Marine Biology program at Oregon State

June 2nd, 2006

(This post is the fourth in a series of articles about specific academic programs at OSU. Click this link to be mailed information about the marine biology program.)

Oregon State offers some unique opportunities through its marine biology program, the biggest draw being the work done at the Hatfield Marine Science Center on the Oregon coast.

Nick Ehlers had the opportunity to do research in a wide range of places as an Oregon State University undergraduate student majoring in biology.

Nick Ehlers in the OSU marine biology program on the Oregon Coast

With funding from OSU’s International Undergraduate Research Program, Nick traveled to Panama and the Bahamas to work as a research assistant alongside OSU faculty members Bruce Menge and Mark Hixon. “Both were such amazing experiences,” Nick says. “It was a classroom with no walls and everything and everybody was my professor.”

Then, as part of the marine biology program, Nick had the opportunity to live on-site at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. The 10-week marine biology class offers students field and laboratory experiences with a variety of instructors, including Sally Hacker, associate professor of zoology, pictured with him above. “This (marine biology) program was one of the reasons that I chose Oregon State,” Nick says.

“The best class I have ever taken in college was the one with no walls, outside of my home country, and everything/everybody were my professors.”

For the coming year, Nick has accepted a job as a science instructor at the Ocean Institute at Dana Point, California. “This will combine my love of science, research, and education,” he says.

“The three highlights of my college career have been my research, my fraternity, and my involvement in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program,” Nick says.

Follow this link to see photos of Nick’s marine biology trip to Central America.

43 responses to “Marine Biology program at Oregon State”

  1. Rita-Kay says:

    what r the requirments to be a marine biologist?

  2. Jocelyn wallen says:

    I am interested in becoming a marine biologist. I am in 5th grade, but want to prepare for admission.
    What courses do I need to take in high school, and do you accept many out of state students? Where is the best place to learn more about admission? Jocelyn

  3. Blake says:

    The best place to learn more about the marine biology program at Oregon State is at

    Jocelyn, you can find all that information at


  4. Megan says:

    I am doing a Career Exploration Project in one of my classes and I have been very interested in Marine Biology. I took an Animal/Equine Science class last year and want to do something in the Animal Field. I am thinking about going to OSU in 2010, but I would like to know a little bit more about their Animal Sciences Programs.

    Megan N.

  5. Ashleah says:

    To become a marine biologist you need to have a degree in marine science or a doctoral masters degree or both. It helps to take as many biology and marine science or oceanology classes in high school as possible. As soon as you become o sophmore or higher you can take college courses through highschool, to see what you can take. That will help you graduate from college sooner and get some extra education.


    Age- 14

  6. Jamie says:

    i want to become a marine biololgist and i need to know what classes i need to take in high school to be a marine biologist?

  7. James says:


    I would recommend taking as much science…particularly Biology and Chemistry as you can. Additionally, you should really focus on math. Other than that, try to get practical experiences. Work in a lab, volunteer for a research team or anything else where you can get your hands dirty. Good luck!

  8. Danielle says:

    i have been out of school for six years and i am ready to go to college, i am interested it marine biology. Can i get accepted with no prier education in that course? other than high school biology.

  9. James says:


    That all depends on whether you meet the admission requirements as either a first year or transfer student. You can review our admissions standards at:

    If you don’t gain admission you can always start out at a community college then make your way to OSU for the Marine Biology program.

  10. hugo calderon says:

    can you finish the marine biology carrer in 4 years?…and how much do marine biologist earn annualy?

  11. Matt says:

    Hi Hugo,

    Yes, you can finish the marine biology program at OSU in four years. And there are many opportunities for students in the marine sciences at OSU! Did you catch the story about Teri Irwin?

  12. phil seehawer says:

    I am currently attending OIT getting my undergraduate degree. I would like to come to OSU to receive my graduate degree. What is the requirements?

  13. James says:

    @ Phil,

    There are general university requirements for graduate admission…Primarily a 3.0 GPA and completion of a baccalaureate degree at a regionally accredited institution. Each department has its own requirements that you must meet as well. I would encourage you to contact the department you are interested in directly to see if you are a fit.

  14. Daycia says:

    I have been interested in Marine Bio for a long time. I was wondering what the requirements for this were, and What classes would be helpful.

  15. Bruna says:

    Hi … I finished my degree in Biology in Brazil and now I am in the United States to study English. I would like to know if I can work as volunteer for you.

