A bachelor’s in marine science is the perfect undergraduate degree for those students interested in studying the oceans from an interdisciplinary perspective. Coursework for this particular degree is often hands-on and includes myriad opportunities for experiential learning activities, fieldwork, and research. Many marine science graduates go on to work as conservationists, researchers, consultants, and professors. Others pursue graduate work in the field. Whatever your future plans, we can help you find a top value bachelor’s degree in marine science program.

Ranking Methodology

Tuition Points:
• Under $30,000—1 point
• Under $25,000—2 points
• Under $20,000—3 points
• Under $15,000—4 points
• Under $10,000—5 points

Students Receiving Financial Aid:
• 60%–1 point
• 70%–2 points
• 80%–3 points
• 90%–4 points

Customization Options
• Content Customizations (e.g. Concentrations and Specializations)—1 Point Per Customization Option
• Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option

Wow Factor
• 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us

Best Value Colleges for a Bachelor’s in Marine Science
To compile the following list of the top 20 value bachelor’s in marine science degrees, our editors searched College Navigator for colleges and universities offering this undergraduate degree. Beginning with an initial pool of 85 schools, we then took the school’s tuition and financial aid information into account as well as program details as published on each school’s website (see ranking details above). What follows is the resulting ranking of the 20 top value bachelor’s in marine science degree programs for 2017.

#20 – Samford University

Bachelor of Science in Marine Sciences

Birmingham, Alabama

Samford University bachelor's degree in marine science

Samford University’s bachelor’s in marine science program requires a one-semester residency.

Website
Points: 5
Samford University offers a bachelor’s in marine science program through the Howard College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to the university core curriculum and general education requirements, students are required to take natural and computational science classes such as Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry and Organic Reactions and Mechanisms as well as marine science courses like Marine Botany, Marine Ecology, and Marine Vertebrate Zoology. In addition, bachelor’s degree in marine science students are required to spend one semester studying marine science first-hand at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Mobile Bay.
Tuition: $28,370

#19 – University of California—Berkeley

Bachelor of Arts in Marine Sciences

Berkeley, California

University of California- Berkeley marine science degree

The University of California–Berkeley’s bachelor’s in marine science program is a unique BA offering.

Website
Points: 5
The University of California—Berkeley offers a unique bachelor’s in marine science program from its Department of Earth and Planetary Science resulting in a BA in marine science. Requirements for the major include lower division courses in math and physics and upper division classes such as Introduction to Aquatic and Marine Geochemistry, Fish Ecology, Communicating Ocean Science, and Carbon Cycle Dynamics. Bachelor’s degree in marine science students may also be eligible for an honors program in marine science, provided they maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3 in both general education classes and marine science classes.
Tuition: $13,431

#18 – Hampton University

Bachelor’s in Marine and Environmental Science

Hampton, Virginia

Hampton University marine science degree

Hampton University’s bachelor’s in marine science students study at the nearby Chesapeake Bay Wildlife Preserve.

Website
Points: 6
The bachelor’s in marine science offering from Hampton University is an interdisciplinary major in marine and environmental science. In addition to courses offered through the School of Science’s Department of Marine and Environmental Science, students will also take classes from several other departments, including physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, and geology. Experiential learning opportunities include interactions with marine wildlife as well as field experiences at local wildlife preserves, including the Chesapeake Bay Wildlife Preserve. Hampton’s marine science degree students graduate prepared for entry-level positions in marine science or graduate study in the field.
Tuition: $23,112

#17 – University of Connecticut

B.S./B.A. in Marine Sciences

Storrs, Connecticut

University of Connecticut bachelor's degree in marine science

The University of Connecticut offers a bachelor’s in marine science with both BS and BA tracks.

Website
Points: 6
The University of Connecticut offers a dynamic bachelor’s in marine science program through its College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students can pursue either a BA or BS in marine science with concentrations in marine biology, oceanography, or environmental science. The curriculum consists of marine science core courses such as Coastal Systems Science and Environmental Reaction and Transport, social sciences courses like Economics of the Oceans, Human Modifications of Natural Environment, and Environmental Law, and marine science electives in marine biology, physics, and chemistry. Optional internships are also available for juniors and seniors pursuing a bachelor’s degree in marine science.
Tuition: $13,366

#16 – University of Mobile

Bachelor of Science in Marine Sciences

Mobile, Alabama

University of Mobile marine science degree

University of Mobile bachelor’s in marine science students are encouraged to minor in chemistry.

