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About our Marine Science
Associate Degree

The Marine Science program provides students with the academic background and applied skills necessary for employment as research assistants and technicians in a variety of aquatic and environmental fields. Graduates are also able to transfer their credits to other colleges and universities. The curriculum emphasizes hands-­on laboratory and field procedures.  

Skills learned are commonly used by professionals working for companies and organizations involved in aquatic research and ecosystem management, such as marine biology laboratories, state and federal marine resource agencies, state and federal environmental protection agencies, and water districts and pollution control facilities. Special attention is given to collecting and identifying a diversity of marine organisms, performing oceanographic sampling procedures aboard our own research vessel, and laboratory techniques using molecular biology, microbiology, and chemistry. Student research projects often address current topics such as harmful algal bloom or lobster shell disease.

Graduation Outcomes

  • Communicate effectively, using the language, concepts, and models of marine biology and oceanography.
  • Define and solve problems independently and collaboratively using the methodology of marine biology and oceanography.
  • Apply laboratory and field techniques with accuracy, precision, and safety.
  • Interpret biological and oceanographic information accurately.
  • Demonstrate proficient library, mathematical, and computer skills in data gathering and analysis.
  • Apply scientific concepts to environmental and societal issues.

What opportunities does this program provide?

SMCC graduates in this program have gone on to work as:

  • Aquaculturist
  • Aquarium Assistant
  • Environmental Education/Outreach Assistant
  • Fisheries Observer
  • Fish Hatchery Technician
  • Marine Laboratory Research Technician
  • Oceanographic Technician
  • Seasonal Biologist  
  • Water Quality Technician

Continue Your Education

Available transfer agreements for this program include:

Estimated Full-Time Degree Completion Time


Please note, these estimates are based on a student taking an average of 15 credits per semester and do not include college preparatory or developmental courses.

Interested in viewing full program and course details?

Are you a current student?

Be sure to view the degree program requirements for your specific program. Log into MySMCC and click My Maine Guide, MyDegree to learn more.

Not ready to commit to a degree program? We may have other options that work for you.

Did you know that we offer a broad array of short-term workforce training programs that allow you to enter the workforce and start earning quickly? These programs are a great way to enter a career in your area of interest and to become accustomed to college classes. They are also often grant-funded (free of charge to trainees). And, if you find you want to keep going, we can help you find a related academic degree or certificate program of interest with which you can continue your education.


Costs & Financial Aid

This degree program may have specific associated costs which are important to know before attending. We encourage you to apply for financial aid which provides funds in the form of grants and scholarship (free), loans (need to repay) and student employment (earned money.)

Want to learn more?

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Ready to apply?

Learn how to apply and fill out our online application when you’re ready.

Contact Us:

Admissions: 207-741-5800 or 

Department Chair: Daniel Moore, 207-741-5966 or

A three-credit class averages


Full-time tuition & fees


*Additional program costs may apply.


South Portland, Brunswick & Online