Frequently Asked Questions

We receive many questions about what kinds of job opportunities there are in marine biology and how to prepare for a career in the field of marine science. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions from Aquarium Senior Biologist Steve Webster.

What should I do now to prepare for a career in marine biology?

Take all the math and science courses offered at your school. Of course good grades will help, too. Also, try to volunteer at a local aquarium or zoo that has aquatic exhibits. You could also attend or work at summer aquatic camps or marine science programs.

Where can I find a good college for marine biology?

Any good school that has a strong science department will fill your requirements for an undergraduate education. You can use the Peterson's guide to colleges or our Additional Resources to search for a college that suits your interests.

What should my college major be?

Strange as it may sound, do not major in marine biology. Instead, major in biology, chemistry or even engineering, depending on your area of interest. You will also need courses in computer science, math, statistics and writing in order to round out your basic skill set.

How do I pick a graduate school?

Since the field of marine biology is so diverse, it helps to have an idea of your special area of interest as you approach your graduate studies. It's best to select a school with a faculty member who is doing work in your chosen field. Again, use the Peterson's guide to colleges or our Additional Resources to search for a graduate school that suits your interests. Look also in science libraries to see who is publishing in your desired field.

I'm not sure of my area of interest. What should I do?

If you are not yet sure of your specific interest, go to a school with a marine station (for example, Stanford, which operates the Hopkins Marine Station next to the Aquarium) that offers coursework in general marine biology. You can identify your field of concentration while you work toward your master's degree.