Degree Requirements

Master of Science in Marine Biology (30 hours)

  • Complete a minimum of 30 hours (see coursework below.) All degree requirements for the M.S. degree in marine biology must be completed within four years. Extensions beyond the four-year time period must be approved in writing by the Marine Biology Graduate Council and the Dean of the Graduate School.
  • By the second semester in the program, a graduate student is expected to choose an Academic Advisor and establish a graduate Thesis Committee.
  • Comprehensive Oral Exam - Successful completion of a comprehensive oral examination is required. This exam must be taken no later than 45 days after completion of the second semester of courses. Successful completion of the Comprehensive Oral Exam formally admits students to candidacy for the degree.
  • Thesis Proposal - A formal written presentation of the research problem is required. The Thesis Proposal will include a detailed description of the scope of the research, the method(s) of approach and a timetable. The proposal is expected by the time the student has completed the first 15 months of the program. The Thesis Proposal must be approved by the student's Thesis Committee.
  • Plan of Study - A plan of study must be submitted to the GPMB office. This plan must be approved by the student's Thesis Committee.
  • Thesis - A formal written presentation of the student's research, the thesis, is required. The student's Thesis Committee reviews the Thesis and, if it is satisfactory, formally certifies its acceptance following an oral presentation and defense of the Thesis by the student.
  • The student must maintain continuous enrollment in the program. Continuous enrollment can be maintained by enrollment in at least one graduate course per semester. This will entitle the graduate student to a valid ID card, full service of the campus library, and such support from faculty and facilities of the program as the plan of study authorizes. 

Complete a minimum of 30 credit hours as follows:

Core Courses. Complete 3 of the 4 courses from the following list:
BIOL 600     Physiology and Cell Biology of Marine Organisms (4)
BIOL 601     Ecology of Marine Organisms (4)
BIOL 610     Physical Oceanography (4)
BIOL 611     Biometry (4)

Note: Core Course requirements may be waived if their content overlaps with prior undergraduate coursework. Petition for such waivers should be presented to the GPMB director. Students receiving a core course waiver must take additional elective graduate courses to fulfill the 30 credit hours required.

Seminars. Complete the following:
BIOL 620     Graduate Core Seminar (1)
BIOL 621     Graduate Core Seminar (1)

BIOL 650     Graduate Core Seminar (1)
BIOL 690     Independent Study (1-4)

11 additional credit hours of elective graduate courses.

BIOL 700     Thesis (4) 

Note: Acceptance of transfer credit(s) for fulfillment of the requirements above will be determined by the Marine Biology Graduate Council. No more than six semester hours of transfer credit is normally allowed. Credits to be applied toward the degree remain valid for five years from the date of enrollment. In unusual circumstances, exceptions may be made by the Marine Biology Graduate Council and with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. Students must maintain at least a 3.000 grade point average on a 4.000 scale. Courses with grades of "S" or "P" are not transferable unless the student or department provide written documentation from the instructor(s) of the course, a department administrator, or the registrar at the transfer institution that the "S" or "P" graded course was equivalent to at least a B grade.