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Marine Science and Technology, PhD

PhD (ISCED 2011 level 8)


Duration 8 semesters
Cost In-State $9,444.00; Out-State $18,217.50; NE Regional $15,193.00 per semester

The oceans are part of the thin, outer shell of the Earth and marine science is the study of this envelope, from the deep sea to shallow coastal oceans. These systems are dynamic and vast, containing most of the Earth’s water and carbon and surface heat, and much of its biomass. Working like a machine in concert with the atmosphere, continents and ice oceans drive our climate system and support all life on our planet. Our PhD program centers around issues of biological oceanography, marine ecosystems, climate change impacts on the oceans, and marine policy and management.

What the School Offers to Ensure Your Success

In addition to the significant support provided by the Director and faculty of the marine science and technology PhD program, our Academic Achievement Services Center (AASC@SFE) offers a breadth of programs and activities designed to support you in your journey. Whether you seek additional support for your classes, need assistance in identifying an internship host, seeking information about fellowships or grants, looking for professional development opportunities or gearing up to enter the job market, AASC@SFE is always here for you. AASC@SFE offers support and connections for advising, student support (academic, financial, health), career services and opportunities, connections to internship hosts and employers, and more.

What You Can Take

Current students should refer to the graduate student handbook of the year in which they enrolled in the program.

The PhD in marine science and technology is a research-based degree wherein students are expected to generate new and original knowledge in their area of study. 


Students complete 4 core courses in biological, chemical, and physical oceanography and marine policy/law course. Students then complete an additional 24 credits of electives and seminar courses in their concentration area. Students also complete 18 credit hours of dissertation for a total of 54 credits. 

Because the marine science and technology PhD program is an intercampus program, students in the marine science and technology PhD program take courses at UMass Dartmouth and can also take courses at UMass Amherst and UMass Lowell.

Concentration Areas

Concentration areas include coastal systems science, integrated coastal management, living marine resources science and management, marine and atmospheric system modeling and analysis, marine biogeochemistry and environmental change, marine observation technologies, and oceans and human health.

Doctoral Degree Requirements 

In addition to completing course requirements, all students qualify for the doctoral degree by the end of their second year by passing written qualifying examinations and the successful defense of an original research proposal and oral qualifying exam. Students, once achieving candidacy (completion of required courses and passing written and oral qualifying exams), focus on their research with all students submitting to, and passing, an oral comprehensive examination and dissertation defense prior to award of the degree. 

Structural components
Industry partners
Internship/Workplace experience
Laboratory training
Practical/Field work
Research Project

ISCED Categories

Project management
Ocean Literacy
Conservation and environmental management
Physical and chemical oceanography