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Best Marine Biology Colleges in California

Do you desire to study at one of the universities in California but you are still confused about selecting the best marine biology college that you can apply to? Then this article is meant for you.

Choosing the right college to study marine biology can give you the scholastic foundation and field experience you need to kick-start a promising career.

In this article, we will be listing out and also discussing the best Marine biology college in California to make your selection easier for you.


More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, and of this water, more than 96 percent is held by oceans.

These statistics certainly shed some light on why the field of marine biology is incredibly important. What happens amongst animals, plants, organisms, and ecosystems under the sea can have a drastic effect on the entire planet, including human beings.

Recently, students who graduate from a marine biology program are greatly in-demand. Many go on to enter enriching professional careers after their studies, working as environmental consultants, marine engineers, research scientists, policy advisors, and much more.

For those who prefer the classroom, graduate and Ph.D. opportunities abound for marine biology students eager to continue exploring the academic field. See Best Colleges for Sports Management.

Here are the best colleges in the U.S. to study marine biology.

  • University of San Diego
  • California State University, Monterey Bay,
  • California State University, Long Beach,
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of Southern California

University of San Diego

For undergraduates, the Environmental and Ocean Sciences major at the University of San Diego emphasizes both scientific rigor and ethical judgment and offers several educational pathways: environmental science (B.S. or B.A.), environmental studies (B.A.), and marine ecology (B.S.).

The University of San Diego partners with the Ocean Discovery Institute, which provides learning opportunities in the sciences for traditionally underserved young people. See University of San Diego Acceptance Rate.

Recent Graduate students in environmental and ocean sciences are conducting ongoing research on the impact of ocean acidification on marine snow, long-term changes in wetlands vegetation, factors affecting the health of Loggerhead turtles, oceanic microplastic concentrations, and more.

The closeness of the ocean means students may be treated to unexpected natural phenomena; in 2020, the campus witnessed stunning bioluminescent algae bloom that made the ocean’s waves glow neon blue at night.

California State University, Monterey Bay

California State University, Monterey Bay, offers a bachelor’s degree program in Marine Science that prepares students to enter careers in the public or private sectors or to continue with graduate studies.

The school also offers a master’s degree in Marine Science through Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

California State University Monterey Bay’s extramural research funding is through the Marine Science Research program, which exists to improve understanding of the relationships between human activities and ocean ecosystems.

Ongoing faculty projects include the California Undersea Imagery Archive, which collects still and video imagery from a variety of projects for future research; the Ocean Instrumentation Project, in which students are involved in developing low-cost instruments for student projects.

And the NSF Geo-Futures Program provides educational resources in the sciences and mentoring for students from underrepresented groups. 

Student internships and other hands-on learning opportunities are available through the Undergraduate Research Center, which offers research mentorship for undergraduates, and the Science Internship Program, a resource for internships on and off campus.

California State University, Long Beach

California State University, Long Beach, offers a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology within the Department of Biological Sciences.

The program includes an opportunity for a semester-long immersion program on Santa Catalina Island with the Southern California Marine Institute, with optional scuba-diving certification and motorboat operation training.

The master’s degree program in Marine Biology is heavily research-focused and prepares students to proceed to a Ph.D. or to pursue science-related careers in teaching, biological consulting, resource management agencies, and more.

There is a wide variety of research among the faculty, but areas of particular interest include the conservation and restoration of coastal wetlands, comparative physiology, the impacts of pollution and other human activities on ocean life, and the evolution of marine fishes.

Students may become involved in faculty research and gain hands-on experience volunteering in the Marine Lab.

In 2021, marine biology graduate students at California State University, Long Beach, assisted NOAA with sampling to determine the extent of a crude oil spill in the Huntington Beach area.

They collected fish to test for the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which helped the agency assess the degree of contamination and direct their mitigation efforts.


That was all in this article, was it helpful to you in your choice of school decision? If yes, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with us via the comment box.

Last Updated on May 22, 2023 by Admin

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