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Join Us and Make Scientific Research Count at Stony Brook University!

Welcome to the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. We are working on the most important problems on the planet, and want you to be part of the solution!

SoMAS provides future scientists and policy makers with the education, training, and skills to take you wherever you want to go. Our graduate students and faculty explore topics such climate change, extreme weather, marine and atmospheric pollution, fisheries management, clean water technology, harmful algal blooms, feeding patterns of marine mammals and birds, tropical meteorology, and much, much more.

Graduate students at SoMAS have access to top flight faculty researchers and facilities both at SoMAS, in other Stony Brook graduate programs in the basic fields of science, math, and medicine, and at nearby national laboratories. Our location is in close proximity to a wide range of coastal and open ocean habitats.

We are one of the premiere coastal marine science and atmospheric schools in the country, with classrooms, labs, and facilities on the shores of the Long Island Sound, Great South Bay and the Atlantic, and the main campus at Stony Brook. The National Research Council ranks SoMAS in the top 10 marine and atmospheric science programs in the United States.

No previous marine science experience is required! We encourage applicants with strong backgrounds in biology, chemistry, geology, physics, and applied math to apply to our M.S. and Ph.D. programs, and those with strong backgrounds in political science, economics, and public policy to apply to our M.A. program in Marine Conservation and Policy.

The SoMAS graduate faculty listed below may have a research focus that aligns with your interests--join us at SoMAS!



Bassem Allam, Marine animal diseases

Bassem AllamMarine animal diseases

Josephine Aller, Marine benthic ecology

Josephine AllerMarine benthic ecology

Robert Aller, Marine biogeochemistry

Robert AllerMarine biogeochemistry

Katherine Aubrecht, Sustainable and green chemistry

Katherine AubrechtSustainable and green chemistry

Steven Beaupré, Marine Biogeochemistry

Steven BeaupréMarine Biogeochemistry

David Black, Paleoclimatology, paleoceanography

David BlackPaleoclimatology, paleoceanography

Henry Bokuniewicz, Coastal groundwater hydrology

Henry BokuniewiczCoastal groundwater hydrology

Robert Cerrato, Benthic ecology

Robert CerratoBenthic ecology

Edmund Chang, Atmospheric dynamics

Edmund ChangAtmospheric dynamics

Yong Chen, Fisheries ecology

Yong ChenFisheries ecology

Kirk Cochran, Marine geo-chemistry

Kirk CochranMarine geo-chemistry

Brian Colle, Coastal meteorology

Brian ColleCoastal meteorology

Jackie Collier, Phytoplankton physiological ecology

Jackie CollierPhytoplankton physiological ecology

Ali Farhadzadeh, Nearshore hydrodynamics

Ali FarhadzadehNearshore hydrodynamics

Donovan Finn, Community-based planning

Donovan FinnCommunity-based planning

Nicholas Fisher, Marine phytoplankton physiology

Nicholas FisherMarine phytoplankton physiology

Charles Flagg, Continental Shelf Dynamics

Charles FlaggContinental Shelf Dynamics

Roger Flood, Marine geology

Roger FloodMarine geology

Michael French, Supercell and tornado dynamics

Michael FrenchSupercell and tornado dynamics

Michael Frisk, Fish ecology

Michael FriskFish ecology

Christine Gilbert, Science communication

Christine GilbertScience communication

Chris Gobler, Coastal ecosystem ecology

Chris GoblerCoastal ecosystem ecology

Sultan Hameed, Climate change

Sultan HameedClimate change

Sara Hamideh, Community resilience

Sara HamidehCommunity resilience

Sung-Gheel (Gil) Jang, Geographic information systems

Sung-Gheel (Gil) JangGeographic information systems

Marat Khairoutdinov, Cloud microphysics and parameterization

Marat KhairoutdinovCloud microphysics and parameterization

Daniel Knopf, Microphysics and Chemistry of Atmospheric Aerosols

Daniel KnopfMicrophysics and Chemistry of Atmospheric Aerosols

Pavlos Kollias, Cloud Microphysics and Dynamics

Pavlos KolliasCloud Microphysics and Dynamics

Ping Liu, Climate change, dynamics and modeling

Ping LiuClimate change, dynamics and modeling

Darcy Lonsdale, Ecology and physiology of marine zooplankton

Darcy LonsdaleEcology and physiology of marine zooplankton

Kamazima Lwiza, Remote sensing oceanography

Kamazima LwizaRemote sensing oceanography

John Mak, Trace gas emissions

John MakTrace gas emissions

Jack McSweeney, Estuarine dynamics

Jack McSweeneyEstuarine dynamics

Mariko Oue, Mixed-phase clouds microphysics

Mariko OueMixed-phase clouds microphysics

Emmanuelle Pales-Espinosa, Shellfish physiology

Emmanuelle Pales-EspinosaShellfish physiology

Brad Peterson, Community ecology of seagrass dominated ecosystems

Brad PetersonCommunity ecology of seagrass dominated ecosystems

Ellen Pikitch, Ocean conservation

Ellen PikitchOcean conservation

Roy Price, Hydrothermal vents

Roy PriceHydrothermal vents

Kevin Reed, Climate Change Attribution

Kevin ReedClimate Change Attribution

Paul Shepson, Atmospheric Chemistry

Paul ShepsonAtmospheric Chemistry

David Taylor, Environmental humanities

David TaylorEnvironmental humanities

Gordon Taylor, Marine microbiology

Gordon TaylorMarine microbiology

Lesley Thorne, Bio-physical and trophic interactions in marine ecology

Lesley ThorneBio-physical and trophic interactions in marine ecology

Arjun Venkatesan, Environmental analytical chemistry

Arjun VenkatesanEnvironmental analytical chemistry

Nils Volkenborn, Sediment biogeochemistry

Nils VolkenbornSediment biogeochemistry

Joe Warren, Acoustical oceanography

Joe WarrenAcoustical oceanography

Laura Wehrmann, Marine Biogeochemistry

Laura WehrmannMarine Biogeochemistry

Christopher Wolfe, Physical oceanography

Christopher WolfePhysical oceanography

Minghua Zhang, Climate modelling

Minghua ZhangClimate modelling

Qingzhi Zhu, Environmental Analytical Chemistry

Qingzhi ZhuEnvironmental Analytical Chemistry

Students with bachelor’s degrees can apply directly to the M.A., M.S. or Ph.D. programs. Students with M.S. degrees can also apply to the Ph.D. program, but an M.S. is not required for entry to the Ph.D. program.

