Aquatic Biology Degree Programs

Aquatic biology degree programs focus on freshwater plants and animals. Read on to learn more about what you can learn in a degree program, and explore career options for associate's and bachelor's degrees. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Aquatic Biology Programs Can I Enroll In?

Aquatic biology is the study of freshwater environments and organisms. Most commonly, you'll find bachelor's degree programs in this field, though there also are some aquatic biology associate's degree programs. The latter typically cover more general skills like chemistry, biological sciences and math, in addition to introductory aquatic biology courses that can prepare you for a bachelor's degree program. Aquatic biology programs are not available online; however, you can study fisheries and wildlife, a specialty within the field of aquatic biology, via distance education.

Degree OptionsAssociate's and bachelor's degrees
Common CoursesEcology, zoology, limnology, wildlife biology, aquatic botany
Career OptionsClinical lab technicians, lab or field scientist, environmental scientist, zoologist

What Do Programs Cover?

An aquatic biology undergraduate program will teach you about freshwater insects, animals and plant life. You'll learn how to protect and conserve aquatic areas like lakes and streams. Learning may take place in classrooms or laboratories or in the field at nearby rivers, lakes, wetlands and aquariums.

Bachelor's degree programs usually include an internship, and you typically need to complete a research project on a topic of your choice during your last year as an undergraduate. You can sometimes choose an emphasis, such as fisheries or wetlands ecology, during a bachelor's degree program. Common topics that you'll explore in an undergraduate program in aquatic biology include:

  • Ecology
  • Limnology
  • Zoology
  • Aquatic botany
  • Wildlife biology
  • Oceanography

What Can I Do With These Degrees?

With your associate's degree in aquatic biology, you can work as a clinical laboratory technician at an aquarium or in another freshwater laboratory setting. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and clinical laboratory technicians earned a mean wage of $40,750 as of May 2014(www.bls.gov).

If you earn your bachelor's degree in aquatic biology, you can work as a laboratory or field scientist. If you wish to enter a leadership position like fisheries manager, you'll usually need to earn a master's degree in a field like aquatic resources or management.

According to the BLS, environmental scientists and specialists made an average of $72,050 per year as of May 2014. The BLS project strong growth in the decade 2014-2024 due to both increased interest in the environment and increased demand on it due to population growth. Zoologists and wildlife biologists earned a mean salary of $63,230. Slower-than-average growth was expected for this group from 2014-2024 due to limited government funding.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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