Aquaculture and Aquarium Science

Aquarium and Aquaculture Science are rapidly growing areas within the field of marine biology. There is need for people trained in raising and caring for aquatic animals and the RWU AQS program, one of the first in the nation, effectively fills that void.

Aquaculture of marine and fresh water fish and invertebrates, already important as a food supply, is projected to increase in the future becoming one of the main sources of food for the world.  Aquarium science is a multi-billion dollar, world-wide business that encompasses trade and display of ornamental animals. Diseases of aquatic animals is a limitation in maintaining animals in both aquariums and aquaculture. The AQS degree offers both didactic and experiential, hands-on learning and will prepare the student for entry into this diverse and growing field.

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Degree Requirements

The major in Aquaculture and Aquarium Science (AQS) is offered as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. In order to guarantee a broad undergraduate experience, a second major of the students choosing is required. Students must complete the AQS course sequence and the course sequence for a second major of their choice. In addition, students must satisfy all University Core Curriculum requirements, the College speech requirement (COMM 210) and sufficient electives to total 120 credits. 

Required level of academic achievement: a combined GPA of 2.50 or higher in courses selected for this major is required in order for this degree to be awarded. Progress toward this goal will be monitored during biannual academic advisement meetings using program evaluation data generated by the Registrar’s Office. A maximum of two (2) courses from AQS or specified electives may be simultaneously applied to the Aquaculture and Aquarium Science Major and the Marine Biology Major or Minor.

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Guaranteed Research Opportunities

Student feeds fish in RWU's Wet Lab.Undergraduate research is integrated into the Aquarium and Aquaculture Sciences curriculum, with opportunities for students to earn academic credit for doing research, to develop proposals and compete for small grants to fund their projects, and to present their findings at regional, national and international conferences. These studies often involve contact and interaction with industry members, and are conducted using the state-of-the-art laboratories at RWU that include a production-scale shellfish hatchery, an extensive marine ornamental research facility and an aquatic animal veterinary laboratory.