Marine Science, M.S.


Applicants for a graduate degree in the School of Earth Ocean and Environment must have a baccalaureate degree from an approved and accredited college or university. Requirements for admission to all programs within the School of Earth Ocean and Environment conform with the general regulations of The Graduate School. Applicants whose native language is not English are also required to submit a satisfactory score on an English proficiency test according to The Graduate School guidelines. 


Applications Requirements

Requirements that are common to all programs:

1.    Completion of an online Graduate School application;

2.    A resume/CV

3.    Transcripts from all institutions attended.

4.    Three letters of recommendation from faculty or other professionals in the field

5.    A Personal statement that includes your research interests and professional goals.

6.    Submission by applicants whose native language is not English of a satisfactory English proficiency test score according to The Graduate School guidelines. 

Questions concerning admission should be submitted to the director of graduate studies for the School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment (

Degree Requirements (30 Hours)

General requirements for degrees in Marine Science are the same as those established by the Graduate School. The M.S. program of study and other specific degree requirements are planned in consultation with the graduate student, the graduate student’s advisory committee, the Marine Science Graduate Studies Committee, and the Marine Science Program Director.

The M.S. degree requires the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours, including 12 hours of core courses and one additional course numbered 700 or above (other than 799, Thesis Preparation). The remaining credits may be earned in courses numbered above 500, including 6 hours of 799.

M.S. students must achieve and maintain an overall GPA of 3.00 on all courses taken for graduate credit and complete each of the core courses with a minimum grade of B.

A written thesis is required of all Masters students. Students must successfully defend their thesis in a final Comprehensive Examination according to the calendar approved by the Graduate School. As a portion of the comprehensive assessment of the thesis, the material will be presented in a public seminar. This presentation must take place no earlier than sixty (60) days after successful MS Thesis Research Plan presentation. The student’s major professor must notify the Graduate Studies Director of an impending defense in writing (an email is sufficient) not less than 14 days prior to the scheduled defense date. This notification must include an abstract of the thesis. The defense must be publicly announced not less than seven days prior to the defense and is open to all faculty and students. At the end of the seminar, the audience will be excused and the defense will continue with only the candidate, the advisory committee and interested members of the faculty present. The thesis advisor must inform the Graduate Studies Director via appropriate form when the thesis is satisfactorily defended and accepted by the committee.

Required Courses for Marine Science Program

The following courses are required for students in the Marine Science Program unless they are specifically exempted:

Course Title Credits
MSCI 745Geological Oceanography3
MSCI 750Advanced Biological Oceanography3
MSCI 781Physical Oceanography3
MSCI 782Chemical Oceanography3
Total Credit Hours12

Areas of Emphasis in Marine Science

A number of courses exist in various departments and colleges that enable students to specialize in a particular area of emphasis in marine science.

  • Marine biology/Biological oceanography
  • Marine chemistry/Chemical oceanography
  • Marine geology/Geological oceanography
  • Physical oceanography/Atmospheric dynamics

Non-MSCI Courses Acceptable for Major Credit

Course Title Credits
BIOL 534Animal Behavior3
BIOL 534LAnimal Behavior Laboratory1
BIOL 543Comparative Physiology3
BIOL 543L Comparative Physiology Laboratory1
BIOL 570Principles of Ecology3
BIOL 570LPrinciples of Ecology Laboratory1
BIOL 651Limnology4
BIOL 722Aquatic Bacteriology3
BIOL 722LAquatic Bacteriology Laboratory1
BIOL 727Marine Phytoplankton3
BIOL 728Advanced Phycology3
BIOL 729The Biology of Fish3
BIOL 730The Biology of Fish3
BIOL 731Advanced Invertebrate Zoology I3
BIOL 755Quantitative Ecology3
BIOL 759Physiological Ecology3
BIOL 760Electron Microscopy3
BIOL 760LElectron Microscopy Laboratory1
CHEM 511Inorganic Chemistry3
CHEM 541LPhysical Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 542Physical Chemistry3
CHEM 542LPhysical Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 729Special Topics in Analytical Chemistry3
CHEM 741Chemical Thermodynamics3
EMCH 501Engineering Analysis I3
EMCH 502Engineering Analysis II3
EMCH 741Viscous and Turbulent Flow3
EMCH 751Advanced Heat Transfer3
EMCH 794Thermodynamics3
ECIV 751Water and Wastewater Treatment Theory I3
ECIV 752Water and Wastewater Treatment Theory II3
ECIV 755Industrial Wastewater Treatment3
ECIV 765Erosion and Sediment Control3
GEOG 510Special Topics in Geographic Research3
GEOG 531Quantitative Methods in Geographic Research3
GEOG 541Advanced Cartography3
GEOG 545Weather Analysis and Forecasting4
GEOG 546Applied Climatology4
GEOG 551Remote Sensing of the Environment3
GEOG 554Spatial Programming3
GEOG 563Advanced Geographic Information Systems3
GEOG 763Seminar in Geographic Information Systems3
GEOL 516Sedimentology4
GEOL 518Surface to Subsurface Stratigraphy3
GEOL 520Isotope Geology and Geochronology3
GEOL 546Marine Geophysics3
GEOL 570Environmental Hydrogeology3
GEOL 722Aqueous Geochemistry3
GEOL 750Basin Analysis Seminar3
GEOL 751Carbonate Petrology3
MATH 520Ordinary Differential Equations3
MATH 521Boundary Value Problems and Partial Differential Equations3
MATH 526Numerical Linear Algebra4
MATH 527Numerical Analysis3
MATH 544Linear Algebra3
MATH 723Differential Equations3
MATH 726Numerical Differential Equations I3
PHYS 503Mechanics4
PHYS 506Thermal Physics and Statistical Mechanics3
POLI 760American Government and Politics3
POLI 774The Public Policy Process3
POLI 777Policy Evaluation3
STAT 515Statistical Methods I3
STAT 516Statistical Methods II3
STAT 518Nonparametric Statistical Methods3
STAT 519Sampling3
STAT 700Applied Statistics I3
STAT 701Applied Statistics II3