Why choose Marine Biology at Dal?

Examine the diets of grey seals, apply statistics to prevent overfishing, learn about aquaculture, run underwater experiments, or analyze DNA—in Dalhousie’s Marine Biology program, the sea’s the limit.

If your passion is the sea, Dal is one of the best places in the world to study, and we're a national leader in marine biology education. You’ll learn in classrooms and labs—and you could be out on the open water, studying the behaviour of sperm whales, running your own underwater experiments, tracking the movements of fishes, and assessing the diversity of marine birds.

During the first two years, you’ll take general biology courses. In your third and fourth years, you’ll explore the ecology, diversity, physiology, and other aspects of marine animals and plants in greater depth. Hands-on educational activities, field trips, and a wide range of summer courses are just a few of the advantages of Dal's Marine Biology program.

Marine Biology students also often take courses in the biology, chemistry, or physics of the ocean, offered through Dal's Oceanography Department. A Bachelor of Science (BSc) with Combined Honours in Marine Biology and Oceanography is available.

Because ocean studies is an area of special emphasis for Dalhousie, many faculty members have active research programs in marine science. As a consequence, you’ll have more opportunities to participate in research dealing with a broad range of marine-related topics.

Program details

Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Program Options

  • BSc or BA (20 credit) Major/Double Major (4 years)
  • BSc (20-credit) Honours/Combined Honours (4 years)
  • Co-op option available for 20-credit BSc programs
  • Minor in Marine Biology (3 credits)


Required high school courses:

  • English
  • pre-calculus or calculus
  • 3 additional university preparatory courses

Recommended high school courses:

  • biology
  • chemistry

Application Deadline and Program Dates

Application deadlines for 2017/18

  • March 1 - Deadline for scholarship consideration for fall semester
  • April 1 - International students (except USA)
  • June 1 - All Canadian and American applications

Other important program dates

Class Size

  • First-year classes offered through the Biology Department usually have 400 to 500 students.
  • Second-year Biology classes have 150 to 250 students.
  • Third- and fourth-year Marine Biology classes have between 20 and 50 students.

Tuition Fees

Use our Fee Calculator to estimate the cost of a full year at Dalhousie.

Residence & Housing

Whether you're applying to one of our residence halls or you’re looking for help with an off-campus apartment search, Dalhousie’s Residence and Housing Services can help.   

Housing options

  • Meal plans
  • Dorm-style, traditional residences
  • Apartment-style, non-traditional
  • Off-campus housing