Marine Biology
Location: Life Sciences Centre
1355 Oxford Street
Biology Department
P.O. Box 15000
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2
Telephone: (902) 494-3818
Fax: (902) 494-3736


The Marine Biology Program offers students the opportunity to study and experience marine life, from the tiny plankton that drive ocean ecosystems to the sharks and marine mammals at the top of the food chain. In the first two years of the program, Marine Biology students obtain a basic grounding in Biology and start to learn the basics of how the ocean works. They then use their third and fourth years to study in greater depth the diversity, physiology, ecology, and evolution of marine animals and plants. Many students combine their studies of marine biology with courses in the chemistry or physics of the ocean. Marine Biology students are offered a Co-op option, where three work terms in industry, government or university laboratories, or ecotourism are included within the program.

The Biology department is located adjacent to the sea in the Life Sciences Centre. All eight floors have running sea water, and we have a 15m pool tank and a 10m deep tower tank. Within a 30 km radius there are salt marshes, rocky shores, estuaries, and sand beaches for field work.

Our students have many opportunities to participate in marine-related research; examples can be viewed on our website. "Ocean studies" is an area of special emphasis for Dalhousie University, and thus many faculty members have active research programs in marine science. In addition, many marine scientists at local research institutions, including the Bedford Institute of Oceanography and the Institute for Marine Biosciences serve as supervisors for our Honours students.

An undergraduate major in Marine Biology at Dalhousie qualifies you for technical positions in places like government fisheries laboratories, aquaculture farms, and consulting firms. In the Marine Biology program’s summer field courses or in the honours research courses, you’ll get plenty of hands-on opportunities to explore the ocean—preparing you for the exciting challenges of diverse marine-related careers.

Degree Programs

The Department of Biology offers the following degree programs in Marine Biology

  • BSc (120 credit hour) Honours (Concentrated)*
  • BSc (120 credit hour) Combined Honours*
  • BSc (120 credit hour) Major*
  • BSc (120 credit hour) Double Major*
  • Minor in Marine Biology

* BSc Co-op option available 
* May be combined with Minor programs from other disciplines

Departmental requirements for each degree program can be seen by following the links in the menu at the right.

In addition to departmental requirements, students must satisfy the requirements outlined in the Academic Regulations and the College of Arts and Science Degree Requirements sections.

A student is governed by the academic regulations in place at the time of initial enrolment, as long as the degree is completed within the time permitted (10 years). Subsequent changes in regulations shall apply only if the student so elects. Student applying the old academic regulations should consult the calendar of the appropriate year.

Students should plan their programs of study carefully and are strongly encouraged to do so in consultation with a Marine Biology undergraduate academic advisor.

Prospective Marine Biology students should be aware that to advance to the second year Biology courses in the Marine Biology program, they must achieve at least a C grade in the prerequisite first year Biology courses. Students with exceptional extenuating circumstances may appeal this requirement to the Biology Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. Students should go to the Biology Main Office for further details.