Back to Results
College of Charleston

Program in Marine Biology

Charleston, SC


Interested in Program in Marine Biology? Admissions officers are waiting to hear from you!

Get More Info
College of Charleston


Charleston Is an Ideal Location for Exploring Marine Ecosystems and Enjoying Academic Life in South Carolina

Charleston's global fame is based on its history, architecture, and coastal communities. Its charm extends from marvelous mansions to horse-drawn carriages. Students can experience colonial architecture with visits to homes such as Drayton Hall; or the Charleston Museum might be a student stop since it has the distinction of being designated as America's oldest museum.

Boating and fishing are preferred activities for many Charleston residents and students. Charleston is also renowned for live music in its smaller clubs and, especially, during the annual jazz and blues festival. The Spoleto Festival is a world-class event during which students can enjoy art, concerts, and dance performances. Marine biology students will probably want to take a look at Charleston's South Carolina Aquarium. During the city's warm, hot, or humid days, the beach often becomes a student's favorite spot. Folly Beach, a community of residents, students, and surfers, can be reached from the lab within ten minutes.

South Carolina has not only ocean waters, but also sparkling lakes in its state parks and forests. Students can travel to South Carolina's Upcountry in the Blue Ridge Mountains for tall waterfalls and a change of landscape and scenery.

The coastal South Carolina area offers students an ideal environment to investigate marine ecosystems and enjoy off-campus activities. The marine biology laboratory for the College of Charleston is located right across from the city.

Facilities and Resources Support the Academic and Research Endeavors of Graduate Students and Faculty Members

Graduate studies in marine biology at the College of Charleston are conducted at the Grice Marine Laboratory facilities at Fort Johnson Marine Science Center on James Island. This unique scientific program allows students to work on research in marine biology while collaborating with distinguished faculty members and experienced marine scientists.

The Grice Marine Laboratory is a marine facility that also houses academic programs in marine biology. At this facility, students are engaged in course work, instruction, and research in numerous branches of marine biology, including marine ecology, cellular and molecular biology, environmental physiology, evolutionary biology, fisheries science, aquaculture, immunology, marine genomics, microbiology, and aquatic toxicology. Invertebrate zoology and other marine sciences are also topics of instruction. Partnerships with other organizations on James Island lead to student exposure to diverse marine facilities, such as those at the Marine Resources Research Institute of the South Carolina's Dept. of Natural Resources (SC-DNR).

Facilities and resources operated by the College of Charleston for graduate students' studies and research in marine biology include an aquarium room, wet lab, boats, a computer lab, a fish and invertebrate collection, the Marine Resources Library, and a molecular core facility. The program's core faculty is made up of thirty-five biologists from the college, and students are further supported by some ninety adjunct faculty appointed from such esteemed organizations and institutions as the Marine Resources Research Institute (SC-DNR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Medical University of South Carolina, the Citadel, and others.

Students in the Graduate Program in Marine Biology Are Part of an Exciting Marine Science Community on James Island

The student who enrolls in a Master of Science graduate program in marine biology at the College of Charleston receives training in the basic and applied disciplines of marine science. Graduates of the marine biology program may continue on to Ph.D. programs or launch their careers in marine biology. The research community at the Grice Marine Laboratory on James Island comprises students, faculty members, and a large body of research scientists. Though the marine biology program's location stands close to a major city, it also offers exciting research opportunities along the length of the eastern seaboard, off the west coast, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Austraila, the Antarctic, and the Arctic.

The graduate program's curriculum provides students with a broad knowledge of marine biology while they conduct in-depth research projects. A number of faculty members share their varied scientific and technical expertise with students. Throughout the program, students may acquire knowledge of marine science in such areas as physiology and cell biology, ecology, oceanography, toxicology, and marine genomics.

To receive a Master of Science in Marine Biology, students must earn at least 30 semester hours of graduate credit. Students in this challenging graduate program are required to take specific courses in marine science as part of the curriculum. Additional seminar, thesis, and elective hours are also required. Students may be able to secure support for their studies in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or graduate fellowships.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Science (MS)

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? No
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Distance learning programs available? No

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Entrance Exam GRE General Test
Comp Exam Required
Thesis Required



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline February 1st February 1st No
Spring deadline November 1st November 1st No

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Exam GRE General Test
Master's Degree Requirements 3 letters of recommendation

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL IBT score: 81

Tuition & Fees

Calculator icon

Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards April 1
Types of financial support available Institutionally-sponsored Loans
Scholarship and/or loans
Graduate Assistantships


Focus of faculty research: Ecology, environmental physiology, marine genomics, bioinformatics, toxicology, cell biology, population biology, fisheries science, animal physiology, biodiversity, estuarine ecology, evolution and systematics, microbial processes, plant physiology, immunology
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year: 0

Location & Contact

Address 205 Fort Johnson
Charleston, SC  29412
United States
Contact Dr. Craig J. Plante
Phone: 843-953-9187
Fax: 843-953-9199