  16. tia says:

    Hi i am Katia Lowry and i am in 9th grade. i am in my Computer apps class and my teacher wanted me to look up the career i want when i get older so i looked this up and i want to know how much it would cost to go to a good college for this topic and what classes i need to take also how many years in college? how much does a basic marine biologist make? please write back and give me some answers it would really help

  17. Amy says:

    I’m a student at the Linn Benton Community College who is writing a paper on whaling. I was wondering if there are any one who works at OSU who would be available for an interview for information of the issue on modern whaling at a Biologist’s (or even a Scholar’s) perspective. If you can’t give names or numbers, where could I find a list of professors to help me with my quest for knowledge on the subject. Thank you for your time.

  18. Matt says:

    @ Amy: I would suggest to look at the marine biology program links in order to find a list of people.

  19. Curious cat says:

    I am a guy wondering what classes to take in high school I am a little worried about one subject and that is math it has never been a very strong subject so I was wondering if it is absolutely needed to be a marine biologist

  20. Liane says:

    Hi I am currently doing research on good colleges that are good for marine biology. However I was wondering what the rating for Oregon State University marine biology department is and what it offers.
    Thank you,

  21. Ashley says:

    Hi, I’m doing Marine Biology for a career project in one of my classes at school. I was wondering, how much money does it cost to finish the program completely?
    Ive been interested in Marine Biology for awhile now, and i’m in 7th grade.

  22. Matt says:

    @ Ashley.

    That’s a great question! I encourage you to think of college as an investment versus a cost or expense. Since your only in 7th grade, the tuition rates will change by the time your reach college age but different variables such as resident and non-resident factors will make up the total amount.

  23. LISA says:


  24. Megan Smith says:

    Hi….I am in 9th grade and I am really interested in becoming a marine biologist. I would like some advice on what classes to take in high school so that I will be ready for college. Also, how many years does it take to get a major or minor in marine biology? Thanks

  25. Colton says:

    Hello my uncle was a marine bioigest and he has relly influenced e to take on the perfession i have an opon water diver certification card and getting all A’s and B”s and was just wondering what classes to tack during high school so it will make it easer for me in Oregon State.

  26. julia says:

    Hi I am in 6th grade,but worried about picking the best collage to become a marine bioigest without making my parents pay an arm and a leg. so I was wondering how much it cost to finish the program completly?


  27. Aspen says:

    Hi, I am a sophmore in high school and have been interested in this feild for a very long time. I have been researching the internet for good colleges, but yet affordable. OSU has been on my mind for a long time. What classes should i take to help me in this feild?

  28. Aspen says:

    I am aslo wondering how much this feild costs. I am doing a school project on careers and we need to get information about our career.

  29. Sarah says:

    I’m a senior on high school and I have just been admitted to OSU. I’m having a really hard time choosing between OSU and California State University- Long Beach. I was wondering if anyone one could talk to me about why it would be my advantage to chose OSU over Cal State?

  30. Sarah says:

    Chose OSU for the marine biology program I mean haha

  31. jordan says:

    i am in 8th grade and want to prepare to be a marine biologist. im planning on going to osu and want to know what courses are required to become a marine biologist and how many years i must be in college until i graduate.

  32. jordan says:

    i was wondering since i have a 4.0 GPA and am involved in my community what are the chances of getting a full ride to college

  33. Heather White says:

    I am so excited that I got accepted to OSU. I have heard that they have the best Marine Biology program and I have wanted to be a Marine Biologist since I first saw Free Willy as a kid. I also am going to set up a Campus visit during my Spring Break at my high school here in Idaho since I will be in Portland during that time! Can’t wait to come visit and see how great it is there!

  34. Megan says:

    I am a sophomore in high school and I am very interested in becoming a marine biologist. I want to know about the scholarships for the marine biology program.

  35. Matt says:

    We’ll be glad to have you here, Heather! You can schedule your visit online at

  36. Raymond Pearson says:

    My son wants to become a marine biololgist. Weneed to know what classes are the best choice to take in high school to be a marine biologist. Any Ideas?

  37. alexis says:

    how much do marine biologist make on avrage?

  38. alexis says:

    how long do u have to go to collage to become a marine biologist?

  39. Daniel says:

    I am a junior in High School. I have wanted to be a marine biologist for 4 years. I have been looking for colleges all over the world, Ireland, Australia, England and here in the US. What is the marine biology program like?

  40. beth says:

    i want to be a marine biologist but i don’t no what to do i have a 4.0. i am in avid so we are researching what we want to be so i said i want to be a marine biologist. what should i do?

  41. Alex says:

    Hi Beth,

    Below you can find more information about our Marine Biology program at OSU as well as admissions requirements for OSU. This should help guide you on what to do to best prepare.

    Marine Biology:
    OSU Admissions:


  42. Jordan S. says:

    What classes are required of the students who major in Marine Biology? As in course curriculum?

  43. Alex says:

    Hi Jordan,

    You can check out a list of course requirements through our online course catalog. Here is the link to the Biology Program, where you can select Marine Biology as the option:


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