researchers on boat in Barnegat Bay

Marine Biology and Coastal Sciences

Join us and get wet as we explore the other 70% of the planet!

Marine Biology and Coastal Sciences represents the wide variety of ecosystems that are linked through water. Study in this field encompasses freshwater lakes and streams, estuaries and coastal marine habitats. These are critical environments for numerous plants and animals, but can be compromised by human activities. Students pursuing this major want to understand the relationships among plants, animals and humans while learning how to protect and restore these necessary ecosystems.

The interdisciplinary Marine Biology and Coastal Sciences programs emphasize the four core sciences: Biology, Geology, Chemistry and Physics.

The program objectives are three-fold:

  1. Provide a well-defined, comprehensive knowledge of the disciplines associated with the coastal sciences and marine biology.
  2. Provide appropriate training for professional employment and knowledge to be prepared for a doctoral program.
  3. Provide students with research experiences applying project development and implementation, data gathering, analysis and interpretation and publication of results.

Graduates will be well prepared to enter the work force in Research, Environmental Consulting, Education, Regulatory Agencies (e.g. EPA) and Non-Profit Organizations.

Programs of Study

The Biology department offers opportunities in marine biology for both undergraduate and graduate students. Those looking for a fast track can also explore the combined program, providing the opportunity to earn both degrees in five years!


Dirk Vanderklein profile photo

Dirk Vanderklein

Chairperson, College of Science and Mathematics


Reach out to Dr. Bologna with questions regarding the program, and Dr. Vanderklein with forms that require department chair approvals.


Students in the program engage in both undergraduate and graduate research. Research opportunities abound in marine biology, aquatic ecology, geosciences, and environmental sciences for students in the program. Many student research projects are presented at regional and national meetings and many have been published in research journals.
Learn About Research in Marine Biology

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