The Oceanography program creates and communicates integrated understanding of oceanographic processes by weaving fundamentals from basic sciences and mathematics into a fully interdisciplinary, marine context. As leaders in ocean observation and prediction, we focus expertise on the Gulf of Maine and maintain active research programs throughout the world’s oceans. Mentoring of students in the Program emphasizes fundamentals, novel composites of disciplines tailored to the students’ research, and an adaptive, problem-solving skill set that prepares students for the rapid change that has become characteristic within both their profession and the oceans themselves.
Students in both the M.S. and the Ph.D. degree programs complete four core courses in, respectively, the physical, chemical, biological and geological aspects of the marine system, and supplementary courses based on student needs and interests. Most of the coursework is taken in Orono, especially during the student’s first year, whereas the thesis research may be carried out either at Orono or the University of Maine’s marine laboratory, the Ira C. Darling Marine Center.
Research is a vital part of graduate education and its scope is limited only by the imagination of students and faculty. Oceanography students are in the midst of some of the most exciting ocean research being conducted today. To match your research interests with a faculty member we invite you to explore our research clusters and the web pages of individual faculty.
The School of Marine Sciences also offers a unique, strongly interdisciplinary dual degree program in marine policy and science. The course of study is normally three years. It leads to two master’s degrees: one in Marine Policy and one Marine Biology or Oceanography.
Students are required to complete the requirements for a master’s degree in marine biology or oceanography and the requirements for a marine policy master’s degree. Six hours of each degree can be counted as electives for the other; as a result a total of only 48 hours is required to complete both degrees (rather than the 60 usually required for two completely independent masters degrees). The course requirements for the science degrees are described separately. For the policy degree, students complete 18 hours of social science courses, including 6 hours of required courses, with 6 additional course credits counted from the science degree.