Jun 22, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalogue 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalogue Archived Catalogue

Marine Science, M.S.

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Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Stephen Skrabal

The Center for Marine Science in conjunction with the Graduate School oversees an interdisciplinary program of study leading to the Master of Science degree in marine science. The educational objectives of this degree program are 1) to provide a broad interdisciplinary understanding of marine science to students having strong undergraduate training in mathematics and the sciences; and 2) to develop skills that will enable these students to utilize this knowledge to solve complex marine environmental problems. These problem-solving skills will provide the foundation for future contributions by the graduates in marine-related industries, environmental management, teaching, research, and other marine-oriented careers. Students will also be prepared to undertake additional graduate study.

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the graduate program in marine science are required to submit the following to the Graduate School:

  1. An official application for graduate admission
  2. Official transcripts of all college work (undergraduate and graduate)
  3. Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (verbal, quantitative, analytical writing)
  4. Three recommendations by individuals in professionally relevant fields
  5. Statement of research interests, including name(s) of prospective research mentors
  6. Application and supplemental documents must be submitted by the published deadline.

A bachelor’s degree with a concentration in a natural science or mathematics from a regionally accredited college or university in this country or its equivalent in a foreign institution based on a four year program is required for admission, along with a “B” average or better in the student’s major. Undergraduate grades, GRE scores, recommendations, statements of research interest, and availability and suitability of prospective research mentors will be used in concert in making admission decisions. It is very strongly recommended that applicants contact potential faculty advisors before they apply and that they list the names of these potential advisors in the “Statement of Interests” in their applications.

Degree Requirements (30 total credit hours)

  1. The Master of Science in marine science will require a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate study. These credits may come from the student’s major area of study as well as graduate courses offered by other departments as approved by the student’s advisory committee. The student’s advisory committee shall include a minimum of three faculty members, one of whom must be from a discipline outside of the student’s main discipline.
  2. The courses most appropriate for each student will be determined by the student’s advisory committee, with the expectation that a student will usually take no more than 12 credit hours from those courses cross-listed as 400/500.
  3. Transfer work must be equivalent to a “B” or better, and courses must be acceptable to the student’s advisory committee. A minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate study must be completed in residence.
  4. The student must successfully complete a written comprehensive examination based on his/her core courses, and an oral exam on his/her research project. Students must also submit a prospectus that includes a course plan, literature review and research proposal which is acceptable to the student’s advisory committee.
  5. Each student must demonstrate the ability to conduct field sampling, either through work conducted as part of the thesis or by taking a field-based course such as GEO 503 , MSC 526 , CHM 576 /PHY 576 , or PHY 577 .
  6. Each student must complete a thesis, based on original research, acceptable to the student’s advisory committee and to the Graduate School. Each student will present a public seminar on his or her research project. The seminar will be followed by an oral defense of the thesis, conducted by the student’s advisory committee.
  7. The program shall be completed within five years of the date of first registration for graduate study.

Required Courses

Core courses: Three of the following four core courses are required. A grade of B minus or better is required in three core courses. All four may be taken, and should be taken by students planning on continuing in a Ph.D. program.

Students are also required to take

Elective Credits

Elective courses must be at the 500-level or higher, be relevant to student’s course of study (as discerned by the student’s thesis committee), and may come from any of the relevant academic departments. Normally, a M.S. in marine science student will take a total of 12 to 15 elective credits to fulfill the degree requirements.

Marine Policy Concentration

In addition to the core and other required courses, students seeking a Master of Science in marine science with a concentration in marine policy must also complete the following:

and one course from any of the following subject areas:

Additional Information

For course descriptions, please refer to the Graduate Catalogue.

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