Website
Points: 7
The University of Mobile offers a bachelor’s in marine science degree program through its College of Arts and Sciences. Although most coursework can be completed on campus, students should expect to spend at least two summers studying at the nearby Dauphin Island Sea Lab. In addition to the 28-semester hour university core, students will take major-specific courses such as Ecology and Field Biology, Marine Biology, Science and Ethics, and Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry. Bachelor’s degree in marine science students are encouraged but not required to minor in chemistry.
Tuition: $20,470

#15 – Eckerd College

Bachelor’s in Marine Science

St. Petersburg, Florida

Eckerd College bachelor's degree in marine science

Eckerd College offers a bachelor’s in marine science with four specialization options.

Website
Points: 8
Eckerd College offers a bachelor’s in marine science program featuring four different areas of specialization: Marine Biology, Marine Chemistry, Marine Geology, and Marine Geophysics. The comprehensive, interdisciplinary curriculum is comprised of courses such as Biological Oceanography, Marine and Freshwater Botany, Principles of Hydrology, and Coastal Geology. The school’s waterfront location off of the Gulf of Mexico allows for many experiential learning and research opportunities. Study abroad programs and internships are also available for interested bachelor’s degree in marine science students.
Tuition: $40,020

#14 – East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

B.S. in Marine Science

East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

East Stroudsburg University marine science degree

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania’s bachelor’s in marine science students participate in hands-on learning activities at Wallops Island Marine Station.

Website
Points: 8
The bachelor’s in marine science degree program from East Stroudsburg University features a mostly prescribed curriculum. Enrolled students will take required courses such as Investigations in Marine Science, Introduction to Oceanography, and Marine Ecology as well as co-requisite classes like Organic Chemistry, General Statistics, and Fundamental Physics. East Stroudsburg marine science degree students will also participate in regular field experiences at the Wallops Island Marine Station. These experiential learning activities complement theoretical study of marine science in the classroom.
Tuition: $9,684

#13 – Stony Brook University

Bachelor of Science in Marine Sciences

Stony Brook, New York

Stony Brook University bachelor's degree in marine science

Stony Brook University’s bachelor’s in marine science students may opt for a dual degree in atmospheric sciences.

Website
Points: 8
Stony Brook University offers a highly interdisciplinary bachelor’s in marine science program through its School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. The curriculum is comprised of specialty course titles such as Marine Microbiology and Microbial Ecology, Engineering Geology and Coastal Processes, Environmental Instrumental Analysis, and Long Island Marine Habitats. Stony Brook’s bachelor’s degree in marine science students may also pursue a dual master’s degree in marine and atmospheric sciences. Students participate in hands-on activities through field and laboratory experiences near the campus and through the field station located at the Southampton campus.
Tuition: $8,855

#12 – Rutgers University—New Brunswick

Bachelor’s in Marine Sciences

New Brunswick, New Jersey

Rutgers University-New Brunswick bachelor's degree in marine science

Rutgers University–New Brunswick’s bachelor’s in marine science program features four areas of specialization.

Website
Points: 9
Bachelor’s in marine science students at Rutgers University—New Brunswick have the opportunity to choose from five available specialization options: Marine Biology/Biological Oceanography, Marine Chemistry, Physical Oceanography, Marine Geology, and Directed Marine Studies. Some sample course titles include Dynamics of Marine Ecosystems, Oceanographic Methods and Data Analysis: Biology/Chemistry, History of the Earth System, and Aquaculture. In addition to field experiences and lab experiments, marine science degree students must also complete an experience-based education requirement prior to graduation.
Tuition: $14,131

#11 – The University of Alabama

Bachelor of Science in Marine Sciences

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

University of Alabama marine science degree

University of Alabama’s bachelor’s in marine science students pursue dual degrees in biology, chemistry, or geology.

