The University of Maine’s 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 course work 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. For more degree requirements, consult the Handbook for Graduate Programs.
Required Core Courses
- SMS 501 – Biological Oceanography Credits: 3
- SMS 520 – Chemical Oceanography Credits: 3
- SMS 541 – (SMS, CIE) Physical Oceanography Credits: 3
- SMS 691 – Marine Science Seminar Credits: 1
- SMS 699 – Graduate Thesis/Research Credits: Ar
- Participation in SMS Graduate Student Symposium during each year of full-time study.
Elective Oceanography Courses
To be combined with core and other advanced courses to specifications of the student and thesis committee.
- SMS 514 – Ecology of Marine Sediments Credits: 2-3
- SMS 525 – Marine Biogeochemistry Credits: 3
- SMS 531 – Coral Reefs Credits: 3
- SMS 540 – Satellite Oceanography Credits: 3
- SMS 550 – Fisheries Oceanography Credits: 3
- SMS 585 – Marine System Modeling Credits: 3
- SMS 595 – Data Analysis Methods in Marine Sciences Credits: 3
- SMS 597 – Independent Study Credits: 1-3
- SMS 598 – Special Topics in Marine Science Credits: 1-3
- SMS 618 – Particle Dynamics in Aquatic Systems Credits: 3