All degree seeking marine science students are required to complete a core course curriculum in physical, chemical, biological, and geological oceanography with a grade of B or better. Students generally expect to participate in ocean research cruises during the course of their enrollment. In the Master of Science (M.S.) program, A total of 32 semester hours of course work, plus successful oral defense of a written thesis, are required for a master of science (M.S.) degree.
The marine science doctoral (Ph.D.) program requires a total of 90 semester hours (including core courses) beyond the baccalaureate degree. Ph.D. candidates must demonstrate proficiency in two foreign languages, or a single foreign language plus a specialized "tools of research" requirement designated by the candidate's dissertation committee. Doctoral candidates must successfully pass a written and oral qualifying examination, and must successfully defend a written dissertation which is expected to constitute a publishable contribution to science.