URI Marine Biology Program

College of the Environment and Life Sciences

Information for Prospective Students

Prospective Undergraduates

Students interested in pursing Marine Biology as a career or who would like to apply their knowledge of marine biology to other career paths choose the BS Marine Biology degree. This program, which is administered by the Department of Biological Sciences, is a rigorous one. In addition to providing an opportunity to take upper-level courses in various aspects of marine biology, the curriculum is designed to give students a firm foundation in modern biological sciences, as well as in chemistry, math, and physics, thus keeping doors open for a broad range of career opportunities. Students interested in pursuing a degree program in Marine Biology are strongly encouraged to take as much science and math as they can in high school.

Alternatively, students may work towards a BS in Biological Sciences or a BA in Biology and take appropriate marine-related courses. Students majoring in other subjects may choose to complete a Minor in Marine Biology.

Useful URI Links:

High School Students

Students who wish to explore marine biology while still in high school might want to investigate the following summer programs:

Prospective Graduate Students

Prospective graduate students interested in studying Marine Biology through either the MS or PhD program in Biological and Environmental Sciences in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences or the MS or PhD programs in Oceanography (at GSO) should first contact prospective mentors (see Marine Biology Faculty) to learn more about their research programs, whether they have openings in their labs for new students, and to arrange campus visits.

  • Applications for admission in the Fall semester are due on January 15 for full consideration for financial aid (eg. Teaching Fellowships).
  • For applications, please visit the Graduate School webpage for instructions on how to apply on-line.
  • All applicants to the MS or PhD programs in Biological and Environmental Sciences (BES) must specify which of the five specializations to which they are applying as described on the BES website.
  • Teaching Assistantships (stipend and tuition remission in exchange for 20 hours/week teaching responsibilities) are available to qualified MS and PhD students.
  • Summer Teaching Assistantships may also be available.
  • Research Assistantships (academic year, summer) may be available in faculty laboratories depending on available funding.
  • Research Fellowships (one year, by application) are available from the Graduate School.
  • Students are encouraged to apply for NSF Graduate Fellowships and other external sources of funding to support their work.
  • Small grants for the support of graduate research and travel to conferences are available via application from the CELS Dean’s office, the Graduate School, and the Graduate Student Association.

The College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS) also has graduate programs in the fields of Environmental Science and ManagementMarine Affairs and Marine Resource Economics, which integrate approaches from the fields of environmental science, policy, economics, law, history and sociology.

Useful Links:


Find more information…
About Our Students

About Our Students

Profiles of our incoming freshmen to the BS Marine Biology major and a listing of what our students do in the summer.
Learn more



Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to Undergraduate Study in Marine Biology.
Learn more



Think Big We Do

Copyright © 2014 University of Rhode Island.