About our Master of Science in Marine Sciences

The mission of the Master of Science in Marine Sciences program is to prepare outstanding graduate students for careers or further training in science, technology, and education by providing an advanced knowledge base and research skills in the marine sciences.

Our curriculum seeks to understand the way the ocean functions and how it is related to earth systems science and human interactions with the environment. You'll study the theoretical underpinnings and applications of disciplines from biology and chemistry to geology and physics, and you'll learn to apply these disciplines to solving real-world problems.

Our M.S. in Marine Sciences also focuses on a thesis research experience in which you'll conduct research and prepare a thesis on a topic selected in consultation with a faculty advisor. 

Marine Science students on the beach


Curricular Requirements

Program Required Courses Credits
MAR 503 – Research Methods 3
MAR 512 – Marine Science Center Seminar 1
MAR 530 – Graduate Research Seminar 1
MAR 566 – Adv Oceanography I: Bio & Geo 3
MAR 568 – Adv Oceanography II: Phy & Chem 3
Minimum of sixteen (16) credits of MAR 590 – Marine Science Research/Thesis (repeated for additional credit) 16+
Nine (9) credits of 500-level Elective Coursework* 9
Minimum Credits Required 36

*Students may substitute Thesis/Research credits for Electives with the approval of their advisor

Graduation Requirements

Students must successfully complete all required courses with a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 and successfully pursue, complete, and defend publicly an approved research thesis.

Academic and Technical Standards

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To remain in the M.S. in Marine Sciences program, the student's cumulative graduate GPA must be a minimum of 3.0. A student whose GPA falls below 3.0 or who receives a grade below B- in any course taken for graduate credit will be placed on academic probation.

Program Completion Timeline

Students have a maximum of five years to complete the graduation requirements. After two academic years (fall and spring terms), students who have completed their coursework but are still completing their theses are required to enroll in a thesis continuation credit per semester to remain in the program.


A graduate student whose grade point average (GPA) for any semester falls below 3.0, or whose cumulative grade point average is below 3.0, or who receives a class grade below a B- for any class taken for graduate credit is automatically placed on probation. A student placed on academic probation will be granted one fall or spring semester to raise his/her cumulative GPA to 3.0 or above, will be required to achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the semester, and cannot receive a second class grade below B-. Marine Programs and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences will consider for dismissal any student who fails to meet these criteria.