Marine Biology and Ecology

The Marine Biology & Ecology degree is a Bachelor of Science degree (BSMAS) and is designed to give students a strong background in biology and quantitative skills, as well as research experience in biomedicine, genomics, evolution, physiology, microbiology, immunology, and ecology. The strength of the Marine Biology & Ecology program is the opportunity for undergraduates to fully participate in research with Marine Biology and Ecology diverse faculty. These research opportunities provide skills to excel in medicine, graduate school, and other diverse fields.

Curriculum Requirements

Marine Science & Marine Biology
MSC 111Introduction to Marine Science3
MSC 112Introduction to Marine Science Lab1
MBE 230Introduction to Marine Biology3
MBE 232Introduction to Marine Biology Laboratory1
Marine Biology & Ecology
MBE 306Marine Ecology 13
or MSC 422 Marine Ecology of the Galapagos
MBE 307Physiology of Marine Organisms 13
MBE 308Genetics and Evolution 13
MBE 329Marine Vertebrate Zoology3-4
or MBE 323 Invertebrate Zoology
Select 16 credit hours of approved electives in Marine Biology and Ecology at the 300-level or above which must include research 216
Other Required Courses
BIL 150General Biology4
BIL 151General Biology Laboratory1
BIL 160Evolution and Biodiversity4
BIL 161Evolution and Biodiversity Laboratory1
BIL 255Cellular and Molecular Biology3
CHM 121Principles of Chemistry 34
CHM 221Introduction to Structure and Dynamics 34
Select one of the following:3-4
Foundations of Computational Marine Science
Marine Genomics
Object-Oriented Programming and Agent-Based Modelling
Computer Programming I
or Approved Computer Science course 4
Select 15 to 18 credit hours of approved minor or in additional STEM electives 515 - 18
Select one of the following:3-4
Earth System History
The Earth System
Chemical Oceanography
Introduction to Physical Oceanography
Origin and Geology of the Galapagos Islands.
Select one of the following options: 6, 78-14
Option #1
Calculus I
Calculus I
Calculus II
Calculus II
Option #2
Calculus Concepts with Foundations A
Calculus Concepts with Foundations B
Calculus II
Option #3
Precalculus Mathematics I
Precalculus Mathematics II
Calculus I
Calculus II
Select one of the following:3
Environmental Statistics
Advanced Biostatistics
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Introduction to Biobehavioral Statistics for Non-Majors
Select one of the following options: 810
Option 1:
University Physics I for the Sciences
College Physics Laboratory I
University Physics II for the Sciences
College Physics Laboratory II
Option 2:
University Physics I
University Physics II
University Physics III
University Physics II Lab
University Physics III Lab
Option 3:
College Physics I
College Physics Laboratory I
College Physics II
College Physics Laboratory II
General Education Requirements
WRS 105First-Year Writing I3
WRS 107First-Year Writing II: STEM3
or WRS 106 First-Year Writing II
or ENG 106 Writing About Literature and Culture
Arts and Humanities Cognate Courses9
People and Society Cognate Courses9
Total Credit Hours123-135

Equivalent Biology course with permission.


Research requirement can be satisfied by taking 16 credits in Saltwater Semester, study abroad (e.g., Galapagos) or 4 independent research credits, including a minimum of 3 credits in MSC 411 and one credit in MSC 412 (thesis research).

  • Saltwater Semester (SWS) fulfills MBE research requirement.  SWS is a full semester (16 credits) at the Marine campus doing authentic field and laboratory research with lectures to enhance learning and the practical importance of scientific research.  All courses are research intensive (much of the day is working in the field or laboratory) and involve authentic research.  Students will do novel experiments focused on course concepts.

Principles of Chemistry must be passed with a grade of "C-" or higher. Chemistry laboratories will count as STEM electives and should be taken by Pre-Medical and Pre-Veterinarian students. 


Computer science or programming course as approved by MBE academic advisor.


