Old Dominion University
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College of Sciences

Department of Biological Sciences

Marine Biology Concentration

The Marine Biology Concentration within the Department of Biological Sciences provides students with coursework, specialized advising and practical experience in marine biology while ensuring a strong, balanced education in the natural sciences.  Upon completion of the concentration requirements and graduation, the Marine Biology Concentration designation appears on the student's official transcript. 

The Biology major requires completion of Biology 115N/116N, followed by a series of core courses: BIOL 291 (Ecology); 292 (Evolution); 293 (Cell Biology); 303 (Genetics); and 405W (Biology Seminar). All core courses must be passed with a C (2.0) or better. In addition to the foundation courses, students must complete 16 credit hours of Biology electives from 300-400 level biology course offerings.  A minimum of three of the courses must have a laboratory/field component.  Students must pass all Biology electives with a C (2.0) or better (P = passing for courses graded Pass/Fail).

The Marine Biology Concentration requires completion of the general biology foundation courses (BIOL 115N/116N) and at least 15 credit hours in approved marine biology related courses at the advanced level (300-400 level), including two required courses:  BIOL 331 (Marine Biology) and OEAS 306 (Oceanography).  The remaining credit hours can be taken from the list of approved marine biology related courses, listed on the Marine Biology Concentration curriculum sheet.   A maximum of 3 credit hours of unstructured coursework may count toward the 15 credit hour marine biology elective requirement. 

Coursework in Marine Biology is supported by significant preparation in mathematics and other sciences. Students must complete: CHEM 121N/122N - CHEM 123N/124N, 211, and 5 hours at the 200 level or above; PHYS 111N; OEAS 111N ; STATS 130M; MATH 163 and MATH 211; and CS 121G.

Students in the program are expected to participate in non-credit, monthly meetings of the ODU Marine Biology Student Association.  A course completed at an off-campus marine biology laboratory or study abroad progam is recommended, as is a research, practicum, or internship experience in marine biology.

A variety of faculty, facilities and courses are available for biology majors interested in a concentration in marine biology. Facilities include a museum collection of marine fishes and marine invertebrates; research laboratories in fish biology, fisheries science, phytoplankton ecology, zooplankton ecology, benthic invertebrate ecology, wetlands plants and marine microbiology; and wet lab/aquarium facilities. Field collection and laboratory course trips to the Chesapeake Bay, coastal ocean areas, local estuaries, wetlands and salt marshes are supported by university field vehicles and boats, as well as by the Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences' 55-foot research vessel, the R/V FAY SLOVER.

Additional facilities at Old Dominion University that support education in the marine sciences are the Applied Marine Research Laboratory, the Benthic Ecology Laboratory, the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, the Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the Virginia Barrier Island Field Station.




Declaring a Major

Major Requirements

Minor Requirements

Advising Hours

Undergraduate Research

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Success in Biology

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Prospective Students