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M.S. in Marine Studies

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


Cost $12,740 per academic year (in-state)/$30,134 per academic year (out-of-state)

The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience welcomes interested graduate students looking for an intensive research training program in the intimate environment of a modern marine laboratory. Our internationally renowned faculty specializes in using marine animals to address fundamental questions in biological research.

Whitney Laboratory Graduate Students typically spend their first year on the University of Florida's main campus in Gainesville completing coursework and fulfilling teaching requirements. During this year, graduate students continue to interact with the Whitney Laboratory and their PI through regular meetings, progress reports, seminars, and summer research. At the end of the first year students relocate to St. Augustine where they are able to complete their research onsite. Any additional course requirements (e.g. seminars) are typically fulfilled from the Whitney Laboratory or by video conferencing in to classes on main campus.

Graduate students at the Whitney have access to state of the art equipment, onsite professional development opportunities, and a unique and supportive intellectual atmosphere. Located in an ideal marine research location, the University of Florida’s Whitney Laboratory for Marine Biosciences provides excellent graduate school training.


M.S. Programs Offered

  1. M.S. — Students admitted to this program complete a M.S. by conducting original research. We expect students to complete this program in 2 years. These students must re-apply to the Ph.D. program if they want to continue in our program.
  2. M.S.T. — We also offer a Master in Science Teaching (a joint program with the College of Education) for students interested in teaching science in public schools.

To learn more about our outstanding faculty and the research being conducted at the Whitney, please visit our Current Research Faculty Page 

Structural components
Industry partners
Laboratory training
Practical/Field work
Research Project

Application procedure

Frequently asked questions about applying for a graduate program can be found here and information about to begin an application can be found here

Grant opportunities

The Department will provide teaching assistantships to all students who do not receive fellowship support or research assistantships for the expected duration of the program, assuming the student continues to make timely and satisfactory progress in the program. Currently, 1/3 – 1/2 time assistantships over the 9-month academic year come with stipends of $12,600 – $18,000 plus a tuition waiver and health insurance. There is the possibility of summer teaching assistantships, although these are not guaranteed. U.S. students must establish residency in the State of Florida by their second year in order for the tuition waiver to continue. This means starting the process as soon as you arrive from other states.

For an estimate of tuition costs, please refer to the fee calculator, which can estimate the fee and tuition costs. Please keep in mind that even with support the student is responsible for paying the fee portion; fees are not covered by the tuition waiver.

The Department expects that M.S. students will be supported for 2 years and that Ph.D. students will be supported for 6 (if lacking a M.S. degree). Additional support is available on an ad-hoc basis, but cannot be guaranteed. All appointments are contingent on satisfactory progress in the program.

The University of Florida offers graduate fellowships (Graduate Student and Grinter Fellowships for doctoral students). The Lucy Dickinson Graduate Fellowship in Vertebrate Paleontology is offered through the Florida Museum of Natural History. McKnight Doctoral Fellowships are available to African-American students from the Florida Education Fund.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for fellowships from other sources, such as the National Science Foundation and EPA before application to the University of Florida (see additional listings here) and through the Office of Research.


Entering graduate students are expected to have at least basic training in biology, physical sciences, and mathematics sufficient to support graduate-level course work and research. The minimum requirements that must be met before the end of any degree (and thus can be met with coursework during the course of study here if not met prior to joining our program) include one course in at least 3 of the following 5 areas (Genetics; Physiology; Ecology or Behavior; Evolution or Morphology; and Cell Biology or Development). Also, 1 year of physical sciences or mathematics is required.

ISCED Categories

Personal skills and communication
Project management
Scientific modelling