Ocean Food Systems


Professional Science Master
School of Marine Programs


Dr. Barry Costa-Pierce, Executive Director
UNE North
University of New England
1075 Forest Ave., Portland, ME 04103

(207) 221-4262


Zach Miller-Hope, M.S., Assistant Director for Education
UNE North
University of New England
1075 Forest Ave., Portland, ME 04103

(207) 221-4149


The mission for UNE North is to forge new strategic local-to-global North Atlantic/Arctic research, education, and industry/business partnerships at the forefront of the region’s innovation economy; to catalyze the full potential of Maine/North Atlantic/Arctic networks to educate and empower sustainability leaders; to create a platform to develop and apply collaborative solutions to the region’s shared economic, environmental, social, and health challenges.

The UNE NORTH Ocean Food Systems (OFS) P.S.M. envisions a future where a diversified, innovative, and sustainable ocean food system is developed across the Maine-North Atlantic-Arctic region with the participation of all stakeholders including communities, producers, engineers, manufacturers, and consumers. Industry-academic partnerships are paramount to actualizing this vision. OFS partners have direct access to project planning, development, and implementation and are vital to setting “up-to-the-minute” relevant foci of study for OFS program cohorts. 

Program Description

The Professional Master’s in Ocean Food Systems: UNE NORTH, through the School of Marine Programs, offers post-baccalaureate training to students interested in an in-depth study of how where you will holistically examine ocean foods value chains in fisheries and aquaculture, seafood trade, and interactions with marine governance, law, management, and policy. 

The 12-month program, along with coursework, will include a customized master’s project catered to each individual student. The master’s project will be designed and extensively researched by each student with the guidance of a mixed committee of faculty and industry stakeholders.

Program goals

  • Provide a knowledge base in Ocean Food Systems that is deeper than the typical undergraduate experience.
  • Foster the participation of new knowledge and thoroughly communicate that to the public.
  • Instill outstanding critical thinking skills paired with in-depth scientific knowledge to inform science, business, and/or policy in Ocean Food Systems.
  • Develop outstanding scientific communication skills through written and oral presentations.

Curricular Requirements

Required courses Credits
MAR 571 - Ocean Food System in the North Atlantic 8
MAR 504 - Transdisciplinary Research Methods in Ocean Food Systems 3
MAR 514 - Ocean Food Systems Seminar 1
MAR 530 - Graduate Seminar 1
MAR 591 - P.S.M. Project Work in USA/Iceland 22-24
MAR 596 - P.S.M. Project Writing 1
Total credits 36+

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 P.S.M. in Ocean Food Systems Program: 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 three years to complete the graduation requirements. After one academic year (summer, fall and spring terms), students who have completed their coursework but are still completing their projects are required to enroll in a project 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-. UNE NORTH, The School of Marine Programs, 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. To describe and analyze the international to local issues, problems and opportunities, sustainability challenges, and natural and social-ecological foundations of transdisciplinary work in ocean food systems.
  2. To engage in the processes of project formulation, design, team-building, and writing in ocean food systems.
  3. To develop the ability to conduct independent investigations under supervision in order to build leadership skills in ocean food systems.
  4. To formulate, develop, and deliver a project comprising transdisciplinary, social, and natural science and other technical information; collect data and information, and summarize results, findings, and recommendations, both orally and in writing, to international, national, and local audiences.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit

  • No transfer credit granted

Advanced standing

  • No advanced standing placement available

Experiential learning

  • No credit awarded for experiential learning


Admissions requirements


The University of New England P.S.M. in Ocean Food Systems participates in the Graduate Centralized Application Service (GradCAS). All applicants are required to apply online through this service.


Completion of Bachelor’s Degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution, or international equivalent, prior to matriculation.

  • All applicants are required to submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Official transcripts should be sent directly to GradCAS. Please see our GradCAS application for additional information and instructions.


  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is preferred.


Three (3) letters of reference are required* – submitted via GradCAS

  • One (1) academic reference from faculty who can comment on your potential for graduate study in Ocean Food Systems.
  • Two (2) letters from internship or work/faculty advisors.
    *Letters from friends or family members are not acceptable.


  • Please refer to the GradCAS application for specific writing prompts and additional information.


International applicants and those with foreign degrees and coursework are required to satisfy the following additional requirements:

  • Official credential evaluation by World Education Service (WES), confirming degree and grade equivalency to that of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. The completed credential evaluation should be sent directly to GradCAS. Please refer to the International Admissions section of the UNE website for more information on the type of credential evaluation required for admission review.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate written and spoken fluency through the successful completion of a UNE approved English language proficiency test.
  • Applicants should refer to the English Language Proficiency page on the UNE website for specific information and minimum score requirements.
  • Please refer to the GradCAS application for test score submission instructions.

Note: All materials submitted as part of the application become the property of UNE and will not be returned or released to anyone, including the applicant. This policy includes letters of reference, primary and secondary applications, personal statements, transcripts, and other supporting materials.

Due to continuing developments with the COVID-19 pandemic, some application requirements and processes may change during the cycle for the health and safety of the university, its employees, and prospective students/applicants. We appreciate your flexibility and consideration.


  • Policies have been established to ensure fair and consistent admissions practice for all applicants.
  • All criteria presented in this summary are subject to change per professional accreditation requirements, changes in curriculum or other institutional standards, and clinical affiliation requirements.
  • Exceptions to existing admission policies are rare and are made on a case by case basis, only when it is deemed necessary and appropriate to maintain fair and consistent practice for all candidates, not individual candidates.

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 one academic year, a student who has completed all coursework except their project will be required to pay for a minimum of one project credit hour 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 at the Biddeford Campus. Call (207) 602-2342 or by visiting the Financial Aid website. Information on tuition remission, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships can be found on the UNE NORTH Educational 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 2020-2021 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication May 1, 2020.

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.