Online B.S. in Marine Biology and Sustainable Aquaculture

Make your passion for the ocean your career!

Make your dream a reality!

Applying is fast, free, and easy! 

Next Start Dates:

July 13, 2020
August 24, 2020
November 16, 2020

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Marine Biology and Sustainable Aquaculture

B.S. in Animal Health and Behavior

Find solutions to global problems

An ideal bachelor’s degree for using data to find solutions to global environmental problems in marine biology and aquaculture.

Learn aquaculture techniques

Compare aquaculture systems for both environmental and systematics sustainability.

Learn field techniques used in marine research

For observation, research, management, and care of marine life

100% Online: B.S. in Marine Biology and Sustainable Aquaculture

Do you love the ocean and have a passion for marine ecology? In our Marine Biology and Sustainable Aquaculture bachelor’s degree program, you will learn the biological connections between the world’s oceans, the promise and future of the aquaculture industry, and how we can all contribute to a sustainable marine environment. You will gain the knowledge and skills to work as an ichthyologist, marine mammalogist, microbiologist, fishery biologist, or biological technician.

Online Marine Biology and Sustainable Aquaculture Degree Program Highlights:

  • One-on-one academic and professional advising Our world-class faculty and trained staff strive to make your professional and academic goals a reality.
  • Unity College is an accredited institution by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
  • Learn foundational skills that are needed to pursue a fulfilling career working with marine resources.
  • Study when and where you want and finish your degree while still working full-time.
  • Get professional skills training by doing a concentration in Environmental GIS, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Business, or Wildlife Ecology, or Emergency Disaster Management.
  • Make professional connections with leaders in your field.
  • Get job placement assistance through our career development department.
  • Eight start dates per year

Job Outcomes of the Online B.S. in Marine Biology and Sustainable Aquaculture

With this degree, you can pursue a wide range of careers focused on marine and aquatic resources, from those on research and conservation to those focused on education and health sciences. Pursue a career as a fisheries biologist, field scientist, or aquaculturist. Track populations of marine species as a groundfish observer, aquatic land manager, or environmental planner. Share your passion for the oceans as a marine science program coordinator or aquarist at a marine science center or aquarium. Explore the biomedical applications of marine resources as a marine biology researcher or work to tackle the world’s food supply challenges as a fish hatchery technician. Be prepared to enter a graduate program in biology, zoology, or oceanography, or combine your passion with the physical sciences by exploring ocean engineering.

Aquaculture Manager

Projected 10-year growth:

+ 8%

Median Salary:



Fish Hatchery Technician

Projected 10-year growth:

+ 6%

Median Salary:




Projected 10-year growth:

+ 8%

Median Salary:



Marine Scientist

Projected 10-year growth:

+ 5%

Median Salary:



Fisheries Biologist

Projected 10-year growth:

+ 5%

Median Salary:



Source: Burning Glass Technologies. “Labor Insight™ Real-Time Labor Market Information Tool.” Updated March 11, 2020.

Costs and Financial Aid:

We believe investing in your education is the best thing you can do for your future. The cost of completing your degree depends on how many credits you can transfer into the degree program. You may also be eligible for special tuition rates as a member of the military or if you already have a degree from a community college partner. Learn more about costs and financial aid.

Marine Biology and Sustainable Aquaculture Degree Requirements:

A minimum of 120 earned credit hours, 30 credits earned at Unity, and an overall cumulative GPA of 2.0. For all degree requirements, download the Unity College BS in Marine Biology and Sustainable Aquaculture Degree Checklist​ or the Unity College Distance Education Course Catalog.


