Marine Biology - FAQ's

What skills do I need to succeed?

It all begins with a sharp intellect – this is, after all, a scientific field. If you enjoy science, and especially life sciences, you may find the marine biology major at CMU attractive.

As is the case with all good scientists, you should enjoy problem solving and taking on new challenges. Scientific curiosity is a must; the ability to ask relevant, insightful questions is a common trait of a good scientist. Finally, because science is by its very nature a field of constant change, tolerance for change is an essential skill.


What will I learn?

Believe it or not, SCUBA diving is one of them! (It is possible, but improbable, to become a successful marine biologist without SCUBA diving skills).

If you major in this program at CMU, you will become well versed in marine biology, oceanography, ocean chemistry, and marine ecology.


What opportunities are there for internships or other hands-on learning experiences?

Summers typically involve going to Ocean Springs gulf Coast Research Lab in Mississippi, where a wide variety of marine sciences can be pursued. Most students do at least one project at the GCRL.

Students also have the opportunity to go on dive trips with CMU professors to various locations for first-hand experiences in the field.


What are some possible entry-level careers with a degree in this field?

Marine toxicologist…biologist on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska, the Gulf Coast, etc. (every boat is required to have one)…mari-culture (feeding the world through ocean "farming")…and marine ecology, which is expected to be a growth industry in the Gulf Coast for many years.


Want more information? Check out the Major Resources provided by the Career Development Center.


What are some CMU graduates with this degree doing?

Some recent CMU graduates have had success in marine education, marine toxicology and as a biology on an Alaskan commercial crabbing boat.