There are two informal divisions within the Ph.D. in Oceanography
Program: marine biology and physical oceanography. Ph.D. applicants
should have obtained agreement from a faculty member to serve as major
professor. For the biological sciences, Ph.D. applicants should have a
completed draft dissertation proposal that must be submitted with the
application. The proposal content will be a major factor in acceptance.
The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 90 credits beyond the
baccalaureate. At least 42 credits must consist of upper-level course
work. At least 24 credits must consist of dissertation research. The
student may not register for research credits (DIS) until after
successfully defending the research proposal. After faculty acceptance
of the research proposal the student must register for a minimum of 3
research credits per session until completion of the degree. The student
is limited to a total of 9 credits of coursework per term. In rare
circumstances the student may register to take more than 12 credits/term
but this requires written permission from the Associate Dean of
Milestones towards the degree include: 1) submission of a successful application package, 2) a qualifying exam, 3) defense of planned research at a qualifying proposal presentation, 4) passing of a Ph.D. comprehensive examination, 5) a successful public and private defense presentation of the completed dissertation before the supervising committee.
The student’s Ph.D. Committee consists of at least four members.
Three of the committee members must be Center faculty and one must be
from outside the Oceanographic Center. The external committee member
must be a recognized expert in the student’s field of research. The
committee monitors all phases of the candidate’s progress and must be
formed prior to the candidate’s oral defense of the proposed research.
The Major Professor chairs the committee.
A successful recipient of the Ph.D. degree in Oceanography/Marine Biology is expected to:
understand basic marine biological, chemical, geological, and physical processes to a level sufficient to communicate and collaborate with experts in those sub-disciplines; and be able to apply this knowledge to issues in research and resource management
apply the scientific method to define, investigate, and evaluate hypotheses in at least one of these sub-disciplines
conduct (as guided by, and to the satisfaction of, the doctoral committee and Oceanographic Center faculty) advanced, original, and independent research that adds to the body of oceanographic knowledge in one or more of the sub-discipline areas
communicate scientific results and conclusions clearly and logically in a written dissertation and in scientific presentations and publications
Students are expected to complete degrees within 5 years of full-time study, and within 9 years in the case of part-time students (a minimum of 3 years enrollment in the Ph.D. program is required)
Students are expected to complete the Ph.D. program in nine years or less, a minimum of three years is required.
Review admissions requirements or start your application online now. Choose your program below:
The Mission of the Oceanographic Center is to carry out innovative, basic and applied research and to provide high-quality graduate and undergraduate education in a broad range of marine science and related disciplines.