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Oceanography Ph.D.

PhD (ISCED 2011 level 8)


Cost $25,081

Our Ph.D. degree program in Oceanography offer a unique opportunity to apply an interdisciplinary approach to the physics, chemistry, geology, and biology of marine systems on regional and global scales. Our department includes 22 faculty supervising 43 graduate students (28 Ph.D. and 15 M.S.). The department is dedicated to the success of its graduate students; enrolled students are provided financial support through research or teaching assistantships, both of which include a tuition waiver and option of medical benefits.

  • Doctor of Philosophy: requires 30 course credits plus 15 credits of GRAD 6950 in addition to 6 related area credits. Doctoral students who have already earned a Master’s in the field of study or closely related field must earn 15 credits beyond the Master’s plus 15 credits of GRAD 6950 in addition to 6 related area credits.
Structural components
Internship/Workplace experience
Laboratory training
Practical/Field work
Research Project

Grant opportunities

Awards of financial aid are highly competitive. Most students in the department are supported by departmental funds (research and teaching assistantships) or by external research grants awarded to individual faculty. Students supported by research grants and contracts obtained by individual faculty members work on a specific project related to the grant. Nine-month rates (20 hours per week) for graduate students with a bachelor's degree are $23,836; for doctoral students with a master's degree or equivalent the rates are $25,081; and for doctoral students who have passed their general examination the rates are $27,885. Many students also receive additional funding for the summer months from their major advisor. Fellowships and need-based awards are available, and exceptional applicants can be nominated for funding through a number of special programs. All assistantships carry a full tuition waiver and offer of subsidized health and dental benefits.

We also strongly encourage you to apply for graduate school fellowships that are awarded by a number of federal and private agencies (e.g, National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research). These fellowships are highly competitive and if awarded, your acceptance to the Department is almost guaranteed. Start the application process early, as you will need to arrange letters of reference, etc. In addition, work with your identified graduate advisor to create a competitive proposal.


For admittance with regular status, you must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and have a 3.0 (B) grade point average in the last two years of your undergraduate education. Though graduate students in our department arrive with a diverse science background, it is suggested that they have at least one year of physics, biology, chemistry, and math through calculus, with a strong background in one of the basic sciences. We particularly look for talented and motivated students who are committed to graduate studies.

For information about applying to our program, visit the how to apply page.

ISCED Categories

Ocean Literacy
Conservation and environmental management
Marine Geology
Physical and chemical oceanography