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PhD in Marine Sciences

PhD (ISCED 2011 level 8)


Cost Residents not with a tuition waiver: $117.00* per credit hour; General fees: approximately $100 per semester; Non-residents(out-of-state students), including international students, pay $5,446.00 per year,except for students from US institutions(see list)

Students develop a program of study in biological, chemical, geological or physical oceanography. Typical areas of research emphasis include marine biogeochemistry, coastal ecology, coastal ocean processes, microbial ecology, marine ecosystem studies, marine biotechnology, systematics, marine botany, invertebrate zoology, remote sensing, zooplankton ecology, and several other branches within the basic core areas. See potential research areas available.

The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 72 hours of graduate-level credit, of which 14 must consist of core courses in Biological Oceanography (CMOB-6618), Chemical Oceanography (CMOQ-6615), Geological Oceanography (CMOG-6616), Physical Oceanography (CMOF-6617), and (CIMA 8785) Current Topics Seminar. Additional graduate courses from Marine Sciences and other departments are available to complete each student's program. PhD candidates will conduct independent research and submit and defend a dissertation including one published peer reviewed article and two papers submitted to recommended peer reviewed journals.

Application procedure

As part of the application the applicant must submit a Personal Statement:The applicant statement is an opportunity to put qualifications in context and to explain applicants’ plans for graduate school. Topics to be included may be to the extent possible: what is envisioned for a research project; why is this project or area of interest important; why is the DMS an appropriate Institution to carry out your studies; how did interest in this topic/area occur; what background do you have in this area; and if there has been communication with a prospective advisor. Applicants are encouraged to address any past problems in their record. PhD applicants are expected to provide a reasonably specific statement of the research project intended.


In general, students interested in the Ph.D. in marine sciences will be required have an M.S. degree. Admission to the PhD program from the BS or BA degree is possible however previous research experience and an outstanding overall academic performance are required. 

  1. FOR THE PhD PROGRAM: A minimum BS or BA general GPA of 3.0. However, applicants with a Masters Degree (GPA 3.3 and above) and a BS or BA with a GPA of 2.8 and above will be considered if compelling circumstances are presented. Applicants with a BS or BA GPAs below 2.8 will not be considered under any circumstances
  2. Strong academic preparation in the field of general specialization (Biology, Geology, Physics, Chemistry), including university level courses (prerequisites) in calculus, physics, chemistry and general biology for all majors

ISCED Categories

Physical and chemical oceanography