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Marine Science, MS

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


Entry level Bachelor
Cost $10,780 In-State / $30,250 Out-of-State

The Master of Science (MS) in Marine Science is a research-intensive degree designed to prepare students for careers in marine science or further training in preparation for pursuing a PhD in the biological or marine sciences. Students are required to conduct their own independent research while participating in either the Plan I (with thesis) or Plan II (without thesis) degree tracks leading to the MS in Marine Science. Plan I is the traditional track in which students are required to perform independent research and submit a formal thesis formatted to university guidelines and give a public defense of the thesis. Plan II also requires independent research and the completion of a Capstone Experience Research Report, as well as a formal defense of the research. Students in the marine science program may either have primary mentors who are located at the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, AL or University of Alabama faculty who are primarily located on the coast at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab campus in Dauphin Island, AL.

Structural components
Laboratory training
Research Project


Admission Requirements

Before entering graduate study in the biological sciences, the student is expected to have substantial knowledge of chemistry, mathematics, and physics, and to have completed basic courses in the biological sciences with high standards of scholarship. In general, a curriculum equivalent to that required of undergraduate majors in the Department of Biological Sciences is expected. Students admitted without this background may be required to make up course deficiencies without receiving graduate credit.
Two types of admission to the graduate program in the Marine Science are possible: regular admission and permission to continue admission. In general, to be considered for regular admission, a student must have an overall GPA of 3.0 (based on a 4.0 system), including a 3.0 GPA for the last 60 hours attempted and a 3.0 average in all biological sciences courses attempted. A cumulative GRE score (verbal plus quantitative) of 300 or higher is required for regular admission to the Biology graduate program. However, applicants with a prior earned M.S. degree or more than 5 years of experience working in the field of study may request to have the GRE requirement waived. Applicants are not required to take a GRE subject test. International applicants must earn a TOEFL iBT score of 80 (or equivalent IELTS score of 6.5) or higher. Students requiring financial support as graduate teaching assistants must have a TOEFL iBT speaking subtest of 21 or higher. The University of Alabama GRE/TOEFL code is 1830.
Students who do not meet the GPA or GRE requirement (but not both) may be considered for permission to continue admission. Permission to continue admission may be granted to those who have an overall GPA of 2.5 (based on a 4.0 system), including a 3.0 average for the last 60 hours attempted and a 3.0 average in all biological/marine sciences courses attempted. Permission to continue admission may also be granted to those who meet the regular admission GPA requirement, but have a cumulative GRE score (verbal plus quantitative) of less than 300. Each student admitted conditionally to the Marine Science graduate program must maintain at least a 3.0 average for the first 12 hours in the Department of Biological Sciences at UA. All hours taken in the semester in which the student reaches 12 hours will be considered, even if by so doing the total exceeds 12 hours. If this requirement is not met, the student will be automatically dismissed without appeal following the semester in which these 12 hours are earned, except in those cases that are obviously beyond the student's control.

ISCED Categories

Project management
Marine Geology