Degrees Offered

     The Department of Marine Sciences offers graduate studies in the field of oceanography, leading to the degrees of Masters of Science and Doctor of Philosophy. At the masters level there are two options available:




Plan A: requires 15 credits of advanced course work and completion of a research project, the results of which are reported in a thesis.


Plan B: requires 24 credits of advanced course work and a final examination. No research project is required

     Since the program is research oriented, most Masters students are in the Plan A-program. Entry into the Ph.D. program usually requires a Masters degree, but particularly well-prepared students may enter directly from a Bachelor of Science program. The graduate program is organized around three focus areas: biological, chemical, and physical oceanography.


Academic Qualifications

     Students entering the program are expected to have a strong background in one of the basic sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, physics, geology, applied math). We particularly look for talented and motivated students who are committed to graduate studies. 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. Your application must include official college transcripts, three (3) letters of recommendation, and a statement of your interests and goals. Scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) are also required and the subject test is recommended. Foreign students whose native language is not English must submit their TOEFL score.




Course Requirements

     The academic program is developed around a two-tiered structure: four (4) courses (MARN 5010, 5036, 5050, and 5065) designed to provide a core understanding of the basic sub-disciplines of the field of oceanography, followed by a series of more specialized courses offered to meet the individual needs of the student. We strongly recommend that all students in our program take the core courses, since the field by its very nature is highly multi-disciplinary and requires a broad knowledge of oceanography. The specific number of courses taken by students in the program varies. The University requires no fewer than 15 credits of advanced course work for a Plan-A Masters degree and no fewer than 24 credits for a Plan-B Masters degree. There are no specific course requirements for the doctorate degree, however, most students take 20-24 credits beyond the Masters degree, including the core courses. For more information on graduate courses and requirements please visit the University of Connecticut's Graduate Catalog.


Tuition costs and Funding

    Awards of financial aid are highly competitive. Most students in the department are supported by departmental funds (research and teaching assistantship) or by external research grants awarded to individual faculty. Nine-month rates (20 hours per week) for graduate assistants with a bachelor's degree are $20,159; for students with a master's degree the rates are $21,212; and for doctoral candidates who have passed their general examination the rates are $23,583. Many students also receive additional funding for the summer months from their major advisor. In addition, fellowships and need-based awards are available. All assistantships carry a full tuition waiver and offer of subsidized health and dental benefits. All students must pay several University fees each semester. For a complete description of all fees, please visit the University of Connecticut Graduate Catalog.

For information about applying to our program go to how to apply or click on the image below.



Life In The Department

     Marine Sciences is housed on the shores of Long Island Sound at the University of Connecticut's Avery Point Campus, approximately 40 miles from the main campus at Storrs. The graduate student body usually consists of 30-35 students. Students come from throughout the country, although approximately half are from the New England region. About 25% are international applicants. There is no on-campus graduate housing at Avery Point. Most students live in the Groton-New London area where they often share rent on a house or apartment.
     Many courses are offered only at the main campus in Storrs, 40 miles north of Avery Point. Although students try to carpool, having a car is necessary as there is no campus-to-campus transportation system.

For more information on students visit the current and former graduate student page.