Marine Sciences

Oceans are our planet’s largest ecosystems. They cover more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and contain 97 percent of the Earth’s water. Oceans are responsible for more than half the oxygen we breathe and absorb the most carbon from our atmosphere. They help reduce the impact of climate change and are home to hundreds of thousands of species of animal and plant life. Studying marine sciences prepares you to work toward protecting this amazing resource.

“The small class sizes have been a dream.”
— Brittany Hitz '20

Read Brittany's story

About the Marine Sciences Program

Our future depends on the future of the oceans. Your work will make a difference.

Healthy oceans are important to everyone. They serve as an important source of food, a potential supply of drinking water in areas that lack adequate fresh water, and a new frontier for the discovery of medicines that fight cancer and other diseases. They are also home to much of the world’s biodiversity.

As a marine scientist, you’ll be on the forefront of research and discovery. Oceanographers look at the big picture, such as how currents and the patterns of Arctic sea ice relate to broader issues of climate change. As a marine biologist, you might study the impact of human behavior on plant and animal life in coral reefs. You could work directly with marine life in a public aquarium, or become a pioneer in the aquaculture industry, looking for innovative ways to reduce hunger through marine farming.

Study Two Years Here, Two Years in Hawaii

Carroll University’s unique marine sciences program is offered in collaboration with Hawaii Pacific University (HPU). You’ll spend two years at Carroll, learning fundamental principles in biology, chemistry and math, as well as completing general education requirements. Many students choose our program because it allows them to stay close to home while immersing themselves in marine biology as an undergraduate.

You’ll finish the degree requirements with an advantage not found in other programs—two years at Hawaii Pacific University, where you’ll have the Pacific Ocean at your doorstep to study marine science in greater depth. Advanced courses ranging from molecular biology to ecology will provide the knowledge you’ll need across the spectrum of modern biology and its marine applications. And there will be abundant opportunities to get involved in research projects at HPU.

You’ll graduate with a scientific understanding of the world's oceans and the life they contain, and a sense of appreciation for their beauty and fragility. You’ll be prepared with a foundation in the basic and applied sciences that will complement hands-on experience conducting laboratory and field observations and experiments.

The Hawaii Loa Campus of HPU is only a twenty-minute drive from Kaneohe Bay, a large natural embayment protected from the open ocean by the only true barrier reef in the Hawaiian Islands. This bay serves as one of the finest natural laboratories in the world for studying the marine sciences, and its protected nature allows HPU students to do field work in almost any type of weather. Students also have access to the research and educational facilities of the Oceanic Institute, a center for aquaculture research and educational partner of HPU.


Carroll University’s marine sciences program offers two majors, both in collaboration with Hawaii Pacific University (HPU).


We help you build real world experience, explore careers and network with professionals through internship opportunities. Recent placements include the following companies:

  • Field assistant at Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology
  • Marine mammal trainer at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago
  • Research assistant at the Whale Center of New England
  • Friday Harbor Marine Laboratory in San Juan Island, Wash.
  • Environmental quality intern at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago


College is a big investment in a bright future. Learn more about the industries and careers our majors pursue, and the workplaces and experiences of the alumni from our program. See where yours may take you.

Career Insight

More Resources

“Ever since I was little, I've loved the ocean and have always had a passion for it.”
— Madeline Schmidbauer '20

Read Madeline's story

Meet the Faculty

Start YourPioneer Journey

Panoramic View of campus