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Master of Science in Marine & Environmental Science

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


Cost (perc credit hour) Resident USD $386.00, Non-Resident USD $735.00

The Master of Marine and Environmental Science (MMES) degree provides students with the training and skills necessary for planning, conducting, and evaluating research in marine and environmental science. Additionally, students explore how to utilize research to manage natural resources, with a particular focus on the issues and challenges related to natural resource management in the Caribbean region. The program draws upon the expertise of faculty within several units of UVI, in particular the Center for Marine and Environmental Studies and the College of Science and Mathematics. Further, it is a bridge between academia and natural resource management sectors within the US Virgin Islands, the greater Caribbean, and beyond.

The MMES program is designed as a two-year degree program. The first year is composed of core courses that students attend on the St. Thomas campus of the University of the Virgin Islands. The core courses (see courses under "Graduation Requirements" tab above) are designed to provide the broad theoretical and practical background and tools necessary for effectively conducting scientific research, managing natural resources and communicating the results of research and management decisions to various audiences. During their first year, MMES students are also working with their advisor and committee to develop their thesis research proposal. Students spend their second year conducting their thesis research and taking elective courses or participating in internships. Please see the "Research" tab above for areas of research in which our students and faculty are active. Past internships have included work with The Nature Conservancy, the Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service, and the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Graduates of the program are prepared for a wide array of careers in academic, government, non-profit, and private sectors. 

Application procedure

1.  Program Application online form. Please be prepared to complete this web form in one sitting. 

Information you will need to complete the Program Application:

  • Citizenship information
  • GPA, hours completed and/or degree information for all undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) institutions you are currently attending or have attended
  • GRE scores
  • TOEFL scores (if applicable)
  • List of academic honors, fellowships, scholarships and other awards received
  • Names and addresses of three (3) persons who are acquainted with your academic work and/or experience in your proposed field of study
  • A 1000 word or less personal statement explaining your reasons for wishing to undertake graduate work within the MMES program, identifying an area of research that you are interested in pursuing and explaining how your academic interests relate to your undergraduate study, work experience (if any), and professional goals.

2. Three (3) letters of recommendation must be completed by an evaluator and submitted through the web form by the application deadline. The program application system will not automatically notify your letter writers. It is the applicant's responsibility to send the link to their letter writers and to ensure that letters of recommendation are submitted by March 1. (Note: Do not use a service, such as Interfolio, to send the recommendations as our recommendation cover form asks about the candidate in more detail).

3.  Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate level work are required.

The applicant should request the registrar of each institution attended to send transcripts directly to the MMES Program Director at the University of Virgin Islands using the following address:

MMES Program Coordinator
College of Science and Math
University of the Virgin Islands
#2 John Brewers Bay
St. Thomas, VI 00802-9990

Please note that mail takes approximately one to two weeks longer to arrive in the US Virgin Islands than on the mainland; therefore, we strongly urge applicants to request transcripts at least one to two months before the application deadline. Electronic transcripts are allowed. Please notify the Program Coordinator if you plan to submit a transcript electronically.

If an applicant is completing her/his degree at the time of application and if s/he is accepted to the Masters program, s/he will have to produce proof of having been awarded a baccalaureate degree prior to being allowed to matriculate.

It is highly recommended that applicants would have completed the following coursework within the past ten (10) years:

  • Three (3) semesters of some combination of General Biology and General Chemistry, including at least one semester of Biology
  • One (1) semester of Calculus and one (1) additional semester of Calculus or a course in the area of applied mathematics, biostatistics, statistics, and quantitative research methods
  • Additional suggested courses include upper level Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics or other social science coursework.

Individuals without the stated coursework are invited to contact the Program Director to discuss their background and preparation for the program.

4.  An official score of the Graduate Record Examination Test (GRE): must be submitted. Please use institution code 0879 (there is no department code).

5.  Proof of English competency for international students for whom English is not a first language, such as TOEFL scores.

6.  A curriculum vitae (cv) or résumé must be submitted with your application. Please email your cv by the application deadline to

7.  Complete the online graduate application and pay the $25 application fee. This will provide you with a student identification number to be used in the application process. You must also complete the Program Application in addition to this application (See Number 1). 

International Students
The MMES program welcomes international applicants.  Please read the International Student Manual for additional application directions (PDF document and form) and contact the MMES Program Coordinator.

ISCED Categories

Marine Geology
Physical and chemical oceanography