Marine Biology Interdisciplinary Program

The Department of Biology at Texas A&M University in College Station is a full participant in the Texas A&M Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Marine Biology.  This program offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Marine Biology through a cooperative agreement among marine biology faculty at three campuses: Texas A&M College Station, Texas A&M Galveston, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi.  Students admitted to this program follow a graduate curriculum of coursework and research which is distinct from the graduate program in the Department of Biology.

Students wishing to obtain a Marine Biology graduate degree should apply to the Marine Biology program, not the Department of Biology.


The Department of Biology has four faculty members who participate in the Marine Biology graduate program. If admitted to the program, students who have arranged to work under the direction of a Biology faculty member will be housed in the Department of Biology and will have access to all the graduate resources of the Biology Department. In addition, they will have access to classes and research resources at all three participating campuses.

Biology faculty participating in the Graduate Program in Marine Biology are:

Duncan MacKenzie, Program Co-Chair for the College Station Campus
Comparative endocrinology of reproduction and thyroid function in fish, amphibians, and reptiles

Joseph Bernardo
Cryptic speciation; evolution of reproductive isolation; species packing & community assembly; comparative physiological ecology; integrative evolutionary ecology

Gil Rosenthal
Evolution and ecology of animal communication; mate choice and evolutionary genetics in Mexican freshwater fishes; visual ecology and evolution of neotropical reef fishes

Mary Wicksten
Adaptive coloration of marine invertebrates; distribution, behavior, and classification of eastern Pacific Decapoda Crustacea


To apply for a Masters or PhD degree in Marine Biology through the Marine Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Degree Program (Marine Biology IDP) at Texas A&M University students must first decide which of the three participating campuses will serve as their home campus. This is defined as the campus of residence of a student’s Faculty Advisor. Please see the list of faculty participating in the MARB program and note the campus affiliations of the faculty members with whom you wish to work. Students may only apply to one of the three participating campuses. Information below is only for students wishing to apply to work with a Marine Biology faculty member resident in College Station. If you are interested in working with faculty at other campuses, please visit the Marine Biology admissions websites for Texas A&M University at Galveston or Texas A&M Corpus Christi. For an overall description of the graduate program requirements across all three campuses, please see the Graduate Handbook for the Marine Biology IDP.

Applying to the Marine Biology Program in College Station

Admission to the Marine Biology IDP requires students to identify a Faculty Advisor who has agreed to support the applicant following admission. The application process must therefore include both contact with prospective Marine Biology Faculty Advisors and submission of a completed application for graduate admission. Completed applications must include a statement that a designated Marine Biology faculty member has agreed to serve as an applicant’s Faculty Advisor and provide financial support for the applicant’s graduate studies. Prospective students should therefore begin contacting prospective Faculty Advisors early in the application process to determine whether support is available.

  1. Identify a Faculty Advisor With Support
    Graduate studies in Marine Biology require that you identify a Faculty Advisor who will guide you along your career path. An Advisor resident on the College Station campus must be identified prior to admission to the Graduate Program in Marine Biology in College Station. We recommend that applicants begin contacting potential Advisors 9-12 months prior to application for admission to the program. This allows the potential Faculty Advisor to determine if your research interests match their own, and if sufficient funding and space are available. Please see the List of Participating Faculty in the Marine Biology IDP.
  2. Complete the ApplyTexas Application
    All applicants must submit their application materials through the ApplyTexas website. There is a required application fee of $50 for US citizens or $90 for international students. Applicants should submit an online application before submitting other required admissions items. The ApplyTexas website enables you to submit a Statement of Purpose and the names of three references. Your Statement of Purpose should present a narrative explaining your reasons for applying to the Graduate Program in Marine Biology, including a description of your research experiences and professional goals.

Recommendations are submitted electronically using the Applicant Information System (AIS). Applicants have access to AIS once their Apply Texas application has been submitted and processed. You must log into this system using your Universal Identification Number (UIN) in order to claim your account and submit your letters of recommendation. Recommendations are submitted electronically using the AIS. Recommendations are important professional documents that allow the selection committee to learn more about you and your experiences from the perspective of others. Recommendations from professors with whom you have conducted research are particularly valuable, as well those associated with your internships, marine-related activities, and present or former employers. Recommendations from the academic community are preferred.

  1. Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    Upload your resume or CV to AIS.
  2. Official Transcripts
    Arrange for official transcripts from your undergraduate institution (and graduate institution if applicable) to be sent. This often takes some time so plan accordingly, and the Office of Admissions does not accept electronic transcripts as official copies. Transcripts must be sent to the Texas A&M Office of Admissions.
  3. GRE Scores
    Arrange to have GRE (and TOEFL scores for international applicants) sent to the Texas A&M Office of Admissions. The Institution Code for Texas A&M University is 6003 (there is no department code needed). This also will take time so plan on taking the GRE early enough to allow for scores to arrive at the Office of Admissions before the deadlines below.
  4. Application Deadlines
    Fall Admission
    September 1 – Application available
    December 1 – Priority application deadline for applicants to be considered for fellowships and other financial aid
    February 15 – Deadline to be considered for other funding
    May 1 – Final application deadline for fall admission

Students interested in Spring or Summer admission should contact Jennifer Bradford ( or Dr. Duncan MacKenzie ( for further information.