Website
Points: 9
The bachelor’s in marine science offerings from the University of Alabama are technically double majors in marine science/biology, marine science/chemistry, and marine science/geology. Although general education courses and single disciplinary courses are offered year-round, marine science classes are only offered during the summer at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Undergraduate research projects are also encouraged. Marine science degree students graduate from the program well-prepared for graduate study in marine science or a related field or for entry-level positions in education, government agencies, or ecotourism.
Tuition: $10,170

#10 – California State University—Monterey Bay

B.S. in Marine Science

Monterey Bay, California

California State University- Monterey Bay bachelor's degree in marine science

California State University–Monterey Bay’s bachelor’s in marine science program features unique course titles like Small Boat Field Techniques.

Website
Points: 9
California State University—Monterey Bay offers a bachelor’s in marine science program that prepares graduates for work in the public and private sectors as well as for graduate study in marine science and related fields. The curriculum consists of core courses, science communication classes, courses in quantitative research and service learning as well as six marine science electives. Specialty course topics include Small Boat Field Techniques, Seafloor Mapping, Aquatic Ecology, and Marine Experimental Physiology. Bachelor’s degree in marine science students also benefit from other campus institutions such as the Moss Landing Marine Labs.
Tuition: $6,119

#9 – University of Maine

B.S. in Marine Sciences

Orono, Maine

University of Maine marine science degree

The University of Maine offers a rare bachelor’s in marine science degree with a concentration in aquaculture.

Website
Points: 11
The University of Maine offers a bachelor’s in marine science program with available concentrations in marine biology, physical marine science (oceanography), and aquaculture. The school also offers minors in aquaculture and fisheries. Enrolled students will take marine science core courses such as Marine Policy, Biology of Marine Organisms, and Oceans and Climate Change; non-marine science core classes like General Physics and Basic Biology; and concentration-specific course titles including Critical Issues in Aquaculture, Field Marine Ecology, and Descriptive Physical Oceanography. Marine science degree students are encouraged to participate in a residency at the University’s Darling Marine Center.
Tuition: $10,610

#8 – Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

Bachelor of Science in Marine Science

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania marine science degree

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania’s bachelor’s in marine science students enjoy experiential learning activities at nearby Chincoteague Bay Field Station at Wallops Island, Virginia.

Website
Points: 11
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania’s interdisciplinary bachelor’s in marine science offering features specializations in marine biology and oceanography. Depending on which specialization track students choose, they will take courses such as Marine Ecology, Chemical Oceanography, Marine Botany, and General Geophysics. Kutztown marine science students will also enjoy hands-on opportunities at the nearby Chincoteague Bay Field Station at Wallops Island, Virginia. In order to complete the graduation requirements for this bachelor’s degree in marine science program, students must participate in either an undergraduate research project or a supervised internship.
Tuition: $9,411

#7 – University of Southern Mississippi

Bachelor of Science in Marine Sciences

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

University of Southern Mississippi bachelor's degree in marine science

The University of Southern Mississippi offers a standout bachelor’s in marine science in hydrography.

Website
Points: 11
The University of Southern Mississippi offers a unique bachelor’s in marine science in hydrography degree. The program is comprised of general education requirements, prerequisite math and science classes, a marine science core, and required courses in hydrographic science. Specialty course topics include Remote Sensing for Hydrographers, Ocean Policy and Management, Electronic Charting and Navigation, and Nautical Science. The curriculum for this marine science degree program is largely driven by the standards of competency for hydrographic science as set forth by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).
Tuition: $7,334

#6 – University of Hawaii at Hilo

B.S./B.A. in Marine Sciences

Hilo, Hawaii

University of Hawaii at Hilo marine science degree

University of Hawaii at Hilo’s bachelor’s in marine science students enjoy special resources such as a fleet of marine vehicles.

Website
Points: 11
The versatile bachelor’s in marine science degree program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo is offered through the school’s College of Arts and Sciences. Students can choose to pursue either a BA or BS in marine science, and a minor and certificate program are also available. Specialty course topics include Statistical Applications in Marine Science, Marine Ecology and Evolution, Global Change, and Coastal Methods and Analyses. Marine science degree students have access to special resources through the Marine Science Department, including a fleet of marine vessels, scuba diving equipment, and a scanning electron microscopy laboratory.
Tuition: $7,332

#5 – University of Miami

Bachelor’s in Marine Sciences

Miami, Florida

University of Miami bachelor's degree in marine science

The University of Miami is home to one of the most customizable bachelor’s in marine science programs in the country.

