10 Best Marine Biology Colleges in Florida | Cost, Requirements, Accreditation

Have a flair for ocean and ocean life? Like to explore the world of sea creatures? Then you might be on your way to becoming a Marine Biologist.

This article is what you need to give you reliable information about the best colleges to help bring your dream come true.

We would focus this article on the best Marine Biology colleges in Florida since they are known for their exceptional training and excellent practices.

Before taking up or quitting your dream as a Marine Biologist, come along as we explore the world of Marine Biology.

What is Marine Biology?

Marine biology is the scientific study of the biology of marine organisms in conjunction with their mode and the interaction with their environment. Simply say it is the science that deals with animals and plants that live in the sea, and like all other scientific disciplines, its overriding goal is to find the truth.

Marine biology is branched into a broad variety of disciplines that ranges from cellular biology, biological oceanography, astronomy, ecology, geology, meteorology, molecular biology, physical oceanography, biological oceanography, chemistry, and zoology.

Because of the versed branch of marine biology, researchers are only left with the option of specializing in an area of interest to them.

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Is a Marine Biology Degree Worth it?

A wise saying says, “ it is your love for your profession that keeps you going on a job.”

To thrive in any profession, a man must love what he does. Hence, no work is less its worth. However, job opportunities, earnings, and career paths for all professions vary, yet none is superior as the world needs them all to remain valid.

Let’s dive back; marine biology isn’t all about swimming with dolphins and living in the sea- that’s like judging a book by its cover.  Marine biologist experts reveal the numerous benefits of being a marine biologist.

As population growth hits its peak, and the advent of diseases rises daily, there’s a need to turn to nature and stress the ability to produce good food, water, and shelter for humanity. Hence, we will continue to look to the ocean and ecosystem to help preserve our basic needs.

Hats off to marine biologists as they help in saving the planet through their research, passion, and needful knowledge shared at all times on how to save the ocean and the ecosystem. 

This field needs more people to help meet the world’s needs and conserve nature.

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Why Study Marine Biology in Florida?

Florida is known as a peninsula, which means it is surrounded by water on three sides. The Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of Florida surround it. Known as the only state that borders the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, its rich oceanography is innumerable. 

Where else in the world would be most suitable to study marine biology if not in a marine world (Florida), with more than two-thirds of its coastline made of sandy beaches, with no part in Florida having more than 50-60 miles from the beach.

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What do Marine Biologists do?

A marine biologist focuses on research projects on oceans and ocean lives. They research to collect, observe, protect, and manage marine creatures, and study their relationship with their environment and the activity of humans on sea creatures.

They also write scientific reports from their findings and publish them to educate the world. Some work as a marine biologist may be done in a laboratory, while others in the field may expose the marine biologist to extreme weather.

To get their research done, which involves many processes, they require specific tools like the fishing net, wetsuit, flaps, sonar, etc. In addition, they are the critical monitor of ocean health relating to human health, sustainability, and biodiversity.

Where do Marine Biologists Work in Florida?

As a Marine Biologist in Florida, your services are required in the following places.

  • Research Institutes
  • Universities
  • Secondary Schools
  • Pharmaceutical Industries
  • Animal management/care center
  • Ecology Technician
  • Aquarist
  • Marine Biology Instructor

What is the Job Outlook of Marine Biologists in Florida?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for biologists is a growth rate of 5% from 2018 to 2028, which is as fast as the average for all positions. The median pay in 2018 for zoologists, wildlife biologists, and other biologists was $63,420 per year. While the typical entry-level education needed is a bachelor’s degree, many marine biology jobs require a Ph.D.

A marine biologist can work in many different sub-fields and sectors of marine biology depending on their skills, education, and specialty. The following provides information about the various careers you can find as a marine biologist.

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How Much Does a Marine Biologist Make in Florida?

Most annual Marine Biologist salaries in Florida currently range between $38,439 to $71,386, with top earners making $76,033 annually, or between $17.72 to $25.78 hourly.

