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Water sample from Lake Michigan.

Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, B.S.

The Great Lakes are arguably our most valuable natural resource in the Midwest, so their protection and sustainable use are keys to the prosperity and well-being of future generations. The need for trained aquatic science professionals has increased steadily as pressure on and impacts to our water resources have increased.

Visit the program website for more information.

Students are admitted directly into this program.

Program Overview

The B.S. in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences prepares for careers in this highly-relevant field to the Great Lakes region. The program features a breadth and depth of knowledge that includes the study of stream ecology, fisheries biology, lake ecology, wetland ecology, aquatic invertebrates, and aquatic plants, among others. This curriculum will give graduates a highly desirable skill set that will make them well-qualified for a range of career paths.

If interested in fisheries biology, be prepared to apply for Associate Fisheries Professional certification offered by the American Fisheries Society, Associate Fisheries Professional certification helps qualify for jobs with state and federal agencies and environmental consulting firms.

Students interested in marine biology should plan on taking additional coursework in math and chemistry and complete summer coursework at a marine field station.

Why Study Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at Grand Valley?

  • The degree combines the highly technical expertise spanning the study of chemistry, physics, statistics, geology, natural resource management and biology with a liberal education component, creating a professional with a broad skill set required for success in this high demand profession.
  • Flexibility within the curriculum provides a broad set of elective courses and opportunities for specialization.
  • Authentic experiential learning in field and in laboratory learning environments.
  • Opportunities for internships, international and domestic field study, and mentor-guided student research to complement coursework.
  • Engage in real-world projects, including a broad range of research opportunities at GVSU's Annis Water Resources Institute in Muskegon, visit for more information.

Career Insights

This tool shows an overview of potential career opportunities for this major. Actual salaries, employment opportunities, and job titles may change over time.

Location & Format

Undergraduate students in this major study at Grand Valley's Allendale Campus.

  • Face To Face


A degree in fisheries and aquatic sciences includes coursework in:

  • Stream ecology
  • Limnology
  • Field biology
  • Fisheries management
  • Aquatic insects, plants, and fish
  • Natural resource management
  • Genetics

Engagement in field and laboratory learning environments to study aquatic ecosystems and their management is part of the coursework.

Combined Degree Programs

Many GVSU undergraduate programs can be combined with an existing master’s degree program to save on tuition and get you into the workforce sooner. On average, you can save $8,500 by pursuing a combined degree and take up to four fewer courses than if earning the degrees separately.

Talk with an advisor about how you can build your combined degree from existing programs to further personalize your education and create your own niche area of expertise.

Admission Requirements

Visit the Admissions website for undergraduate requirements.

For More Information

Biology Department
3300a Kindschi Hall of Science
(616) 331-2470

Admissions and Recruitment Office