A warm climate, freshwater rivers and a gulf coast teeming with life are all factors that draw aspiring marine biologists to the state of Texas. The coast is home to major marine-biology research universities. All have the expert faculty and modern research facilities to propel you into a career as a scientific researcher of marine life.

University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas Marine Science Institute at Port Aransas is the oldest marine research facility on the Texas coast. The program is steeped in the goals of researching aquatic life, educating world-class scientists and spreading the message of conservation to the public. The school has one of 28 national estuarine research reserves, what the university calls a “living laboratory,” to study marine life. The school has undergraduate and graduate marine biology programs. Its undergraduates in the Semester by the Sea program leave Austin to study environmental science, phytoplankton, fish and oceanography at the institute on the coast.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi

Texas A&M Corpus Christi offers master’s and doctoral degrees in marine biology. The programs are designed to equip you to perform independent biological studies and seek publication of your research. The university lies on a Gulf of Mexico island just off the Texas shoreline, an ideal location to study aquatic life. Professors in the programs have expertise in phytoplankton ecology; the biology of seagrass; the diving characteristics of mammals, birds and turtles; and aquatic animal nutrition. Applicants must submit a 1,000-word essay on their backgrounds and goals, three letters of recommendation, transcripts and GRE results.

Texas A&M Galveston

The marine biology program at Texas A&M’s Gavelston campus focuses on the study of fisheries, mammals, aquatic health, wetlands and biodiversity. The school touts its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and semitropical climate as conducive to marine studies. The school’s sea-life facility affords opportunities to study bacteria, plankton, fish and reptiles. The university offers a Bachelor of Science in marine biology and advanced degrees in interdisciplinary marine biology studies.

Texas State University

Texas State University’s bachelor's degree program in aquatic biology puts students in nearby streams and rivers as well as a federal fish hatchery to study all forms of aquatic life indigenous to the area. Students also may pursue master’s or doctoral degrees in aquatic resources. The doctoral program emphasizes the need for conservation, and students are expected to shed light on the need to manage and craft conservation policy to preserve aquatic resources. The program requires a minimum of 15 credit hours of dissertation work and offers annual assistant-ships on a competitive basis.