Marine Biology

Dive headfirst into the study of oceanography, marine ecology, fisheries biology and more with a degree in Marine Biology. Situated on Mount Hope Bay in RWU’s state-of-the-art Marine and Natural Sciences Building -- home to an aquatic animal diagnostic lab and the state’s only shellfish hatchery -- the Marine Biology program teaches students to discover the aquatic world through lectures, labs, fieldwork and independent research in preparation for careers as scientists and educators.

Degree Requirements

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By the time a student has completed a major in Biology or Marine Biology, s/he is expected to be able to demonstrate the following competencies:

  1. formulate a scientific question or problem
  2. design a properly controlled experiment or field study that tests a clearly-stated hypothesis
  3. evaluate evidence critically and quantitatively, and apply this knowledge to novel situations.
  4. effectively communicate scientific knowledge orally, graphically, and in writing
  5. conduct a search of peer-reviewed print and electronic resources relevant to a research project in the life sciences
  6. understand the role of macromolecules in cellular processes
  7. understand the relationship between the structure and function of cellular components
  8. understand the relationship between the structure and function of major organ systems
  9. understand the mechanisms of physiological homeostasis
  10. describe cellular and physiological adaptations that have evolved in a variety of phyla
  11. understand the key discoveries of modern biology (including molecular biology and bioinformatics)
  12. understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of inheritance
  13. understand the species concept and the factors affecting biodiversity
  14. describe the patterns and mechanisms of evolution
  15. understand how phylogenetic relationships among taxa are determined
  16. describe the patterns and mechanisms of population distribution, growth and regulation
  17. understand the flow of matter and energy through natural systems from the molecular to the ecosystem level
  18. describe interactions among biotic and abiotic factors in natural systems
  19. understand the life history strategies of organisms
  20. describe the major global biological communities and biomes
  21. understand significant interactions and dependencies between human and natural system.
headshot of gabrielle baillargeon

From Research Scientist to App Developer

Gabrielle Baillargeon, RWU Class of 2020
Marine Biology

Ever since forging an original research project her freshman year, Gabrielle Baillargeon continues to surf a tidal wave of success.

Read full story
Research Opportunities

Student examines seaweed at shoreline.Marine Biology majors explore the unique challenges faced by organisms living in the marine environment and the methods by which they meet these challenges. Students begin the programs by obtaining a broad understanding of oceanographic principles, and through subsequent lectures, laboratories and field work, build on this knowledge for a more complete appreciation of the aquatic world. Undergraduate research is integrated into the Marine Biology 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.

RISE STEM Scholarship at RWU

Marine biology students works in the wet lab.RWU offers a scholarship opportunity for students interested in majoring in math, sciences, engineering, computer science or forensic science. Learn about the National Science Foundation RISE Scholars program, which recognizes, supports and empowers a group of academically talented students with financial need as they prepare to enter Research and Industry in Science and Engineering (RISE).

Learn About RISE Scholars