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Northwest Missouri State University


Marine Biology Major

Marine Biology

The Northwest Difference

Marine biology majors at Northwest study marine organisms and their ecology, habitat and interaction. Faculty focus on ecology, or the study of organisms and their habitats; diversity, in organisms; and adaptations of organisms and diatoms, or the unicellular life of oceans. Students also learn best practices for surveying marine organisms.

Northwest has an articulation agreement with the University of Southern Mississippi Oceanography program that provides students the opportunity to gain hands-on experiences by taking up to four courses in large water facilities. 

Career Opportunities

86%
placement rate

More than 86% of students who graduate with a degree in marine biology obtain employment or continue their education within six months after graduation.

  • Marine Biologists
  • Federal Government Agencies (National Marine Fishery Society)

*Based on self-reported data.

Profession-Based Learning Experiences

Mozingo Lake

Garrett-Strong Science Building offers 26 labs where students gain profession-based experience on campus. The building is the home to the synthetic cadaver, aquarium, two museums and living animals that include a hedgehog, rats, iguanas and others kept in labs.

Northwest students have access to more than 3000 gallons in cold saltwater at to Mozingo Lake, the 102 River and Conservation Pond. All of them provide hands-on training opportunities for students and prepare them for future employment.

Mozingo Lake is used to study turbidity, or the murkiness of the water. The 102 River and the Conservation Pond are used to catalog habitat change. 

Faculty-led research is an opportunity for undergraduate students to produce original research with the goal of publishing their work. This is available for students showing interest in furthering their education.

Internships

Although internships are not required with a marine biology major, they are highly encouraged.

QuoteLillia LepakDuring my oceanography course at the Gulf Coast Research Lab in Mississippi, our class visited Deer Island to take elevation profiles and seine the water. In the picture, my lab group was taking a turn seining to get an idea of what species were in the area. We were lucky enough to get a blue crab, some puffers and many anchovies.Quote

Lillia Lepak
Ankeny, Iowa

QuoteMitchell SteinkuehlerI had always been uncertain as to how one decides what they are meant to do, and at what point one knows what will make their life fulfilling. My summer at the Gulf Coast Research Lab was the first in which I felt content with my path toward becoming a marine biologist. This photo was taken on-board the McIlwain research vessel in the center of the Mississippi Sound while attempting to not lose a finger to an Atlantic sharpnose shark during the second term marine biology course.Quote

Mitchell Steinkuehler
Shenandoah, Iowa

Study Abroad

Study Abroad

Study Abroad is an opportunity for students to apply hands-on international experience to their academic development. Faculty members supervise short-term study abroad programs that prepare students before, during and after the program. Two types of study abroad programs are available – faculty-led and traditional study abroad.

The traditional program may be a semester, summer or year-long program and is taught by Northwest’s international partner institutions.

Students from the natural sciences department have recently traveled and studied in Hawaii.

For more information about study abroad opportunities »

The Northwest Difference

The Northwest Difference

Founded in 1905, Northwest is a traditional campus with more than 7,200 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in the middle of everywhere, Maryville is two hours from Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Missouri and
2 ½ hours from Des Moines, Iowa.