Marine Biology, B.S.


The B.S. degree in Marine Biology provides students with the opportunity to learn biological principles and skills in lecture, laboratory and field courses with a core curriculum in Marine Biology. Student research is emphasized throughout the program. Program faculty are actively involved in a wide range of disciplines, including marine ecology, evolution, marine mammalogy, invertebrate physiology, cryobiology, biological oceanography, aquatic contaminant studies, and marine fisheries. Students have the option to choose a Fisheries Science Emphasis or to pursue General Electives. The location of the University provides students with a “natural laboratory” that includes extensive marine habitat, rainforest, wetlands, and ice fields all within walking distance of the classrooms. A small student-to-professor ratio ensures a more personal approach to learning than is possible at larger universities. Additional information about the marine biology program can be found at

Admission Requirements

Applicants enter as pre-majors and will be considered for full admission to the B.S. in Marine Biology after completion of the following:

*Fundamentals of Biology I
and *Fundamentals of Biology II
*Introduction to General Chemistry (or High school chemistry) 1
*College Algebra for Calculus (may be met by placement examination)
*Writing Across Contexts

With a C (2.00) or higher

When a student becomes a major in Marine Biology, they are assigned a faculty advisor. The student and faculty advisor plan the student’s curriculum, and the advisor’s signature is required on registration documents.

Candidates must complete the General Education Requirements (GERs), the Alaska Native Knowledge Graduation Requirement, as well as the specific program requirements listed below for a minimum of 120 credit hours.

Courses in a degree program may be counted only once. Courses used to fulfill the major requirements cannot be used to fulfill the GERs. Specific requirements for GERs in Marine Biology are listed below. The degree must include 44 credits of upper-division (300 or above) courses, 24 of which must be completed at UAS.

Minimum Credit Hours 120
General Education Requirements 36
Alaska Native Knowledge Graduation Requirement 3
Major Requirements 46
Marine Biology Core Classes 11
Biology Electives 6
General Electives 21
General Education Requirements
Must include the following:36
*Fundamentals of Biology I
*Fundamentals of Biology II
*Calculus I
Major Requirements
BIOL S215Introduction to Marine Biology3
BIOL S271Ecology4
BIOL S310Animal Physiology4
BIOL S362Genetics4
BIOL S482Evolution4
*General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
*General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
CHEM S321Organic Chemistry I4
CHEM S342Biochemistry4
STAT S200*Elementary Statistics3
Select one of the following Physics sequences:8
*College Physics I
and *College Physics II
*General Physics I
and *General Physics II
Marine Biology Core Classes
Select three of the following:10-12
Biological Oceanography
Conservation Biology
Marine Ornithology and Herpetology
Marine Mammalogy
Invertebrate Zoology
Physiology of Marine Animals
Introduction to Ichthyology
Marine Ecology
Biology Electives
Select six credits of the following:6
Introduction to Plant Biology
Communicating Science
Tropical Marine and Coastal Ecology
Experimental Design and Data Analysis
Current Topics in Biology:
Marine Ornithology and Herpetology
Field Studies in Behavior and Ecology 1
Individual Research 1
Animal Behavior
Aquatic Pollution
Biology Seminar
Research in Biology
Biogeography and Landscape Ecology
All Marine Biology students have the option of pursuing a Fisheries Science Emphasis, which will satisfy up to 21 of the 22 General Elective requirements.
Fisheries Science Emphasis Requirements19-21
Must include (13 credits):
Introduction to Marine Fisheries Science 4
Introduction to Ichthyology
(Fish and Fisheries of Alaska) 4
(Fisheries Management) 4
Select two additional electives in BIOL (UAS) or FISH (UAF) with advisor permission (6-8 credits).
General Electives
To include upper-division courses as needed to meet 44 upper division credits required for degree.up to 22

Up to 6 credits total from BIOL S396, BIOL S398, BIOL S498 may be applied


Only 4 credits from BIOL S375 and 2 credits from BIOL S492 may be applied toward the Biology Electives.  Others may be applied toward General Electives.


May be applied toward the Biology Electives and General Electives for students not pursuing the emphasis.

FISH courses available from UAF distance or face-to-face at the Lena Point SFOS facility.


May be applied toward the Biology Electives and General Electives for students not pursuing the emphasis.

FISH courses available from UAF distance or face-to-face at the Lena Point SFOS facility.

  1. Students will gain a broad background in biological sciences.
  2. Students will develop critical thinking skills.
  3. Students will improve oral and written scientific communication skills.
  4. Students will gain practical experiences in basic biological research.