Students with a passion for marine organisms and their behaviors will love the best colleges in Hawaii for marine biology. As one of the most notable locations for studying ocean life and ecosystems, there are some excellent schools to consider. Not to mention this career field is slated to grow exponentially over the coming years.
There are many specialties, from analyzing the effects of global warming on marine communities to marine veterinary medicine. You must consider the top colleges in Hawaii to help you prepare for a successful career. In this guide, we list four schools in Hawaii that offer various learning opportunities.
Each of the ranked schools meets the following criteria:
- An average annual cost of no more than $30,000
- A median starting salary of up to $250,000 after graduation
- Accredited programs by recognized bodies
4 Best Colleges in Hawaii for Marine Biology
1. University of Hawaii at Hilo
4 Year; Hilo, HI
Average Annual Cost: $13,885
The marine biology program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo encompasses everything there is to know about marine science. Students will explore the vast world of oceans and gather a new appreciation for ecosystems and global environments. With the help of your classes, you’ll get hands-on, interactive learning supported by analytical thinking.
The marine science program ensures every graduate has field experience to help with potential careers upon graduation. You can expect to experience a multi-discipline learning pathway that focuses on natural science, chemistry, geology, mathematics, and physics. All in all, this program is designed to provide students with a well-rounded curriculum.
There are two avenues of study to consider at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. You can choose either a major or a minor in Marine Science. Additionally, there are other opportunities for learning through the Marine Options Program (MOP).
MOP is essential for students looking to get heightened employable experience in boating and diving safety. There’s also the potential for graduates to enroll in the Marine Options Program to diversify their employable skills. The distinctive design of the marine biology program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo is responsible for their 41% graduation rate.
Also, 69% of students return after their first year and make approximately $72,357 annually with their chosen careers.
2. Brigham Young University – Hawaii
4 Year; Laie, HI
Average Annual Cost: $14,051
Brigham Young University – Hawaii has a unique program designed for students interested in marine biology. With their curriculum, students will choose a major followed by a marine biology minor. You’ll have either a B.S. in Biology Education or a B.S. in Biology (General) when you graduate.
One of the most considerable benefits of this program is that you can take a marine biology major as a specialization. There is a wide assortment of classes that you can take with a unique focus on ocean systems and their biology, including:
- Marine Biology Lab
- Oceanography and Marine Science
- Pacific Natural History
Obtaining a B.S. in Biology from Brigham Young University – Hawaii gives you the fundamentals to pursue a career in life sciences. As mentioned, you can choose to specialize in marine biology, but it also prepares you for a job involving natural history, anatomy, genetics, and more. Many students find employment options are diverse in industries such as government service, medical, and research.
Another minor you can choose if you are interested in wildlife is the Introduction to Conservation Biology Minor. With this minor, you can expect to enroll in classes such as:
- Conservation Biology
- Pacific Natural History
- Invertebrate Zoology
- General Ecology
Brigham Young University – Hawaii has an incredible graduation rate at 65%, and 62% of their student body returns after their first year. You can earn approximately $49,436 annually when you graduate with your degree.
3. University of Hawaii at Manoa
4 Year; Honolulu, HI
Average Annual Cost: $15,030
The marine biology program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is highly competitive, making it a top-tier option. During your studies, you’ll work through upper-division instruction in various areas. Not only will you gather a strong foundation in biological sciences but specialization in marine biology.
Students in the undergraduate department can also opt to continue their studies to acquire a Master’s degree in marine biology. With both options open, you can further your specialization to enhance your employable skills. You’ll also find the undergraduate programs help prepare students for a Graduate Record Examination in Biology if you want to pursue a specialty.
As a student in the marine biology program, you’ll be required to complete 120 credit hours to receive your Bachelor of Science. Some of the most common courses you can expect to take include:
- Hawaiian Environment Science
- Cell and Molecular Biology
- Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
- Marine Ecology and Evolution
- Marine Mammal Biology
- Island Ecosystems
4. Hawaii Pacific University
4 Year; Honolulu, HI
Average Annual Cost: $27,508
A career revolving around the study of ocean life can be gratifying. At Hawaii Pacific University, students can explore an assortment of diverse ecological systems. Not only will you get hands-on experience working with organism adaptations and their environments, but exposure to fantastic ocean environments as well.
Students will work along beaches, shorelines, wetlands, and beaches to explore everything the ocean offers. At Hawaii Pacific University, students will also delve into invertebrate zoology, ichthyology, deep-sea ecology, marine toxicology, and more. If you’re searching for a program designed around marine conservation technology, this is a fantastic option.
Hawaii Pacific University works towards helping students use biological perspectives when analyzing complex ecological problems. You’ll also learn to utilize scientific principles to explore marine environments and organisms. Another huge facet of your education will be gathering basic physical sciences knowledge.
There are many benefits students can use to their advantage in the marine biology program at Hawaii Pacific University. They have smaller classroom sizes, fostering better one-on-one teachings and an in-depth curriculum. Students will also get hands-on learning in labs and the field to diversify their education.
59% of students return to the school after their first year, showing the unique nature of the curriculum. It’s also important to note that you can earn approximately $64,990 annually with your degree after graduating.