Why study Marine Biology at Dal?

The sea's the limit

If you’re passionate about the ocean, Dalhousie is where you want to be. We’re a national leader in marine biology education and research. You’ll learn in the classroom, lab and out in the field. You could find yourself on the water studying the behaviour of sperm whales, running your own underwater experiments, examining the diet of grey seals or assessing the diversity of marine birds.

If you thrive in a smaller campus environment, consider doing the first year in the Truro Start Program. This program gives you the opportunity to join a small cohort with dedicated resources and support to build a strong foundation in your chosen field before transitioning into your second and final years in Halifax.

Degree overview

Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Faculty: Faculty of Science
Department: Department of Biology
Campus: Studley Campus, Halifax, Agricultural Campus, Truro
Program Length: 4 years
Program Start: September & January

What will I learn?

There’s no better place to learn about the ocean than right here in Halifax, Nova Scotia. You’ll venture out to the ocean, both on shore and on the water. You’ll observe examples of Atlantic Canada’s spectacular marine life. You’ll get first-hand experience in various research methods, like gathering live samples and collecting and assessing data. These are just a few of the advantages of studying marine biology at Dalhousie.

During your first two years, you’ll take general biology courses and foundation-building science courses. In third and fourth year, you’ll explore the ecology, diversity, physiology and other aspects of marine animals and plants in greater depth. Many marine biology students combine their studies with courses in chemistry or physics of the ocean, which are offered through the Department of Oceanography.

Sample courses:

  • Marine Mammalogy
  • Deep Sea Biology
  • Introduction to Aquaculture

Marine biology students are offered a co-op education option. Students who take advantage of the co-op option will be able to complete three work terms in industry, government or university laboratories, or ecotourism.

Visit the Academic Calendar to view degree options and course details.

Careers and future study

Dalhousie’s marine biology program qualifies you for technical positions in government fisheries laboratories, aquaculture farms and consulting firms. In the program’s field schools or in honours research courses, you’ll get plenty of hands-on opportunities to explore the ocean. You’ll be prepared for the exciting challenges of a diverse range of marine-related careers. You may find yourself employed as any of the following (further study may be required):

  • marine biologist
  • endangered species researcher
  • marine lawyer
  • aquatic technician
  • laboratory manager

Future study possibilities are abundant and may include graduate level programs in science, resource and environmental management or marine management.

Admission requirements

Undergraduate admission requirements vary based on your previous education and your intended program of study at Dalhousie. Learn about our admissions requirements, book a campus tour, or connect with an advisor if you have questions about your eligibility for admission.

View admission requirements

Ready to apply?