Students with backgrounds in math and the sciences, particularly those with strong quantitative backgrounds, are encouraged to apply. We help students apply the tools of math and science to solve complex environmental issues.

Qualifications for Admission

  • All Programs

    • Completion of a B.A. or B.S. with a cumulative G.P.A. of at least 3.0 (a B)
    • International students without English as their native language must have acceptable scores on the TOEFL (paper: 600, computer: 230, iBT: 90) or IELTS (6.5).
    • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required; however, we will accept and consider scores for applicants who feel it strengthens their application.

    M.A. in Marine Conservation Policy

    • At least 4 semesters of college courses in math or science, including at least one course in biology.

    M.S. and Ph.D. in Marine, Atmospheric, and Sustainability Sciences

    • A B.A. or B.S. degree in a discipline related to the intended field of study, or coursework equivalent to such a degree.
    • At least 8 semesters total of some combination of introductory coursework in mathematics, biology, chemistry, geology, physics, sustainability, and/or related disciplines, with more advanced coursework in at least one of these disciplines.

Admission Application Deadlines

M.A. in Marine Conservation Policy

To ensure full consideration for scholarships and fellowships, applications should be received by January 15th. The final deadline for international applicants is March 1st and the final deadline for domestic students is April 10th.

M.S. and Ph.D. in Marine, Atmospheric, and Sustainability Sciences

To ensure full consideration for scholarships and fellowships, applications should be received by December 15th for the Fall semester. Applications received before January 5th will still be reviewed but full consideration for financial assistance is not guaranteed. Applicants will be notified via e-mail when all required documents have been received. Financial support is generally only available for students beginning study in the fall semester. 

To Apply

  1. Fill out the online application to the Stony Brook University Graduate School.
  2. Prepare your personal statement.Tell us why you want to earn a graduate degree (MS or PhD) in Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. How would your time in our program help to get you from your previous experiences to where you hope to be in 10 years? If relevant, describe how any prior research experience has prepared you for graduate school. Additionally, tell us about other life experiences that have prepared you for graduate work by building transferable skills (e.g., project management, coding, budgeting, work ethic, ability to work in a team, ability to work independently, etc.). Describe your research interests as specifically as you can, including which SoMAS faculty you would like to work with to pursue those interests. Although contact with potential advisors is not required before applying, it is very strongly encouraged. Our program embraces and supports diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); please describe if and how your experiences and goals are connected to DEI. Finally, tell us anything else you would like the Admissions Committee to know in evaluating your application. Aim to be concise; an effective personal statement is often less than two pages. Please note that you will be prompted to upload your personal statement from the 'checklist' page that will appear after you have submitted your application (and paid the application fee) in Slate.
  3. Identify 3 people to provide letters of reference, and make sure they submit them when prompted by Slate.
  4. Have ETS send Stony Brook University your official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (Stony Brook’s code for score reporting is 2548). International students must submit your TOEFL/IELTS scores to Stony Brook (code 2548).
  5. Arrange to have one official transcript from each universityattended sent electronically or mailed to:

    Christina Fink

    Educational Programs Office

    Endeavour Hall, Room 107

    School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

    Stony Brook University

    Stony Brook, NY 11794-5000

* Note: Item 4 applies to all transcripts other than Stony Brook University transcripts. SBU transcripts do not need to be mailed in. Also, the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences does not require supplemental information from applicants.

For additional information on graduate programs, please contact:

Director of Graduate Programs
Jackie Collier | 

Faculty Director of the M.A. Program in Marine Conservation and Policy
Ellen Pikitch |  |  631-632-9599

Graduate Programs Assistant,  for questions regarding application status or process
Christina Fink | | 631-632-8680


Below are projects in which SoMAS faculty are seeking new students to participate – this could be you!


The spatial analysis and the foraging ecology of marine mammals and seabirds using quantitative skills.




Developing molecular genetic tools to understand in more detail the complex life cycles of labyrinthulomycetes and investigate unusual aspects of their biology




Exploring the reactivity of ancient organic molecules found in the sea using radiocarbon dating




Aircraft-based measurements of greenhouse gases, ozone, and particulate matter, from New York City to the Beaufort Sea.




Unraveling the mechanisms of particle selection in suspension-feeding mollusks.








Investigating variations in carbon cycling in marine plankton on a cell by cell basis using state-of-the-art confocal Raman microspectroscopy and atomic force microscopy.




Assessing the effect of pCO2 draw down by seagrasses on benthic community development and resilience to ocean acidification.




Measuring the impact of extratropical cycline activity (ECA) on regional climate variations.




Using advanced numerical models to explore how extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, change with climate change.




Explore benthic invertebrate performance (heartbeat rates, valve gaping, bioturbation) in response to enviornmental change (temperature, salinity, oxygen, pH) to identify stress thresholds in dynamic coastal environments.




Improve our understanding of pelagic ecosystems through the use of active and passive acoustic techniques.