Skip Navigation

Marine Sciences Track

The M.S. program consists of a rigorous interdisciplinary approach to oceanographic processes. docksideThis program is ideally suited to prepare students for positions in research, management, environmental protection, and resource development. Graduates will have a firm basis for more advanced study and the tools and training needed for effective careers.

The Ph.D. program is designed to prepare students to identify and solve problems in oceanographic science. It builds on a flexible, interdisciplinary program and prepares students to become effective, independent problem solvers. Students will be free to emphasize their own interests in oceanography but are expected to acquire a broad base of interdisciplinary knowledge. Graduates are prepared to compete successfully for postdoctoral and faculty appointments as well as positions directing research at government or industrial laboratories, and managerial positions at not-for-profit and government agencies.

Core Curriculum

    1. MAR 508 Foundations of Marine Sciences I: Biogeochemical Processes
    2. MAR 509 Foundations of Marine Sciences II: Physics of Oceans, Atmosphere and Climate
    3. MAR 568 Scientific Communication
    4. Either: MAR 501, Physical Oceanography*; MAR 502, Biological Oceanography; MAR 503, Chemical Oceanography; or MAR 506, Geological Oceanography

*With Faculty changes, it is not yet clear when 501 will next be offered and how the content might change. Physical oceanography students may substitute one of the required courses in the ATM track or MAR 547 Dynamical Oceanography to fulfill this requirement with approval.

    1. Two semesters of Seminar MAR 580.01
    2. One 3 credit Quantitative Course

Current choices at SoMAS include: MAR 505 Exp. Design & Statistics, MAR 569 Programming Statistics in R, MAR 538 Modern Methods of Data Analysis in Atmospheric and Ocean Sci. Part I, or MAR 547 Dynamical Oceanography I, or other appropriate special topics courses. Appropriate courses from other departments, such as Biometry, can also be used to fulfill this requirement.

  1. 6 credits of other courses appropriate to the student’s specialty.
  2. Ph.D. students also need to complete 4 credits of “seminar” courses. Seminar courses are those taught primarily in discussion as opposed to lecture format, usually requiring student presentations.

Graduate Course Descriptions


SoMAS graduate students complete a thesis working closely with one or more of SoMAS’s excellent faculty. By the end of their second semester of study, all students must choose an advisor who will guide their research, approve course selections, and oversee their efforts toward degree completion.

Prospective Students

Prospective students: To find a SoMAS faculty member whose research interests match yours, visit our faculty and research pages