Example Courses:

EVPC 201 Environmental Issues: Deforestation, Biodiversity Loss, and Overpopulation
This course is part of a two-course sequence that provides students with an understanding of the interconnectedness of the looming environmental issues that the world faces. This class will provide students with a basic scientific understanding of deforestation, biodiversity, and overpopulation and address what societies can do that they aren’t currently doing. Upon completion, students will be able to critically assess these issues and provide models for making more sustainable choices.
EVPC 301 Environmental Justice
This course examines issues of environmental quality and social justice. The course begins by examining the philosophical foundations and history of the environmental justice movement and foundational concepts such as justice, race, gender, and class. Students will explore these concepts through a series of case studies of urban and rural environmental (in)justice in the United States and move on to environmental justice’s role on globalization.
EVPC 401 Transformational Leadership
In this course, students explore strategies needed to become effective instruments of change. Students will examine themselves as leaders, learn how to create meaningful relationships as a leader, and understand the role of leadership within complex systems. By using case studies from a variety of organizational contexts such as business, government, non-profit, community, and education, students explore concepts of organization behavior and culture, consensus building, and project management to lead effective change towards environmental sustainability. This course is designed to empower and prepare students to become leaders in any profession.
BIOL 203 Ecological Principles: Applications to Conservation and Wildlife
In this course students will explore key concepts of ecology.  The course emphasizes concepts applicable to understanding and mitigating impacts of climate change, human activities, and invasive species on ecological systems, as well as other concepts underlying conservation ecology and management of wildlife species.  Through course activities focused around practical application of concepts, students will gain a basic understanding of evolution, autecology, population ecology, community ecology, and ecosystem ecology.
CHEM 101 Inorganic Chemistry 1
This course covers the fundamentals of inorganic chemistry, with an emphasis on modern and applied chemistry of atomic and molecular matter. Specific emphasis will be on atomic theory, bonding, nomenclature, stoichiometry, molecular structure and reactivity, orbitals and electron configurations, the periodic table, intermolecular forces, aqueous solutions, and basic chemical reactions.
EVPC 101 Professional Skills

In this course, students will develop professional skills and explore career pathways related to [wildlife conservation/business, etc.], including considerations of the role of social media, professional networks, and professional development. Students will establish expectations of being a successful online learner including time management, research and writing skills, technology, and community building.

EVPC 490 Transdisciplinary Marine Biology and Sustainable Aquaculture Capstone
The Capstone course is the culminating course for students in Unity College bachelor’s degrees. In this course, students will develop a project that deals with a real issue and produce a final artifact reporting the project’s findings. During this process, students will demonstrate and apply learning from their degree program and their ability to communicate to a broad audience. The course will also cover other important topics that support a student’s career development and goals. All projects will be workforce-related products that students can use for their current or pitch to a future employer.
MBAQ 201 Form and Function of Unique Marine Ecosystems

This course is an examination into the structure and dynamics of various saltwater ecosystems, and builds from basic ecological principles sustaining marine life. Issues covered include an exploration of habitats ranging from estuaries to the rocky intertidal zone and coral reefs to the open ocean. Major ecological communities will be studied, with a particular focus on those supported by kelp and plankton, and include an exploration into unique marine environments such as the deep sea. Additional topics include trophic interactions, energy flow, and community and population organization in select marine habitats. Students will explore the ecological processes controlling the distribution and abundance of marine organisms and community structure, and examine the impact of humans on the marine environment.

MBAQ 203 Global Diversity and Freshwater and Marine Resources Used in Sustainable Harvest
This course will provide an overview of the sustainably harvestable resources found in both aquatic and marine ecosystems. With an underpinning on the contemporary approaches toward habitat and population management, students will learn about capture and growth fisheries and aquaculture, emphasizing the contribution of these to the global food supply. Topics covered will include production methods, environmental and ecological impacts, best practice in growth, capture, and processing, and an overview of marketing of fisheries resources. Additional work will explore the impact of human populations on resource availability and health, as well as the major issues connecting resource extraction and acquisition to environmental degradation. All work will build from basic ecological concepts covered in other coursework and be placed in the context of effective long-term management practices.
MBAQ 301 Sustainable Aquaculture Techniques I: Growing Shellfish and Finfish
This course covers the theory and practice of aquaculture techniques used in growing shellfish and finfish in both freshwater and marine habitats. Topics covered will include species identification, habitat creation, reproduction, hatchery and nursery operation, and growth promotion. Additionally, students will learn how to manage the health of aquaculture organisms, harvesting principles and techniques, processing procedures, and identifying appropriate markets for sale. Discussions will be based on the biological, chemical, and economic aspects of aquaculture with a strong emphasis on sustainability, underscoring techniques which minimize environmental impact while maximizing human and animal welfare. Students will assess best-practices in the industry which meet sustainability goals.
MBAQ 303 Sustainable Aquaculture Techniques II: Crustaceans and Pathobiology
This course covers the theory and practice of aquaculture techniques used in growing crustaceans and algae in both freshwater and marine habitats, as well as the mechanisms and causes of disease in aquaculture organisms. Topics covered will
include species identification, habitat creation, reproduction, hatchery and nursery operation, and growth promotion in shrimp, prawns, crayfish, crabs, lobsters, brine shrimp, kelp, and other assorted seaweeds. Additionally, students will learn how to manage the health of these organisms, harvesting principles and techniques, processing procedures, and identifying appropriate markets for sale. Discussions will be focused on the pathobiology of organisms, with topics including cell death, inflammation, infection, metabolic disorders, and neoplasis across all species targeted in the aquaculture industry, as well as practices and techniques to control disease while maintaining a focus on global sustainability.
MBAQ 105 Introduction to Oceanography

