May 28, 2023  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Marine Biology B.S.

(CIP = 26.0101) (MRN) Track 1 of 2

Students majoring in Marine Biology study life in the oceans. The program of study explores the unique marine environment and the nature of the organisms that inhabit the oceans. The objective of the program is to provide students with a firm foundation in basic biology and the tools necessary to function as professional biologists, with special emphasis on marine ecosystems. The program will prepare students for further education (e.g., ecology, environmental science, biological oceanography, evolutionary biology) or for careers in fields such as aquaculture, aquarium biology and education, conservation biology and education, environmental consulting, and wildlife biology.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites

Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete an A.A. degree at a Florida College System institution. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university.

If a student wishes to transfer without an A.A. degree and has fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the student must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

Transfer students are also required to comply with the immunization, foreign language, and continuous enrollment policies of the university.

Students should complete the following prerequisite courses at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at a Florida College System institution, they must be completed before the degree is granted.

Unless stated otherwise, a grade of C- is the minimum acceptable grade in prerequisite courses.

  • (BSC X010 and BSC X010L) or BSC X010C or BSC X040C - 4 credit hours
  • (BSC X011 and BSC X011L) or BSC X011C or (ZOO X010 and ZOO X010L) or (BOT X010 and BOT X010L) or BSC X041C - 4 credit hours
  • (CHM X045 and CHM X045L) or CHM X045C or (CHM X040 and CHM X041) - 4 credit hours
  • (CHM X046 and CHM X046L) or CHM X046C - 4 credit hours
  • [(CHM X210 and CHM X210L) and (CHM X211 and CHM X211L)] or (CHM X210C and CHM X211C) or (PHY X053 and PHY X054 and PHY X053L and PHY X048L) or [(PHY X048 and PHY X048L) and (PHY X049 and PHY X049L)] or (PHY X053 and PHY X048L and PHY X054 and PHY X049L) - 4 credit hours
  • MAC X311 or MAC X233 or MAC X253 or MAC X281 or MAC X241 - 4 credit hours
  • MAC X312 or MAC X282 or MAC X234 or STA X023 or STA X024 or STA X321 - 3-4 credit hours

Required Supporting Courses for the Major (32-34 Credit Hours)

The following courses are prerequisite and supporting courses for this major. They are required for the major, but are not counted in the total hours for this major. The degree will not be awarded if these courses have not been taken by the end of the student’s final semester.

Note: Students must receive a C- or better to meet requirements for degree (for progression in Math and CHM, a C is required).

Total Major Hours: 37-41

Choose one of the following:

Major Electives (13-15 Credit Hours)

Students choose 13-15 credit hours of coursework from the following list:

Other Program Information

Effective Fall 2018, all students in the below listed programs must successfully complete the below science and math coursework without earning 3 D and/or F grades. Students unable to successfully complete these courses within these prescribed parameters will be required to select a different major and will not be permitted to take any additional courses offered  by the below Departments/Divisions. In addition, registration for all courses offered by these departments will be dependent on students meeting the prescribed parameters regardless of their major.

Furthermore, any student who requests a change of major to one offered in the below identified departments will be required to meet these prescribed parameters as well as those criteria outlined in the Degree Progression Policy 10-505. Any continuing student who was previously forced to select a different major based on previous versions of this policy may now be eligible to pursue the majors listed below, but only if they meet both the criteria described here as well as the Degree Progression Policy 10-505 criteria. Students who are able to complete one of the below majors by earning fewer credit hours than required to complete any other major offered at USF may petition to request an exception and should contact the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Advising Office for instructions. Grade Forgiveness will NOT apply to the mandated requirement of changing majors.

Included Departments/Divisions

Division of Health Professions Advising; Department of Chemistry ; Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology ; and Department of Integrative Biology .

Included courses

A minimum of 8 credit hours at the 4000-level should be taken.

A maximum of 6 credit hours may be taken outside of the department with prior approval.

Course Grade Requirement

Please note that some supporting science courses may require a grade of C or better in order to meet the prerequisite requirements for course sequences.

Grading Requirement

A student must receive a C- grade or better in all Department of Integrative Biology and Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology courses and supporting courses in the natural sciences, except if they are used as general elective courses. This specification applies to both USF and transfer courses.

Residency Requirement

A minimum of 20 credits hours of courses must be taken in residency and be applicable to the major.

Once a student has matriculated to USF Tampa, he/she is expected to take 100 percent of the required major coursework at USF Tampa.

Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research is a great way to get hands-on experience in what you are studying and learning in your courses, and even to advance biological knowledge. Many students have authored articles based on their participation in on-going research in the Department. Undergraduate research also is a great way to boost your resume and to enhance your application to graduate school or health professional school. Several ways are available to get involved; see

To be eligible to receive credit for undergraduate research (BSC 4910 ), students must have Junior standing, a 3.0 USF GPA, and a 3.0 major GPA. A maximum of 4 credit hours BSC 4910  may be applied to the major electives; see

Accelerated B.S./M.A.T. Program

Accelerated B.S. in Marine Biology and M.A.T. in Science Education

This program intends for students to complete a B.S. in Marine Biology (College of Arts and Sciences) and M.A.T. in Science Education (College of Education) over the span of five years. Students completing this program will be eligible for high school and/or middle school science teacher certification. Completion of this program requires students to complete 12 credit hours toward the M.A.T. in Science Education during their senior year in the Marine Biology major.

For more information, see the Graduate Catalog for Accelerated Majors.

Advising Information

BioAdvise: Science Center (SCA) 203; (813) 974-3250

Marine Biology Faculty

Chairperson: V. Harwood; Professors: S. Bell, T. Crisman, G. Fox, V. Harwood, E. McCoy, P. Motta, P. Stiling; Associate Professors: S. Deban, M. Lajeunesse, D. Lewis, C. Richards, J. Rohr, K. Scott; Assistant Professors: R. Carney, B. Gemmell, L. Prevost, L. Sackett; Instructors: C. Begin, C. Osovitz, B. Predmore.

Plan of Study

Click here for Plan of Study. Once on this page, select the program from the available drop-down and then click ‘View Selected Plan.’