College of Letters & Sciences

Marine & Freshwater Aquatic Biology

An introduction to the Marine Biology and Freshwater Ecology Emphasis

Biological Sciences Department - University of Wisconsin – Whitewater

UWW offers students in Wisconsin and surrounding states a unique opportunity to obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology, with an emphasis in Marine Biology and Freshwater Ecology in collaboration with our sister institution, Deakin University, in Australia. UWW sends approximately 10-15 student each year to this program.

Basic curriculum

  • 3 years at UWW – See Marine Biology and Freshwater Ecology checklist
    • General Education
    • Foundation in Biology

While at Whitewater, students take courses that focus on various aspects in the fields of Ecology (including Aquatic Ecology), Organismal Biology, and Evolution. Much like the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior emphasis, many of the associated courses have indoor or outdoor laboratory components, which focus on the applied aspects of this profession. All students are required to take a “Field Methods In Ecology” course, which is team taught by Ecology Faculty and exposes them to various techniques used in ecological work. Available courses include “Aquatic Toxicology”, “Water Resource Management” and advanced Ecology courses. Students in this emphasis are not required to have a minor, as additional coursework is completed at Deakin University.

  • 2 semesters at Deakin University – Typically after junior year
    • Students choose courses with consultation of program manager
    • Assortment of electives in a wide variety of subjects
    • Required to take Marine Invertebrates or Marine
    • Botany

Each Deakin class is 1 unit. Equivalent to 3 credits at UWW. Need 4 classes to maintain full-time status at UWW. This additional coursework focuses on aquatic biology (particularly related to marine ecosystems) over a wide range of topics from Fish and Marine Mammal Biology to aquaculture. Students in this emphasis are also strongly encouraged to takeā€part in undergraduate research with faculty. Such endeavors have frequently resulted in professional presentations and publications. There are also very popular study abroad courses which travel to Yellowstone National Park and Ecuador (see links under “Trips”). Many students within this emphasis are active in the student Ecology Club, which frequently takes part in professional volunteer opportunities and trips to museums, zoological gardens and State Natural Areas. Please be sure to review the UWWhitewater/Deakin University Marine Biology Facebook page for more information.

How to prepare for going to Australia 

GPA requirement

UWW Biological Sciences requires 2.75/4.0 GPA to be accepted into the program. If a student falls below a 2.75 GPA an appeal can be made to a committee made up of UWW faculty (generally biology professors).  Deakin requires a 2.6/4.0 for international students.  Deakin has refused students below a 2.6 in the past.

Last semester at UWW

Each student must speak with the program manager (currently Dr. Bruce Eshelman) within the first 2 weeks. This meeting will begin the paperwork process required to attend Deakin University. Students also choose classes they will take at Deakin.

Cost of the program

Per unit cost - International students are charged for each unit of coursework they take. UWW students get a bit of a break on the cost.  Fees are reduced for each student depending on the number of students enrolled in Deakin that year.

Exchange rate Students need to factor in the exchange rate of US Dollars to Australian Dollars. This is often the biggest factor determining total cost and recent history has shown this can vary up to ~10% over the course of a year.

Example tuition 2017-2018 – First semester Deakin Program fees $7,449.02 USD. Second semester estimated around $6,400 USD.  This is only tuition. We anticipate an increase for future semesters.

Example Room and Board – A recent student (2018-2019) received a quote of $10,608 AUD ($8,313 USD) for 12 months of room and board. Students usually live in campus dormitories during their time in Australia, but many students have chosen to live off campus. Meal plans are available, but the dorms have kitchenettes, so student can cook for themselves.