Marine Biology IDP

The Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Marine Biology (MARB IDP) was approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in July 2008. The interdisciplinary program spans 3 campuses of the Texas A&M University System and 6 Departments. The host department of the program is the Department of Marine Biology on the Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) campus. The Department of Marine Sciences also participates on the TAMUG campus. On the Texas A&M University campus (TAMU), the Departments of Oceanography, Wildlife & Fisheries Science, and Biology participate in the program. The Department of Life Sciences is located on the Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi campus (TAMU-CC).

Who Should Apply?

MARB IDP is designed for students who wish to pursue careers in education, government, or private industry. The principal strengths of the marine biology program lies in the international recognition, scholarly productivity, and sponsored research funding of its diverse faculty, as well as the strategic location of two of the campuses on the Gulf of Mexico.  Typical careers for marine biology graduates include postdoctoral or faculty positions in academia, research and development positions in the private and public sector, government professionals, and industrial professionals.

Program Details

The MARB IDP offers a master’s thesis degree and master’s non-thesis degree and a doctoral degree.  The thesis option is intended for students planning to continue with their graduate education at the doctoral level and subsequently enter university-level teaching and research programs, or those seeking governmental service in a resource management capacity. The Ph.D. degree is intended for students who are interested in teaching and conducting independent research in academia, government or industry, or overseeing such research. Students may enter the Ph.D. program directly after the completion of undergraduate B.S. degree if they have sufficient preparation, or may enter with a M.S. degree in biology or a related discipline.  For more information, on the Galveston program, please visit the Department of Marine Biology.


In addition to a good grade point average and GRE test scores, an applicant for the MARB IDP program should have a solid biology, chemistry and math/statistics course background.  This should include courses in general biology, vertebrates, cell biology, invertebrates, genetics, general chemistry, organic chemistry as well as calculus and statistics.

Required Application Credentials:

  • Apply Texas application with essay

  • For Master's thesis-option and doctoral applicants, applicants must identify a faculty member who has agreed to be a Graduate Advisor/Chair. Applicants who choose a faculty member located at TAMU or TAMU-CC, must apply to those campuses directly and not to TAMUG. The Master's non-thesis track is only available at TAMUG.

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended

  • Three recommendations, either academic or professional, are required.

  • Official GRE scores, less than 5 years old.

  • Professional résumé

For more details on how to submit the items above or for deadlines, please visit

It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that the application is complete by the deadline to assure full consideration.  Acceptance into the MARB IDP is competitive and based on consideration of all application materials.  Applicants accepted into the program typically demonstrate an ability to succeed in an academically rigorous environment through high GPA and GRE scores.  Relevant life experiences may also provide a substantial basis for consideration.  A campus visit with personal interviews involving prospective faculty advisors is highly recommended.

Texas A&M University at Galveston
Attn: Graduate Studies Office
P.O. Box 1675
Galveston, TX 77553

Contact for more information.

Please see our Deadlines to Apply page for program specific deadlines for each semester.


Credit Hours Required for the
Master of Science Degree










Research hours






Credit Hours Required for the
Doctor of Philosophy Degree


With M.S.

Without M.S.







Research hours







Students can take courses from the Galveston, College Station, and Corpus Christi campuses from the 6 participating departments. Since MARB IDP students build their degree plan in conjunction with their faculty advisor and committee, there are no set required except what is listed above in the tables.

Typical Courses Offered


Course Title

MARB 603

Cetacean Behavior and Ecology

MARB 604

Behavioral Ecology of Marine Mammals and Seabirds of New Zealand

MARB 605

Air Breathing Marine Vertebrate Research Techniques

MARB 606

Advanced Concepts in Marine Population Biology

MARB 615

Coastal Marine Biology and Geology of Alaska

MARB 616

Introduction to Scientific Diving

MARB 617

Research Diving Methods

MARB 620

Marine Biological Resources

MARB 640

Ecosystem Functions in Marine Environments

MARB 654

Coastal Plant Ecology

MARB 656

Tropical Marine Ecology

MARB 668

Marine Evolutionary Biology

MARB 681

Seminar in Marine Biology

MARS 625

GIS Based Modeling for Coastal Resources

OCNG 608

Physical Oceanography**

OCNG 620

Biological Oceanography**

WFSC 604

Ecological Modeling**

WFSC 613

Animal Ecology**

WFSC 622

Behavioral Ecology**

WFSC 632


**Courses offered by Texas A&M University. Please refer to the respective academic department for complete course descriptions. In general, these courses are offered by distance education for students based in Galveston.

As part of the agreement between the schools, each campus will offer two distance courses each semester for the benefit of the students on the other campuses. For more information about program requirements or course descriptions, please visit the TAMUG catalog at