The Master of Science in Marine Biology is a professional master's program designed to provide students with a strong foundation in marine research, conservation, oceanography, and policy.
Duration of Program
Meets F1 Visa Requirements
The Master of Science in Marine Biology program delivers a unique combination of inquiry-based study, fieldwork, research, and workplace experience. Course work is geared toward preparing students to conduct research both in the lab and in the field while also examining the wildlife, ecosystems, and ecology of three ocean provinces: Nahant, MA, and the Gulf of Maine; Bocas del Toro (Atlantic) and Coiba (Pacific), Panamá; and Friday Harbor Labs (Puget Sound) in Washington state.
Students follow their course work with a six-month internship and independent research project at a location of their choice. Upon completion of the program, students present their projects in oral and written form. Competitive admissions and small program size lay the groundwork for future collaborations while connecting students to a wide-ranging network of alumni.
Graduates are fully prepared to plan and execute marine research and well equipped to embark on any path they choose, whether it be a top marine biology PhD program or a successful position in a marine-related career.
This program meets F-1 international student status requirements.
Students spend a year studying marine biology in three different marine environments: New England, the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Panamá, and the Pacific Northwest.
Students conduct and present an independent research project, with the goal of producing a publishable study.
Small cohort of 20 students who progress through the program together.
A graduate degree or certificate from Northeastern—a top-50 university—can accelerate your career through rigorous academic coursework and hands-on professional experience in the area of your interest. Apply now—and take your career to the next level.
Admissions Details Learn more about the College of Science admissions process, policies, and required materials.
Fall admissions only. January 1 is the priority admissions deadline.
Applications received after this date will be reviewed on a rolling admissions basis, depending on space availability.
Industry-aligned courses for in-demand careers.
For 100+ years, we’ve designed our programs with one thing in mind—your success. Explore the current program requirements and course descriptions, all designed to meet today’s industry needs and must-have skills.
The Three Seas program component of the MS in Marine Biology degree provides students the opportunity to spend a year studying marine biology in three different marine environments: New England (Nahant, MA), the Caribbean (Bocas del Toro, Panama) and the Pacific Northwest (San Juan Island, Washington). This is a unique opportunity for students to live and work in the environments that they are studying.
Each year a maximum of twenty students study together for an academic year, beginning with the fall semester in Nahant, Massachusetts, at Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center. A variety of pristine intertidal and subtidal communities are well suited to help provide a strong foundation in marine biology and ecology.
After the winter break, a 10-week session is spent in Panama at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Bocas del Toro, located on the Caribbean Sea. Coral reef ecology, ocean and coastal processes, as well as tropical terrestrial ecology are taught using Panama’s diverse tropical ecosystems and unique geographical location as classroom and laboratory on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts.
The Three Seas program concludes with an eight-week session at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratory on San Juan Island, Washington. Rocky intertidal, subtidal kelp forest, and soft-sediment habitats provide the varied seascape that the spring classes explore.
A six-month internship experience provides students with an opportunity to gain workplace experience in marine biology in either an academic setting, or within the private or public sector. This transition from classroom to workplace allows students to put the experience gained in the year of coursework to use while working with academic research scientists, state and federal agencies, or private consulting firms.
Our faculty represents a wide cross-section of professional practices and fields ranging from finance to education to biomedical science to management to the U.S. military. They serve as mentors and advisors and collaborate alongside students to solve the most pressing global challenges facing established and emerging markets.
By enrolling in Northeastern, you gain access to a network of more than 275,000 alumni and 3,350+ employer partners, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and global nongovernmental organizations. Our current students and faculty across strategically located regional locations further foster a lifelong, global community of learning and mentoring.
Below is a look at where our Science & Mathematics alumni work, the positions they hold, and the skills they bring to their organization.