15 to 18 credits in an approve minor in any field of the student's choice or 15 to 18 credits in STEM electives (MBE, MSC, BIL, BMB, NEU, MIC, CHM, CSC, GSC, MTH, and PHY).


Calculus I must be passed with a grade of "C-" or higher.


Calculus II fulfills the Quantitative Skills Requirement.


Option 1 is recommended for Physics.

Suggested Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Freshman Year
FallCredit Hours
MSC 111 Introduction to Marine Science 3
MSC 112 Introduction to Marine Science Lab 1
BIL 150 General Biology 4
BIL 151 General Biology Laboratory 1
WRS 105 First-Year Writing I 3
MTH 161 Calculus I 4
 Credit Hours16
BIL 160 Evolution and Biodiversity 4
BIL 161 Evolution and Biodiversity Laboratory 1
CHM 121 Principles of Chemistry 4
WRS 107 First-Year Writing II: STEM 3
MTH 162 Calculus II 4
 Credit Hours16
Sophomore Year
MBE 230 Introduction to Marine Biology 3
MBE 232 Introduction to Marine Biology Laboratory 1
BIL 255 Cellular and Molecular Biology 3
CHM 221 Introduction to Structure and Dynamics 4
MSC 204 Environmental Statistics 3
A&H Course #1 3
 Credit Hours17
or other Approved Computer Science course
MBE 306 Marine Ecology 3
MBE 307 Physiology of Marine Organisms 3
MBE 308 Genetics and Evolution 3
CSC 120 Computer Programming I 4
GSC 111 Earth System History 4
 Credit Hours17
Junior Year
Saltwater Semester. 16 credit Research Intensive Courses: Lab and Lectures. 16
 Credit Hours16
MBE 329 Marine Vertebrate Zoology 3
Minor course or STEM Elective #1 3
A&H Course #2 3
P&S Course #1 3
P&S Course #2 3
 Credit Hours15
Senior Year
PHY 201 University Physics I for the Sciences 4
PHY 106 College Physics Laboratory I 1
Minor course or STEM Elective #2 3
Minor course or STEM Elective #3 3
A&H Course #3 3
P&S Course #3 3
 Credit Hours17
PHY 202 University Physics II for the Sciences 4
PHY 108 College Physics Laboratory II 1
Minor course or STEM Elective #4 3
Minor course or STEM Elective #5 3
Minor course or STEM Elective #6 3
 Credit Hours14
 Total Credit Hours128


The mission of the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science is to deepen our collective knowledge of our planet through cutting-edge scientific research on the oceans, atmosphere, geology, biota, and the human dimension, while training the next generation of scientists. We transfer the knowledge gained to our students, the national and international scientific community, and to policymakers and the public. 

The educational mission of the BS degree in Marine Biology and Ecology at the University of Miami is to graduate students with the ability to integrate knowledge of the marine system, and its biota, ecology, physiology, and genetics to provide students a foundation for successful careers. 


The MBE departmental major curriculum will provide the rigor, flexibility, depth and integration to enable students to:

  • Design their course of study that provides both depth and breadth in marine biology and ecology and science related courses.
  • Undertake active research experiences, which will allow them to gain a strong understanding of the scientific process.
  • Learn from the diverse and outstanding group of professors, researchers, and classmates.
  • Prepare themselves for the public and private sector employment, graduate school, and successful careers.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students completing the MBE departmental major will be able to:

  • Master a broad set of fundamental biological knowledge including how to search for, understand the primary scientific literature, and understand how fundamental biological principles relate to the marine environment.
  • Solve problems competently by identifying the relevant features of the problem and developing a strategy to solve the problem.
  • Use computers and computational approaches to acquire and process data as well as use software to analyze data.
  • Understand and synthesize the objectives of research experiments, properly conduct experiments, and appropriately record, analyze, and communicate the results.
  • Effectively communicate the concepts, results, and implications of their laboratory experiments and independent research both orally and in the written form to experts in the field, scientists in other disciplines, and the general public.