Marine Biology Major

Marine Biology Major

The major in marine biology provides students with a broad understanding of the basic biological and ecological principles as they relate to the marine ecosystems.  Core courses will expose students to the discovery nature of science and educate them in their roles as global citizens in preserving the health of the marine environment.  The major prepares students to enter careers and advanced studies in biological research, environmental science and conservation.


Thirteen (13) courses are required: eight (8) core marine biology courses, three (3) core chemistry courses, one (1) biology elective course, one approved field experience in marine biology, and satisfactory performance on a comprehensive standard exam. At least eight (8) of the thirteen (13) courses required for the marine biology major must be taken at Rollins College or as part of a Rollins-sanctioned program. Of these eight (8), at least five (5) must be BIO prefix courses beyond BIO 120/121.
Students may not major, double major, or minor in both Marine Biology and Biology.


  • BIO 120 General Biology I
  • BIO 121 General Biology II
  • BIO 210 Introduction to Marine Science
  • One course in marine organisms (BIO 211 Marine Botany, BIO 236 Invertebrate Zoology, or BIO 240 Biology of Fishes
  • One course in molecular biology/genetics (BIO 308 Genetics OR BIO 341 Molecular Biology)
  • BIO 316 Ecology
  • BIO 335 Marine Biology with Laboratory
  • BIO 435 Senior Seminar in Marine Biology OR approved BIO 499 in Marine Biology


  • CHM 120 General Chemistry I
  • CHM 121 General Chemistry II
  • CHM 220 Organic Chemistry I

An approved field experience in marine biology is required and may be satisfied by one of the following.

  • BIO 388 Marine Biology Laboratory OR
  • One (1) semester in residence at an approved marine field station* OR
  • One (1) approved internship

*Currently approved field stations are the Duke University Marine Lab and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

A minimum of six (6) semester hours comprising any biology courses from BIO 210 and above. Courses from core groupings, other than those used to satisfy the core, may be used as electives. One (1) Biology internship (BIO 296, 396, or 496) may be used as an elective. The course(s) used to fulfill the biology elective for the Marine Biology major may not be used to satisfy the requirements of other majors.

Students preparing for graduate programs in any area of biology or professional school require a thorough introduction to physics and calculus. Therefore, they are advised to take CHM 221, PHY 120 and PHY 121 or 131, calculus, and statistics.