Marine Biology Semester (NEW!)

Goshen College students studying Marine Biology in the Florida Keys

Immerse yourself in research and study in a Florida Keys marine biology station for a semester. Building on a 50-plus year old marine biology program at Goshen College, the college has added a new Marine Biology Semester in the Florida Keys (begun in 2019-20). During this semester-long residential program, Goshen College Environmental and Marine Science majors with a marine biology track will take 2 courses, complete an internship with a local marine organization and collect data for their senior thesis research project — all the while living at the college’s unique J.N. Roth Marine Biology Station in the culturally rich and diverse setting of Layton, Florida. The Marine Biology Semester is offered annually in the fall semester for 10 weeks.


Students take BIOL 232 Oceanography on campus before participating in field courses. This serves as a prerequisite for the 3-week May-term class, BIOL 304 Marine Biology. In this class students begin their senior thesis research work. The courses during the Marine Biology Semester include two intensive field classes (BIOL 334 Marine Ecology and BIOL 343 Invertebrate Zoology), which include daily snorkeling excursions, morning lectures, and evening lab activities at the J.N. Roth Marine Biology Station.

Marine Biology swimmersInternship

Students complete a 120-hour internship during the semester and receive three credits. Possible internship locations include: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Florida Marine Research Institute, National Park Service, REEF, Mote Marine Lab, Keys Marine Lab and Florida Sea Grant, etc.


Before going to FL students take BIOL 331 Junior Seminar to complete a literature review and design a research project suitable for completion during their marine biology courses in FL. Throughout the semester students complete their independent research project toward completion of their senior thesis requirement. Back on campus students enroll in BIOL 410 Senior Seminar, to analyze data and complete their final research paper.

For more information

Ryan Sensenig

Professor of Biological & Environmental Science