training is required to become a marine biologist?

Like all scientists, marine biologists pursue a vigorous education that includes undergraduate and graduate study. As undergraduates, most prospective marine biologists study biology or zoology, and some choose majors in marine biology. Studying marine biology as an undergraduate is not a prerequisite to becoming a marine biologist, however. Marine biologists may find it useful to develop a strong background in engineering, mathematics, or computer science in addition to pursuing a natural sciences education.

Students in biology programs study biochemistry, cell biology, ecology, and evolution in addition to taking courses in physics, chemistry, calculus, and statistics. Biology students can choose elective courses to supplement the required courses for their major, and some schools offer courses in marine ecology and zoology, which is study of the animal kingdom. Biology programs have a large laboratory component, so students in these programs gain experience working with laboratory tools and following laboratory and research protocols.

Like students in general biology programs, zoology students take courses in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. After completing their core coursework in biology, zoology students take courses that focus on animal behavior and physiology or they may study particular types of animals like insects, birds, fish, or mammals.

Some colleges and universities offer undergraduate degree programs in marine biology. Marine biology students take courses that focus on oceanography, marine vegetation, marine invertebrates, marine vertebrates, and marine ecology. Many of the schools that offer marine biology programs are located near an ocean. Attending a program near an ocean can present students with opportunities to do valuable field work under the supervision of marine biologists conducting research.

Some marine biology jobs are available to those whose highest degree is a bachelor’s degree, but advancement often requires earning at least a master’s degree. Master’s degree programs in marine science focus on research and advanced study. Students take courses in biostatistics, oceanography, and marine chemistry, ecosystems, and geology. They may then choose electives in their area of interest. Students may choose to focus on the ecology of a specific marine area, or they may study a type of marine organism, like corals, fish, mammals, or plankton. Graduate students are also expected to conduct some original research in their area of interest and present a thesis.

Marine biologists who want to conduct independent research will most likely need a PhD. Like master’s degree programs, PhD programs include advanced study in an area of interest. PhD students must carry out original research to contribute to the body of knowledge in their field and write and defend a dissertation on their research.

Are there any certification or licensure requirements?

There are no certification or licensure requirements for marine biologists.

How long does it take to become a marine biologist?

Marine biologists must complete at least a bachelor’s degree, which takes about four years. Marine biologists who pursue master’s degrees may take an additional two to three years to complete their education, and earning a PhD will take up to six years more.

What does a marine biologist earn?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics groups marine biologists with other wildlife biologists and zoologists. The median yearly pay for this group of scientists was $57,710 in 2012. The lowest ten percent of zoologists and wildlife biologists earned less than $37,100 and the top ten percent made more than $95,430 that year.

What are the job prospects?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of zoologists and wildlife biologists will grow 5 percent between 2012 and 2020, slower than the average growth for all occupations.

While marine biologists will be needed to study the effects of human activity on marine life and develop conservation plans to protect marine life, hiring of marine biologists often depends on state and federal government budgets.

What are the long term career prospects for marine biologists?

Marine biologists can advance into positions with greater responsibility as they gain experience and additional education. Marine biologists who hold a PhD can eventually lead teams to carry out independent research in their area of interest, and some go into higher education as well.

How can I find a job as a marine biologist?

Marine biologists can work in a variety of settings, but most work for local, state, and federal governments. Federal jobs, including those with the US Department of the Interior, which includes the National Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, are posted on State and local governments also maintain job boards, and you can use these websites to find marine biology jobs as well.

Depending on your educational background and interests, you may also look for work with aquariums, fisheries, private research facilities, and colleges and universities. You will most likely make contacts with marine biologists in the field while you are completing your education, and you may receive information about job openings through these contacts.

How can I learn more about becoming a marine biologist?

Marine biology is a vast field that includes the study of a wide variety of organisms. There are many professional associations devoted to bringing together scientists who study specific animals, plants, and microorganisms. Some organizations also focus on conservation. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography maintains a list of marine professional societies and membership organizations, and you may find this list useful both for planning a career in marine biology and in determining what area of marine biology you are most interested in.


Marine biology degrees can lead to a variety of careers in the ocean sciences, including marine biology research, environmental science, and maritime industries. The best way to find the right program for you is by doing research on the different schools and their programs. Talk with your family or friends who have earned degrees in this field as well as current students who are studying marine biology online courses now. This will give you valuable insight into what it takes to succeed in an online program