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Master of Science in Marine Science


The Master of Science in Marine Science degree program fosters a broad understanding of marine systems through an interdisciplinary program of study. The MSMS program has two tracks:

Thesis Track

The MSMS thesis track is a research-based program that emphasizes a hands-on approach to learning through the completion of an original thesis project under the direct mentorship of an experienced marine science researcher. The purpose of the T-track is to give students the opportunity to develop a strong foundation in research methodology. Individualized programs of study ensure that each student has the best possible preparation based on their interests, background, and abilities. MSMS-T students take core and elective courses while engaging in an intensive, independent research project. Students work side-by-side with a faculty mentor to discover or synthesize knowledge that contributes to the field of marine science.

Applied Track

The applied track provides students with a broad-based, in-depth knowledge of physical, geological, chemical, and ecological processes in the ocean coupled with the technical skills necessary to contribute to the exploration of the marine environment and the management of its living resources. Because the MSMS-A track is designed primarily for students seeking careers in applied resource management, this program emphasizes the practical skills and the analytical expertise required to monitor and manage the global ocean system.


Students who successfully complete the Master of Science in Marine Science will:

  1. Demonstrate an interdisciplinary knowledge of marine systems.

  2. Demonstrate the ability to plan and implement observational, theoretical, and experimental studies.

  3. Interpret and critique professional scientific literature.

  4. Demonstrate an advanced ability to apply and integrate scientific principles and research data to address complex questions in marine systems.

  5. Demonstrate competence in scientific communication through technical and scientific reports, publications and oral presentations.

  6. Demonstrate professionalism and scientific ethics.

  7. Have the competence to gain employment in advanced positions or entrance to a doctoral program in related fields.