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Professional Master in Marine Studies

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


Entry level Bachelor
Cost 2020-2021 Graduate Annual costs AK resident $10,824 / Non-resident $21,426

The Master of Marine Studies degree is a broad program, which can include topics such as marine ecology, organismal biology, ecosystem processes, and oceanography. Students will select courses offered by the graduate program in either Marine Biology or Oceanography, and a variety of electives, which can also be from the fisheries program, the statistics, and/or biology and wildlife departments. While the Master in Marine Studies degree is primarily based on a project or literary search instead of a research-oriented thesis, graduate students still are afforded excellent opportunities for laboratory and field experiences through the Institute of Marine Science. Laboratory facilities are available in Fairbanks, the Seward Marine Center, the Juneau Center, and at the Kasitsna Bay Laboratory. The Master in Marine Studies degree program will provide students with the knowledge base to be competitive in obtaining positions within state, federal, and tribal organization in Alaska and elsewhere.

Students considering a Master in Marine Studies should have a strong background in the various fields of oceanography, ecology, biology, molecular biology or biochemistry. Students are admitted based on their ability and the capability of the program to meet their particular interests and needs. Faculty will review applicants for admission throughout the year. Applicants are highly encouraged to contact potential faculty advisors before applying. Typically, there is no financial support for students in this program.

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

Application procedure

Submit the following:

  • An application for admission and application fee ($60)
  • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended
    • GPA must be above 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Official test results
    • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores must have a 55% or better in at least two of the three categories (written, verbal and qualitative)
    • International Students:
      • A minimum TOEFL score of 79 OR
      • A minimum IELTS score of 6.5.
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
    • Your statement provides the application review committee within the department an opportunity to learn the following:
      • Any special circumstances you wish the department to consider
      • Your particular academic reasons for applying to the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks
      • Your professional goals and reasons for your choice of career
      • The special emphasis you hope to pursue in the program
      • Your preparation and background
    • Additional advice on preparing your statement, by Gordon Haas
  • Three letters of reference who are able to write to your ability to undertake a graduate study and research. Ideally, these should come from faculty, research staff or professionals who are familiar with your academic or work experience.
  • International Students:
    • A copy of your passport identification page
    • UAF's financial statement form and provide supporting documentation showing adequate funding to cover all expenses at UAF, including round-trip transportation to Alaska

To be accepted into a graduate degree program in the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, applicants must have an eligible faculty member willing to serve as a major advisor.  The College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences typically does not accept students without a funding source and project identified.


Applications materials should be sent to:
Office of Admissions
2nd floor Signers' Hall
PO Box 757480
Fairbanks, AK 99775

Grant opportunities

Financial aid is funding that helps students and families pay for the cost of college. Need-based financial aid, such as the Pell Grant, Supplemental grants and Work-Study, are provided on the basis of the financial need of the student and is generally determined by your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Other types of financial aid are not determined by need, such as loans and merit-based scholarships.

We offer a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships, grants, loans and Federal Work-Study. Here’s a quick look at each and where to find more information.

ISCED Categories

Conservation and environmental management
Physical and chemical oceanography