People who are interested in pursuing careers as marine biologists must first obtain educational experience and degrees from marine biology graduate programs. When choosing the best program, a prospective marine biologist should consider a number of different factors. A graduate school should be fully accredited by the appropriate regional or national boards, offer hands-on programs, and have an proven record of its graduates' success. Since many people choose to specialize in a certain area of marine biology, such as coastal biology or ecology, a prospective student should consider the number of faculty members and university resources devoted to his or her area of interest. Quality marine biology graduate programs provide individuals with the concepts and practical skills they will need to be successful in their eventual research careers.
The first aspects of marine biology graduate programs that most students research are the credentials and success rates of prospective schools. Most countries set strict standards for graduate programs to ensure that they are able to provide students with quality instruction and educational resources. It is also important for a prospective graduate student to investigate statistics about the success of a program's graduates in the professional world. Schools that produce well-prepared marine biologists often highlight information about graduates' abilities to find immediate, well-paying jobs. An individual can usually find out information about a marine biology program's accreditation and graduate statistics by visiting the school's website or speaking with admissions counselors on campus.
Another important point to consider when investigating marine biology graduate programs is the types of facilities and resources that are available to students. A school's proximity to an ocean is a significant point to consider, as an individual must determine the time and expenses required to make trips to the beach. Many graduate schools feature campuses and facilities that are very close to coastal waters, making it easy to conduct hands-on research on a regular basis. Marine biology graduate programs that feature modern laboratories, quality testing equipment, and opportunities for field research are usually considered good options.
Graduate students frequently specialize within marine biology programs. When choosing a school, a person should carefully consider what his or her ultimate career plans and research goals are, and determine if a particular program will be able to cater to his or her needs. Most marine biology graduate programs feature information about the types of classes offered and the research interests of faculty members. Students can explore the type of research being conducted at a university to determine whether or not he or she wants to pursue an education there.