Marine Biology Quarter (MBQ) General Info


The Marine Biology Quarter (MBQ) is a field program designed to give advanced undergraduates an opportunity to gain intimate and first hand knowledge of marine communities, their constituents and their structure.

Previous Sites Included:


MBQ Procedures and Requirements:

  • Taught every fall quarter
  • Consists of 16 upper division units of coursework
  • Advantageous to have some training in field and marine related courses prior to participation in MBQ
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 or above recommended
  • Requirement for Marine Biology majors
  • Fulfills the field quarter requirement for Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution (EBE) Major
  • Counts as upper division electives in categories 4 and/or 5 for Biology majors
  • Preference is given to Marine Biology Majors, EBE Majors and to other students in the Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Department
  • Students in other departments are welcome to apply


Prerequisites for MBQ usually consist of Life Sciences 1, EE Biol C109, and Stats 13 (or its equivalent).

Snorkeling/Scuba Diving:

The ability to snorkel is essential for the courses and clearance for scuba diving is strongly recommended. Each student must obtain qualified status from an accredited Diving Officer if s/he wants to dive while on the program. Information about the training programs will be made available at the time of the interview. Some MBQ locations do not involve scuba diving.

Application Process:

Applications are available during Fall Quarter in the Undergraduate Office, 2325 Life Sciences. Details about the application process will be posted on the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Undergraduate News listserv and the Department web site, The selection process takes place at the end of Fall Quarter or the beginning of Winter Quarter and requires an interview with participating faculty in addition to the application.


The typical cost of the MBQ includes normal UCLA tuition plus room and board at the same rate as UCLA dorms with a meal plan. If you will be living in the dorms the year you plan to participate in the MBQ, you will need to cancel your housing contract for the quarter in which the MBQ is offered (in writing to the Residence Hall's Assignment Office) and request assignment for the winter and spring when you return. If you live in an apartment, you might consider subletting your room while you are gone, but be advised that you may not be gone the entire quarter. Please contact the Financial Aid Office, A129J Murphy Hall, 206-0400, to find out if your aid can cover these costs. Scholarship information is available at the Scholarship Resource Center, 233 Covel Commons, 206-2875.

Financial assistance:

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology has funds available for financial assistance for students who wish to participate. Please talk with one of the undergraduate counselors about availability of funds and procedure for application for student scholarships.