Biological oceanography seeks to understand the life histories and population dynamics of marine organisms and how they interact with their environment over space and time. Biological oceanographers in the department utilize a variety of techniques including SCUBA, shipboard samplers, acoustics, molecular biology, and mathematical modeling to understand the oceans and their inhabitants. Research is focus on: marine physiology, botany, microbiology, ichtiology invertebrates, remote sensing, molecular biology, and fisheries.
There are a number of different types of financial assistance available to graduate students in the Department of Marine Science. Most students receive assistance in one form or another.
- Many students receive financial aid from Research Assistantships, which are awarded by individual faculty members who have research grants and who need assistance to meet the objectives of their research. These assistantships are generally awarded to students who have been active for one or more years. Since the awarding of research funds to faculty members by various agencies is independent of the academic calendar, it is generally not possible to promise research assistantships in advance to incoming students.
- Teaching Assistantships are available, but limited. They are awarded on a semester-to-semester basis. Teaching assistants are generally selected by their knowledge in certain disciplines that enable them to teach basic courses or laboratories within the science departments of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Geology).
- DMS Graduate Student Assistantship: These assistantships are generally awarded to students who have been active for one or more years.
For additional information please contact individual DMS faculty members or the director of the department.
Department of Marine Sciences
University of Puerto Rico
P.O. Box 9000
Mayagüez, PR 00681-9013
Phone: (787) 265-3838, (787) 832-4040 x 3443, 3447
Fax: (787) 265-5408
The Department of Marine Sciences has both M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs in the marine sciences. Applicants must have a BS or a BA degree with a specialization in science or engineering in order to enter the M.S. program. 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.
Applications must be submitted online to the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS). Complete applications received at the UPRM Office of Graduate Students are referred to the Department of Marine Sciences Graduate Policy committee for evaluation and recommendations.
Requisites for Admission to the DMS Program
Applicants to the MS and PhD programs in Marine Sciences should possess:
- A Bachelor of Science or Arts Degree, or its equivalent with a specialization in science or engineering comparable to such degrees granted at the University of Puerto Rico.
- FOR THE MS PROGRAM: A minimum general GPA of 3.0. However, applicants with a GPA of 2.8 or better may be considered if compelling circumstances are presented. Applicants with a GPA below 2.8 will not be considered.
- 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
- 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 (see below for minimum course pre-requisites).
- Calculus (1 semester)
- General Biology (1 year)
- Physics (1 year)
- General Chemistry (1 year), for majors in Physics, Mathematics, Geology and Engineering
- Organic Chemistry (1 semester), for majors in Biology and Chemistry.
- 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.