Master of Science (M.S.), Marine Sciences


Dr. Kathryn Ono
Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee
Department of Marine Sciences
University of New England
11 Hills Beach Road
Biddeford, ME 04005
(207) 602-2814
Dr. Barry Costa-Pierce, Chair
Department of Marine Sciences
University of New England
11 Hills Beach Rd.
Biddeford, ME 04005

(207) 602-2440


The mission of the Department of Marine Sciences at University of New England is to enable students to understand the real-world relevance of the marine sciences, foster scientific literacy and critical thinking skills, and lay the foundation for lifelong learning and meaningful, productive contributions to society.

The Marine Sciences encompass a wide variety of disciplines that seek to understand the way the ocean functions, and how it is related to earth systems sciences, as well as to human interactions with the environment. Students will learn the theoretical underpinnings and applications of disciplines from biology, to chemistry, geology, and physics.  Students will be able to apply these disciplines to solving real problems, not only in ocean sciences, but in fields as far ranging as meteorology and space exploration, as well as aquaculture and marine policy.

The mission of the Master of Science:  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 marine sciences.

Program Description

The Master of Science:  Marine Sciences program offers post-baccalaureate training to students interested in continuing their education in the marine sciences.  The classroom curriculum provides a strong background in all aspects of the marine sciences. The program  focuses on a thesis research experience: students will conduct research and prepare a thesis on any of a variety of topics selected in consultation with our faculty.

Program Goals

  • Provide a knowledge base in the marine sciences that is deeper than the typical undergraduate experience.
  • Foster participation in the production of new knowledge through excellence in research.
  • Instill outstanding research skills and a working knowledge of the scientific method by participation in high-quality research.
  • Develop outstanding scientific communication skills through written and oral presentations.

Curricular Requirements

Program Required Courses  
MAR 503 - Research Methods 3
MAR 530 - Graduate Seminar 1
MAR 512 - Marine Science Center Seminar 1
MAR 566 - Advanced Oceanography I 3
MAR 568 - Advanced Oceanography II 3
Electives - Additional Coursework 9*
MAR 590 - Research and Thesis 12 min
Total Credits Required 36
*Students may substitute Thesis/Research credits for Electives with the approval of their advisor  
MAR 595 - Thesis Writing/Data Analysis (taken after 36 credits completed) 1
MAR 599 - Masters Thesis 0

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 MS: 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-.  The Department of Marine Sciences and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences will consider for dismissal any student who fails to meet these criteria.

Academic Policy

Course Withdrawal

In normal length semesters, a matriculated student may withdraw from a course without academic penalty (a grade of W is assigned) at any time during the first two-thirds of the semester. If withdrawal occurs after that date, the grade of WP (withdrew passing) or WF (withdrew failing) will be entered, subject to determination by the instructor. The grade of WF is computed in the grade point average.

Incomplete Grades

A student who believes she/he is unable to complete the work for a given course by the end of the term may apply for an extension by discussion with the instructor.  At the time of this meeting, a plan must be agreed upon for completion of the course work, including a date of completion, not to exceed six weeks following the end date of the course. This agreement must be completed by the last day of class for the given course. Any student who does not follow the above guidelines will receive an F for the course. In exceptional circumstances (such as death in family, significant illness, accident), an additional extension may be requested. Any such request must be made in writing, reviewed and signed by the instructor and the student’s advisor.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate expertise in their thesis research field
  2. Students will increase their proficiency to publication level written and professional oral communication skills
  3. Students will demonstrate mastery of the concepts and principles of the Marine Sciences
  4. Students will demonstrate an understanding of research design and have the ability to carry out a research project

Transfer Credit

No transfer credit will be granted.

There is no advanced standing available.

No credit will be awarded to students for experiential learning.


Prerequisite Courses




Semester HRS

Biology Labs 16
General Chemistry Labs 12
Physics Labs 8
Calculus   4





General Chemistry Labs 8
Physics Labs 8
Calculus   4
Additional Credits in
Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, or Biology


  • Graduation from a U.S. regionally accredited baccalaureate or higher degree program.  (If the Bachelor's degree is in progress at the time of application, it must be completed prior to enrollment).
  • All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or better ("C-" grades are not acceptable).
  • All science prerequisites must include a lab component
  • All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment (summer term for research assistantships; fall for others).
  • Minimum overall cumulative GPA of 3.0; minimum prerequisite GPA of 3.0 required
  • Successfully complete the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) test with competitive scores and submit official score report 
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attend to the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions to complete application file.
  • Prior to or early in the admissions process, students are advised to communicate with faculty with whom they want to work.


  • Applications for admissions are accepted through the University of New England's online application.  Detailed instructions are included in the online application portal.
  • Applications must be submitted electronically by the posted deadline.
  • All completed applications will be reviewed by the program admissions committee after the application deadline.  Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed on a space available basis.
  • Decision letters will be mailed and sent as email attachment at the beginning of March each year.
  • Accepted students will be expected to pay a minimal non-refundable deposit by the deadline indicated in the decision letter to secure your place in the program.  The deposit will be applied to any fees that are not covered by the assistantship or grant that the student receives upon acceptance.  (Deposit is non-refundable and will be forfeited should the student decide not to matriculate in the program).
  • International applicants with international degrees must have their transcripts evaluated for degree and grade equivalency to that of a regionally accredited U.S. institution.  See International Admissions for a list of acceptable educational credential evaluators. 
  • All applicants to UNE must be able to understand and communicate in English to be admitted to the university.  UNE accepts several methods of English Proficiency, (see International Admissions). If an applicant cannot prove English Proficiency in another way, scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are required and must be submitted as a part of the completed application.

For additional information on the admissions process and requirements, please access the Marine Sciences website. 


The Master of Science in Marine Sciences program and the Marine Sciences Admissions Committee in collaboration with the Office of Graduate and Professional Admission reserve the right to make exceptions to the admissions criteria and to make changes or exceptions to policies and procedures, on a case by case basis, when it deems such a decision is necessary and appropriate. 

Financial Information

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.

Continued Enrollment

After two academic years, a student who has completed all coursework except his/her thesis will be required to pay for a thesis continuation credit plus mandatory fees each semester to remain in the program.

Other Expenses

Housing is arranged by and financed at the expense of the student.  Currently there is no on-campus housing available for graduate students.

Financial Aid

Detailed information and applications are available on request from the Financial Aid Office on the Biddeford Campus. Call 207-602-2342,  or by visiting the Financial Aid website. Information on Research Assistantships  and Teaching Assistantships can be found on the Department of Marine Sciences graduate programs website.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2016-2017 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication April 29, 2016.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.

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