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Master of Science in Fisheries

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


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

Alaskans rely on sound science to sustain their rich fisheries, to manage carefully the harvest of its fish and shellfish, and the use of their habitats. Our school’s fisheries science faculty educate the scientists who work in Alaska’s industry and conservation agencies.

Our students enjoy a high faculty ratio and chances to work on the biology of Alaska’s many unspoiled species. Nearly all our graduate students have financial support from fellowships, research grants, and internships awarded by companies, and public and private agencies. Most of our graduates stay in Alaska and work for those agencies and companies.

Faculty supervise students’ research on a broad array of biological problems in laboratories that specialize on quantitative stock assessment, on the biology and ecology of marine and freshwater species, on molecular genetics, on behavioral ecology, etc. These University facilities are located across Alaska at the Juneau Center, Seward, Kodiak, and Fairbanks. Our students also work in laboratories and facilities of public and private agencies such as NOAA Fisheries’ Auke Bay Laboratory, USGS’s Glacier Bay Field Station, Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Mark Tag and Age Lab, and the Salmon Broodstock Lab at DIPAC’s Macaulay Hatchery.

Our students’ theses and dissertations have addressed problems of fisheries science in the Arctic, the interior Yukon, Kuskokwim, and Copper Rivers, the Bering Sea, Prince William Sound, the Gulf of Alaska, and the Inside Passage of southeast Alaska. They have ranged in topic from the effects of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill to the evolution of salmon or rockfish to the submarine movements of deep sea crabs. Our students learn techniques ranging from wintertime scuba diving to DNA fingerprinting to the classical methods of fisheries science—boats, ships, nets, and hipboots. Quantitative techniques (statistical analysis, sampling, stock assessment, GIS) are a part of every student’s program and are the particular focus of many.

Structural components
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