Marine Biology

Marine Biology Concentration at USCB

Observing Marine Life in Tank on DockUSCB's Marine Biology program received state approval in 2020, but students have been taking course offerings focused on the marine environment since our founding. The program is situated on the Beaufort campus, and students can take all major classes there.  

Students finishing a concentration in marine biology will have a complex understanding of the marine environment and the impacts humans can make — both positively and negatively — on these ever more fragile realms.

Beaufort County is a living laboratory for the marine environment — home to an incredible, large, tidally influenced river system and to the Port Royal Sound, the largest natural port on the east coast of the United States. Beaufort County also contains an estimated 10% of the smooth cordgrass (Sporobolus alterniflorus, formerly Spartina) marsh area of the entire east coast of the United States. 

Many of our faculty focus on marine life and ecosystems. Their reserach interests include:

  • Exploring bio-medical discovery
  • Genetic analysis
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology 
  • Ecosystem research

Marine Biology Student Table

As part of the degree program, students will gain hands-on experience in different areas of marine biology.  Our capstone courses span the range from Biological Oceanography to practical knowledge of current and developing marine policies based on the science that students learn.  Students can intern or research locally and are encouraged to participate in summer internships ranging from primary research to federal-level internships.

Students searching in tidal pools

The types of classes you will take include:

  • Biological Oceanography
  • Marine Policy
  • Coral Reef Ecology
  • Salt Marsh Ecology
  • Invertebrate Zoology
  • Adaptations of Marine Organisms
  • Marine Plants
  • Ichthyology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Marine Ecology
  • Molecular Marine Ecology
  • Topics in Biology

Research opportunities are also available through faculty and regional research facilities including Waddell Mariculture Center, Port Royal Sound Foundation and opportunities with the Beaufort County.

Program of Study

For more information about USCB's program in Marine Biology, please contact us at