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One of the best undergrad marine science programs in the country

Thanks to an epic location in Florida and some amazing faculty

Our Marine Science program gives you one-on-one attention from Ph.D. professors from day one. Studying on Tampa Bay means you’ll be out on the water for four years doing the work that professionals do – and end up taking your pick of jobs and grad schools once you graduate with a marine science degree.


Choose your focus

Select Marine Biology, Marine Chemistry, Marine Geology or Marine Geophysics as your area of specialization within your broader liberal arts education.

Ocean setting

Class is often held in Florida waters off our seawall or on board our own fleet of vessels.

Hands-on research

Our professors attract millions of dollars in research funding, which means you could find yourself doing real research in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Panama or Bermuda.

Marine science major Ben Belgrad '13

In Their Own Words

“My words could never convey how important Eckerd is to marine science. There have been so many instances in which the quality of my education has allowed me great success both in my career and personal life. From the waterfront campus, wonderful facilities, research opportunities and hands-on nature of the courses to the devoted faculty who work with each student individually, I cannot imagine a better and more inviting place to study marine science than Eckerd.”
— Benjamin Belgrad ’13
Postdoctoral Researcher (Life Sciences), Texas A & M University

Beyond the Classroom

  • Join the NSF-funded “Scientist at Sea” program for research cruise experience, peer mentorship, and learning how to plan, execute and create professional research products.
  • Learn field research by doing population surveys of bottlenose dolphins in Boca Ciega Bay with the Eckerd College Dolphin Project.
  • Join Eckerd faculty as research assistants on projects in the Bahamas, the US Virgin Islands, Costa Rica and Panama.
  • Spend a summer at the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences thanks to the Galbraith Scholarship, which takes care of all travel and housing, and comes with a stipend.
  • There’s no shortage of things to clean in the Gulf of Mexico. Join one of our coastal cleanup projects or volunteer with Tampa Bay Watch.
  • Sign up for one of our Alternative Spring Break service trips to orphanages, missions and communities in need in Ecuador, Panama, Puerto Rico and closer to home.
Service Pics on Flickr
  • Live on board a research vessel, where you’ll do reef habitat monitoring, lionfish research and shark tagging off the coast of Cuba.
  • Or study and travel in China, the Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Indonesia, the Bahamas, the Canary Islands in Spain, Australia and many other prime locations.
Sign up for more about Eckerd and our marine science program

Popular classes

Marine and Freshwater Botany

Get wet and dirty studying local marine and freshwater plants, their relationship to each other and to their environment. Field trips.

Coastal Geology

This upper level class takes you to the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of Florida to apply what you’ve learned in intro classes. Includes aerial reconnaissance missions.


Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory houses laboratory classrooms, aquarium rooms, a marine sediment core facility, an oceanography lab, a computer laboratory and a state-of-the-art auditorium. Our continuous flow-thru sea water system is pumped directly from Tampa Bay to maintain specimens for extensive periods of time.

Our location gives us easy access to a wide variety of marine species in diverse coastal habitats, from sea grass beds to beaches and mangroves.

In addition to our own fleet of teaching vessels moored on campus in our private marina, Marine Science students learn aboard large research vessels owned by the Florida Institute of Oceanography.

Eckerd College students collect marine creatures in Florida waters


What can I do with a marine science degree?

  • Aquarium Technician
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Field Crew Member
  • Lab Research Assistant
  • Marine Mammal Trainer
  • Park Ranger
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Wildlife Artist
  • Wildlife Specialist

Where our marine science majors go to graduate school

  • Brown University
  • Columbia University
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • Northeastern University
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of Miami
  • Vanderbilt University

Where our marine science majors go to work