Program Overview

Learn about the biology, evolution, and ecology of organisms that inhabit Earth’s land, fresh water, and oceans. Enroll in exciting courses like coral reef ecology, animal behavior, and entomology. Spend a summer studying marine life up close at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab on the Gulf of Mexico.

The concentration in marine and organismal biology introduces students to marine ecosystems and the principles that help us to understand the processes that shape life in coastal and oceanic environments.

Students following the concentration in Marine and Organismal Biology should anticipate spending a portion of the summer between their junior and senior years at the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium laboratory (also known as the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.) on nearby Dauphin Island.

On a space available basis, study at the Sea Lab. might also be available between the sophomore and junior years. Appropriate courses taken at the Sea Lab. may be substituted for most of the upper-division concentration requirements. These courses are to be arranged in consultation with the student’s academic advisor and the College’s liaison officer for the Sea Lab., Dr. Charles M. Chester.


On Campus

Average Class Size:


Real-World Experience at Dauphin Island Sea Lab

Honor Society:

Tri Beta

Program Goals

Our marine & organismal biology concentration provides students with a well-rounded education with a mix of classroom education and hands-on, practical experiences. We’re partnered with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab to have our students learn out in the field with real-world professionals every summer. 

Where We Work

• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
• Mississippi Department of Marine Fisheries
• Naval Oceanographic Office
• Shedd Aquarium

Career Outlook

This program is great for students who want to enter a research job in marine biology. Students will build connections with working researchers and gain practical experiences that will give them an edge over the competition in the job market upon graduation. 


“I really appreciated the personal attention I received from my professors. Dr. Charles Chester, in particular, introduced me to many amazing things in the marine environment, and was very passionate about his work and field of study. His courses were some of my most enjoyable and thought-provoking.” — Ryan Wattam


View Department Page
  • Charles Chester

    Associate Professor

  • Donald Culberson

    Associate Professor

  • Rebecca Fillmore

    Associate Professor, Department Chair of Biology

  • Deborah Fox

    Associate Professor

  • Paul Kohnen

    Associate Professor; Department Chair, Biology

Why SHC?

  • At Spring Hill College, we’re making our mark – With our small class sizes and affordable tuition, Spring Hill College is uniquely qualified to provide a high quality education to our students. Our Jesuit, Catholic college education is renowned as a well-rounded higher education approach, with an emphasis on empowering students with a passion for knowledge and personal growth. With our recent tuition cut, Spring Hill College is one of the most affordable private colleges in the country.
  • We’re curious and inspired – Forbes Magazine has ranked Spring Hill College as one of the top ten best colleges for return on investment (ROI). In our class of 2021, 92% of graduates attained placement six months after graduation through employment, graduate/professional school, internship or service.
  • We’re doers – Our students contribute 24,000 hours on average to the local community through the Foley Center each year. 100% of the 2020 graduates that applied to medical school were accepted. Spring Hill College has a 100% certification rate and a 92% placement rate with our Education program over the last five years.

Learn more about our admissions process and policies, including our test-optional policy, at

Learn more about our Financial Aid process and policies, including FAFSA and work study programs, here.

Use our Net Price Calculators to estimate your cost of attendance at Spring Hill College.

The calculator will open in a pop-up window. Please make sure your browser is set to allow pop-ups.

To see how credits you are currently taking at any college/university may transfer to Spring Hill College, you can email a copy of your transcripts to We will send you an evaluation of credits and can help plan future coursework at your current college/university.


Apply for FREE today to one of the most affordable and accessible private colleges in the country!

Student Life

Learn more about our beautiful campus, involved student clubs and organizations, and all you need to know about life on The Hill!

© Copyright 2024 Spring Hill College. All rights reserved.