While an early career as a Marine Biologist with 1-4 years of experience may earn an average total compensation that includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay of $52,426, 

A mid-career Marine Biologist with 5-9 years of experience could earn an average total compensation of $52,414. Some in their late career (20 years and above) may make an average salary of $100,000.

Now, you should be convinced that marine biology is a lucrative field.

Which Body Accredits Marine Biology Programs in Florida?

There are few bodies responsible for the accreditation of marine biology programs in colleges in Florida. They include:

  • The Institute of Environmental Science (IES)
  • The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

How Much Does it Cost to Complete a Marine Biology Program in Florida?

The average tuition fees for a marine biology program in Florida ranges between $10,343 ( for state residents) and $29,706 (for out-of-state students)  for an academic year. For a graduate program, the tuition fee for a year is $29,706, and $23,293 for graduate programs.

How Long does it take to complete a marine biology program in Florida?

The number of years required to complete a marine biology program in Florida varies from a college degree to a master’s degree and Ph.D.

A period of four years is required to gain a Bachelor’s degree, while a period of two years is needed for a master’s degree and a period of three to four years for a Ph.D.

How To Apply For Marine Biology Programs In Florida

To become a marine biologist in Florida as an undergraduate, you must choose subjects like biology, mathematics, physics, and chemistry. These subjects are very peculiar in your journey as a marine biologist as it is the bedrock for all you will be during all through the course of your study.

If you meet the above requirement, kudos to you. The next step is to diligently source the best school for you in Florida where the best marine biology training would be given. Guess what! No worries, we got you; below are the 10 best marine biology schools to help you find one of your choices.

When you get the right school for you, get enrolled, and follow the due processes to gaining admission, this may vary from school to school. Just to add, you could apply for aid or fund the cost. All the best

Which Schools Offer the 10 Best Marine Biology Programs in Florida in 2023?

Below are the 10 best marine biology colleges in Florida.

#1. University of Miami

Founded in 1925, the University of Miami has currently ranked the 1st marine biology college in Florida. It is a 4-year, Private not-for-profit large institution in Coral Gables, Florida.

University offers a BS, MS, Master of Professional Science (MPS), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and 3 Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography programs. Its marine science focuses on various laboratory work, theoretical coursework, and research areas.

With an average annual cost of between $70,906 (before aid) and $30,841(after aid), the university has an acceptance rate of 27% and a graduate rate of 81%. In 2020, over 17,000 students were admitted.


#2. Florida International University

 Founded in 1965 and located in University Park Maimi, Florida. The public University is known as a public research university due to its enormous and outstanding research activities, hence grouped among the doctoral universities. It is ranked the 2nd best university in Florida and the largest in South Florida. 

The Marine Biology degree program here is usually very practical, and lots of research work supervised by professors is quite outstanding.

Having an average annual cost of between $23,865 ( before aid) and $8,311(after aid), the university has an acceptance rate of 58% and a graduation rate of 72%.


#3. Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Institute of Technology, also known as Florida Tech, was founded in 1958, and is located in Melbourne, Florida. It is a private research university, and the 3rd ranked in Florida. It currently has four academic colleges: Engineering & Science, Psychology & Liberal Arts, Business, and Aeronautics, with almost half its students annually, enrolled in the College of Engineering. 

It has an acceptance rate of 66% and a graduation rate of 57%, with an average annual cost of between $60,150 (Before aid) – $31,900 (After aid).


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#4. Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University is a private research institution founded in 1964 in Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Florida.

The marine biology program here focuses on rigorous science training designed to prepare students for further ocean science/marine biology studies. Hence they mainly offer a dual admission program in marine science and enable students to complete a bachelor’s degree and a non-thesis master’s degree in marine science within six years.

It utilizes a trimester-based academic calendar and ranks #227 in the 2021 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities. Its tuition and fees are $33,430, and an annual cost of between $52,967 (Before aid) – $25,816 (After aid).

It has an acceptance rate of 80% and a graduation rate of 62% in 18 college centers.


