Certificate in Sustainable Marine Aquaculture

4 x 14 weeks
$730 (non-credit) – $3690 (credit)
September 2021, January 2022
i Undergraduate Certificate
University of Massachusetts Boston

Course Director
Jennifer Bender

UMASS Boston

Courses are delivered 100% online

See UMASS website for current pricing.
Links below.

Program Description

This program comprises four 14 week Introductory college level modules on Sustainable Marine Aquaculture. The program is via University of Boston Massachusetts whom offer both accredited (for UMASS students) and non-accredited options.

The non-credit certification in this field enables individuals to quickly gain basic knowledge for entry into the workforce. It also provides professional development options for individuals seeking to change positions, retrain for a new career, and especially for international workforce development, to obtain US institution credentials.

The non-credit online SMA certificate consists of the three 100 level aquaculture core courses. Courses can be taken individually and not in sequence however all three must be completed to earn a certificate.

Interested?  Please email the course director or

Program Modules

This program comprises three modules:

Introduction to Sustainable Marine Aquaculture
This module provides an introductory overview of marine aquaculture with a specific focus on the principles of sustainability in the production and distribution of marine-sourced foods. Students will explore the culturing and rearing of marine invertebrates and plants. Building on a general overview of marine aquaculture, the course will cover the physical and chemical properties of the aquatic environment; site selection; aquatic engineering; bivalve culture; crustacean culture; seaweed culture; health and pathology; growth and nutrition; genetics and reproduction; legal, economic, social and environmental considerations. These topics will be covered with both a local and global perspective. The course is designed to familiarize students with the multi-disciplinary nature of sustainable marine aquaculture as a field. We will conclude with a brief overview of the legal, economic, and social considerations and we will look at some of the controversies surrounding marine aquaculture and environmental sustainability.
Aquaculture Production
This module is designed to provide an overview of animal production and associated environmental and regulatory aspects of the industry. The course also introduces aspects of business and market development for cultured products with special focus on marine aquaculture and shellfish.
The Business of Marine Aquaculture
This module examines the elements of working in and managing a successful aquaculture operation. Aquaculture is currently the fastest growing segment of the food industry, with about half of what we eat from the ocean coming from aquaculture. This is an increasingly competitive space that suffers from a tradition of malpractice and misunderstanding as well as a regulatory culture that lags far behind an innovative rate. Site selection, gear, seed and feed procurement, marketing, and supply chain dynamics are all important elements of a successful aquaculture operation that demand an understanding of regulatory, financial, and marketing and entrepreneurial principles. This course is designed to introduce students to these challenges and equip them with the tools needed to engage within the industry on a sophisticated, successful level.
Aquaculture Nutrition (new!)

The module will provide an understanding of the key aspects of nutrition of cultured species and cover the importance of nutrition and feed management in commercial aquaculture operations. The course will also assess the sustainability of raw material sources such as fish meal and the effectiveness of alternative protein replacements, and understand the relationship between nutrition and fish health.

Enrolment Requirements (UMASS Students)

The Global Aquaculture Industry

Aquaculture Core

Students in both programs must take all three 100 level courses as detailed above.

114 – Introduction to Sustainable Marine Aquaculture

124 – Aquaculture Production

134 – The Business of Marine Aquaculture

215 – Aquaculture Nutrition (new)

Fish and Invertebrate Biology

Environment Core

For-credit students must take two courses

The Global Environment
An overview of the environment including the atmosphere and ocean, climate, soils, vegetation and landforms.

Nature of Environmental Problems
An introduction to environmental issues.

World Regional Geography
An overview of the relationship between the physical environment and human populations around the globe.

Aquaculture: Products and Markets

Capstone Core (Internship, Research or Course)

For-credit students must take one course

Internship in Environmental Studies
Placement with a government, nongovernment, corporate, or research organisation.

Environmental Problem Analysis and Policy Formulation
Analysis of an environmental problem, typically at the university or greater Boston community level.

Environmental Science Capstone
Application of natural and social science knowledge to environmental problems. For Environmental Science majors.

Entry Requirements

Anyone with a high school diploma (or equivalent) interested in a career in the aquaculture industry.

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