Website
Points: 12
The University of Miami offers a versatile bachelor’s in marine science program through the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science with nine available focus areas: Biology, Chemistry, Geological Sciences, Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics, Microbiology and Immunology, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The marine science degree curriculum is comprised of general education requirements, marine science core classes such as Marine Chemistry, Scientific Programming for Marine Science, and Physical Oceanography, as well as concentration-specific courses like Computer Architecture, Modern Physics, and Structural Geology.
Tuition: $45,724

#4 – University of South Carolina

Bachelor of Science in Marine Sciences

Columbia, South Carolina

University of South Caroline marine science degree

University of South Carolina’s bachelor’s in marine science students have the option of studying coastal resource management/marine affairs.

Website
Points: 12
The bachelor’s in marine science degree program from the University of South Carolina is offered through the School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment. Enrolled students may choose one of five areas of emphasis: biological oceanography, chemical oceanography, geological oceanography, physical oceanography, or coastal resource management/marine affairs. USC’s marine science degree is highly interdisciplinary, incorporating topics from many other subject areas such as mathematics, engineering, social sciences, and physics, among others. Students graduate with a broad and holistic understanding of oceans.
Tuition: $11,482

#3 – North Carolina State University—Raleigh

Bachelor of Science in Marine Sciences

Raleigh, North Carolina

University of North Carolina bachelor's degree in marine science

The University of North Carolina’s bachelor’s in marine science program emphasizes the state’s diverse settings.

Website
Points: 12
North Carolina State University—Raleigh offers a robust bachelor’s in marine science program with five distinct concentrations: Biological Oceanography, Chemistry, Geology, Meteorology, and Physics. In addition to concentration-specific courses, enrolled students will take foundational courses in marine science such as Organic Chemistry, Animal Phylogeny & Diversity, Physics for Engineers and Scientists, and Introduction to Coastal Environments. Bachelor’s degree in marine science students and NC State will also enjoy rich field experiences in the state’s diverse settings as well as opportunities for internships and undergraduate research.
Tuition: $8,581

#2 – Alaska Pacific University

Bachelor’s in Marine Science and Environmental Sciences

Anchorage, Alaska

Alaska Pacific University marine science degree

Alaska Pacific University’s bachelor’s in marine science students can choose a concentration or opt for an integrated degree.

Website
Points: 14
The bachelor’s in marine science degree program from Alaska Pacific University is a highly versatile option, allowing students to choose one of six distinct concentrations: Marine Biology, Fisheries, Earth and Climate, Ecology, Applied Math, or Aquarium and Husbandry Science. An integrated degree may also be pursued for those interested in a broader marine science education. Minors in Marine & Environmental Sciences, Environmental Policy, and Mathematics for Environmental Science are also available. Marine science degree students also take advantage of the many internships, service learning opportunities, and experiential learning activities throughout Anchorage.
Tuition: $19,610

#1 – Coastal Carolina University

B.S. in Marine Science

Conway, South Carolina

Coastal Carolina University bachelor's degree in marine science

Coastal Carolina University’s bachelor’s in marine science students have many content customization options to choose from including emphasis areas, minors, and double majors.

Website
Points: 15
Coastal Carolina University offers a highly customizable bachelor’s in marine science program with several different areas of emphasis for students to choose from, including Atmosphere/Ocean Dynamics, Coastal Geology, Marine Analytical Technology, and Marine/Environmental Chemistry. Students are also encouraged to minor in a related field and/or pursue a double major. Some required courses for the bachelor’s degree in marine science include Advanced Genetics, Freshwater Ecology, Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing, and Developmental Biology. Enrolled students are encouraged to take advantage of the many experiential learning activities and research opportunities offered through the Center for Marine & Wetland Studies.
Tuition: $10,530

This concludes our ranking of the 20 top value bachelor’s in marine science degree programs for 2017.

CVO Staff
April 2017