This course provides an overview of oceanography- the chemical, biological, geological, and physical characteristics and patterns of oceans throughout the globe. Topics covered will include the physical and chemical properties of seawater, evolution of ocean basins, ocean-atmosphere interactions and cycles, multi-dimensional ocean circulation, and large scale fluctuations such as tides and waves. Additional work will include an investigation into patterns of sedimentation, plankton and primary productivity, and biogeochemical cycles. Specific emphasis will be placed on how ocean behavior and patterns is impacted by and impacts human development and coastal communities around the world.

MBAQ 307 Ichthyology and Fish Health
This course is an overview of freshwater and marine fishes, their diversity, behavior, and health. Students will learn about the evolution, morphology, physiology, and life history of the global diversity of fishes, with an emphasis on integrating knowledge of fish anatomy and physiology in relation to their survival and wellbeing. Major diseases of captive-raised and farmed fish, including pathogenic control measures will be presented. Additionally, this course will explore the relationship between host, pathogen, and the environment, and explore methods for disease diagnosis and management for fish, including basic biosecurity protocols.
MBAQ 310 Marine Mammal and Seabird Biology
This course will provide students with an in-depth exploration into the identification, evolution, anatomy & physiology, population biology, behavior, and ecology of marine mammals and seabirds. We will explore the breadth and evolutionary history of all marine mammals and seabirds, with a particular emphasis on what makes each family and species unique. Students will become acquainted with the primary literature in this field, and refine critical thinking and public speaking through in-depth projects. Multiple research projects will be pursued throughout the course across a wide range of topics related to the biology and ecology of these species, with a particular focus on conservation and ecology. In the pursuit of these projects, students will learn of the many sampling techniques used from land and sea platforms, and discuss how their data impacts the health and survival of these important organisms.
MBAQ 315 Diversity of Marine and Aquatic Vegetation
This course will provide students with an in-depth exploration into the marine and aquatic photosynthetic organisms, including their identification, classification, and phylogenetic relationships. Topics will explore the ecology, diversity, and biogeography of algae and plants found in a variety of habitats throughout the globe. Specific work will focus on the propagation, reproduction, and survival of micro- and macroscopic plants, as well as the interaction between humans and vegetative communities. Students will become familiar with the basic sampling techniques used to sample aquatic and marine vegetation. Research projects will be pursued throughout the course across a wide range of topics related to the biology and ecology of these species, with a particular focus on their conservation and ecology.
MBAQ 401 Field Research in Marine Biology and Aquaculture
This course is focused on providing a broad spectrum of field-based research skills across Marine Biology and Aquaculture. The theme, topic, and suite of skills will vary depending on when it is offered, but will rotate when offered across biogeographic areas such as Tropical, Temperate, and Coldwater areas, as well as across differing salinity habitats ranging from marine to freshwater, as well as brackish water and saltmarsh habitats, lakes, rivers, bays, and oceans. Students will conduct original research projects examining how organisms interact with their environment, with a particular focus on gaining proficiency in multiple research and assessment methods of aquatic and marine organisms. Students will use the skills developed in this course to plan and design their capstone research projects.

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