#5. University of West Florida

The University of West Florida is a public institution established in 1964. It employs a semester-based academic calendar. In the 2021 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities South, the University of West Florida ranks #36.

This University is among the few institutions in the U.S. that offer an undergraduate-level degree in Marine Biology. It also provides a rich marine science curriculum.

 Its current in-state tuition and fees are $6,360, and out-of-state tuition and fees are $18,628, while it has an average annual cost of between $20,322

(Before aid) – $8,125 (After aid). With an acceptance rate of 31% and a graduation rate of 65%, the University of West Florida remains one of the Best in Florida.


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#6. University of Tampa

The University of Tampa is a private university in Tampa, Florida. It was founded in 1931 and now offers more than 200 programs of study. It employs a semester-based academic calendar and ranks #13 in the 2021 edition of Best Colleges of Regional Universities South.

Its marine science courses are usually hands-on and unique.

Its tuition and fees are $30,884, with an annual average cost of between $46,758 (Before aid) – $30,579 (After aid). The current acceptance rate is 45%, and the graduation rate of 58%.


#7. Florida Southern College

Florida Southern College is a private institution in Lakeland, Florida. It was founded in 1883 and employs a semester-based academic calendar. It currently ranks no.9 in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges among the South Regional Universities.

Like others, its Marine Biology program is designed to allow students to explore the variety of life in the world’s oceans.

With tuition and fees of $38,980 and an annual average cost of between $53,600 (Before aid) – $26,036 (After aid), it currently has an acceptance rate of 52% and a graduation rate of 60%.


#8. Rollins College

 Rollins College is a private liberal arts institution officially the oldest higher education in Florida. It was founded in 1885 in Winter Park, Florida, and employs a semester-based academic calendar.

Its marine biology program provides students with a verse understanding of the basic principles of marine ecosystems. 

Rollins College ranks no. 1 in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges of South Regional Universities. Its tuition and fees are $53,716, with an average annual cost of between $70,026 (Before aid) – $27,537(After aid). It has an acceptance rate of 58% and a graduation rate of 68%.


#9. Eckerd College

Eckerd College is a coeducational liberal art private college in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was founded in 1958 and employs a 4-1-4-based academic calendar. 

The marine science program offered here is an excellent and detailed hands-on curriculum designed to serve as part of a liberal arts education.

Eckerd College is known for its exceptional delivery of marine science, and it ranks no. 136 in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges of National Liberal Arts Colleges.

It has tuition and fees of $47,704, with an average annual cost of between $63,572 (Before aid) – $32,575 (After aid). The acceptance rate is 67%, and the graduation rate of 66%.


#10. Ave Maria University

Ave Maria University is a private Catholic liberal art university in Ave Maria, Florida. Located in Southwest Florida. It was founded in 1998 and employs a semester-based academic calendar. 

The Marine Biology Degree is based on biological organisms and ecology and is built on the foundation of the B.S. Biology degree. Other science courses are expedient for a sound marine biology degree.

Its tuition and fees are $23,188, with an average annual cost of between $38,009 (Before aid) – $17,981 (After aid). Its acceptance rate is 85%, its graduation rate is 64%, and it ranks no.224 in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges of National Liberal Arts Colleges.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is Marine Biology a lucrative course?

Yes, a marine biologist is greatly needed worldwide as there are still many ocean lives to be unvailed.

Where can I work as a Marine Biologist?

As a marine biologist, a world of work await you as the list is endless: Tropical Marine Lecturer, Marine Mammal, Sea Turtle Observer, Marine Science Instructor, Lab Analyst, Research Associate, and Aquarist.

Is Florida a good place to study marine biology?

Indeed, Florida is a state surrounded by the ocean (the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of Florida).

Where can I study Marine Biology in Florida?

You can study marine biology at; the University of Miami, Florida International University, Nova Southeastern University, Florida Institute of Technology, University of West Florida, and Florida Southern College.


The best marine biology schools in Florida offer learners an opportunity to gain solid theoretical and practical knowledge of the course through direct exposure to the oceans in Florida.


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