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M.S. and Ph.D. Programs

Our flexible, student-centered curriculum allows students to largely design their own course of study to best fit their research and career goals. All students take a small set of core courses that teach universal skills such as critical reading, presentation skills, and proposal development. These are supplemented by a selection (2 for M.S. students, 3 for Ph.D. students) of foundation courses to build basic skills in their chosen discipline. The remaining coursework consists of specialty courses (9 credits for M.S. students, 15 credits for Ph.D. students) and electives from SoMAS or other departments at Stony Brook University. 

Incoming students are matched with an Advisory Committee (consisting of their prospective advisor and at least one other faculty member) to help them choose Foundation and Specialty courses and develop a plan for their course of study. The choice of coursework is among the most important decisions a student will make in graduate school and requires careful thought; however, students are able to modify their plan if the need arises. 

See the listing of MAR and SUS courses in the Graduate Bulletin for detailed information about our course offerings.

Core Courses

  • MAR 527: Current Issues in Global Climate Change
  • MAR 591: RCRS and Professional Development
  • MAR 543: Critical Reading and Proposal Development
  • And two semesters of either 
    • MAR 580: Oceans, Sustainability, and Atmospheres Colloquium, or
    • SUS 580: Research Seminar

Foundation Courses

  • MAR 501: Physical Oceanography
  • MAR 502: Biological Oceanography
  • MAR 503: Chemical Oceanography
  • MAR 504: Statistics and Experimental Design
  • MAR 506: Geological Oceanography
  • MAR 508: Found Mar Sci 1: Biogeochemical
  • MAR 509: Found Mar Sci 2: Physics of Oceans, Atmos, Climate
  • MAR 516: Ecosystem Science for Fisheries Management
  • MAR 541: Foundations of Atmospheric Sciences I
  • MAR 542: Foundations of Atmospheric Sciences II
  • MAR 545: Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology
  • MAR 547: Geophysical Fluid Dynamics I
  • SUS 502: Perspectives on Sustainability
  • Or alternative courses from other departments at Stony Brook with the approval of the Graduate Programs Committee.