Marine and Estuarine Science Program (MESP) Biology

Program Information

The Marine and Estuarine Science option is a joint offering of the Department of Biology, Huxley College, and Shannon Point Marine Center. Students graduating from the program will have an understanding of coastal marine and estuarine environments, biota and topical management issues, and fundamental biological and chemical oceanographic processes.


To offer a first-class research experience for our students that will provide them with the background and skills to enter a variety of professional careers in biology. We aim to provide a stimulating intellectual environment with rigorous scholarship that facilitates multiple opportunities for graduate students.

Application Requirements

All applicants must complete the Graduate School's ApplyWeb application. Within the application you will be prompted to upload an unofficial transcript from each institution attended.

The Graduate School Application Fee is $100, paid at the time of application submission.

Additional application materials are specified below. Applications will not be forwarded to the department for review until all required materials have been received by the Graduate School.

International Applicants: Please visit the International Students page for information regarding Degree Equivalency, English Language Proficiency and student VISA requirements.

The Marine and Estuarine Science Program (MESP) is a specialization within the Environmental Science and Biology programs, and it is jointly offered by the Dept of Biology, Huxley College, and Shannon Point Marine Center. Please see the MESP program website for differences in program requirements for MESP specialization in Biology versus Environmental Science.

Biology applicants not pursuing MESP-related specializations, please see the Biology listing.

Additional Application Requirements

Application Deadline

  • Fall: February 1



Western’s marine research facility sits on a wooded 78-acre campus on the Salish Sea in Anacortes. Faculty and students conduct marine research here on a wide assortment of topics, from microbial evolution to studies of mammals and seabirds. Graduate students may also take advantage of the scientific diving center, two academic research vessels, indoor sea tables with water pumped from Guemes Channel, and laboratories devoted to marine molecular ecology, marine chemistry, ocean acidification, and marine science instruction.