Marine Science

Advancing knowledge to support the world’s oceans and coasts, critical ecosystems for life on Earth.

Researching Science and the Sea

Ocean Life and Interactions

Based in Port Aransas on the Texas Gulf Coast, our marine scientists and their teams of graduate students, undergraduate researchers and staff colleagues leverage a range of resources to better understand sea and estuary life and conditions over time. Experts in the Department of Marine Science leverage the resources of UT’s Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve and its 186,189 acres that make it among the largest U.S. research stations of its kind.

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I knew I wanted to do my research at MSI in Port Aransas and loved the experience. The resources and opportunities here are amazing and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Arley Muth

Marine Science

For Majors

Experiences & Careers

Students of marine and freshwater science frequently participate in the Semester by the Sea and other programs, secure internships, study abroad and conduct field research. They then go on to a wide range of careers, graduate programs and professional schools and enter jobs with titles like:

  • Environmental consultant
  • Natural resource manager
  • Fisheries biologist
  • Biotechnology specialist
  • Aquaculturist

Learn more about biology careers

Find opportunities for Majors

In The Texas Scientist

Explore Stories

Time at our coastal campus beyond Austin brings scientists and students into partnership, as they work to improve understanding about unique aspects of the Texas Gulf Coast. They explore dynamics of ocean life and work towards discoveries at the heart of our ability to promote sustainability on the planet.

Assessing damage and tending to animals after disaster

learning how species loss jeopardizes an ecosystem

Traveling to the Antarctic to learn about Weddell seals

Study & Learn

Marine and freshwater science, an option within the biology degree for undergraduates, involves a blend of study at the Austin campus and at UT Austin’s Marine Science Institute (MSI) in Port Aransas. Students take some credits in residence at MSI through Semester by the Sea or Intersession options. An undergraduate degree in biology allows students to specialize if they choose in marine and freshwater science. A certificate allows for further skill-building and study. Graduate study in marine science is also available with residence in Port Aransas.


BS Biology: Option 3 Marine & Freshwater Science




4-Year Plan


Marine Science



Additional Information

From MSI

Find undergraduate information and examples of courses

Graduate studies in marine science

Marine Science News

A young man in a hat holding equipment leads a group of students down a creek at a Hill Country-based field station


Philanthropic Gift Establishes Historic UT Commitment to Monitoring Texas’ Natural Resources

A transformative donation allows for the expansion of a Texas Field Station Network to study biodiversity and sustainability.