Marine Science > Admissions

Marine Science

Admission Requirements for Graduate Degree

Marine Science has both M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution is required for acceptance into the program. The best preparation would be rigorous training in calculus and applied mathematics, physics, chemistry, geology, biology and engineering. Undergraduate degree programs in any of the above areas should provide the student with the necessary background to pursue a graduate degree in one of the sub-fields of marine science - biological, chemical, geological and physical oceanography. Regardless of the student's choice of a subfield, a strong background in mathematics (through calculus), the basic sciences (e.g., chemistry, physics), and some experience with computers is highly recommended.

Prospective domestic students should apply for admission to the Graduate School through their website. Foreign students must apply for admission through the Office of International Student and Scholar Services.


Aptitude Tests and Application Materials

Successful applicants usually score competitively on the verbal as well as the quantitative portions of the GRE and have grade point averages of 3.0 or above for undergraduate work and 3.5 or above for any graduate study.


Types of Admission

Most students are granted regular admission into the graduate program in Marine Science. These students are eligible for assistantships and are expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0. Most students are asked to complete a Master of Science degree first, even if their eventual goal is a Ph.D.


Non-degree Students

Admission as a non-degree graduate student may be granted for any of the following reasons:

  • He or she did not meet requirements for conditional or regular admission before the deadline.
  • He or she may or may not be able to meet admission requirements but does not desire to work toward a graduate degree.
  • He or she is enrolled in another university and desires to obtain credit from USM to be transferred to the graduate school in which he or she is seeking a degree.

Regulations Governing Non-Degree Graduate Students

A non-degree graduate student must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.

Even though a non-degree graduate student has been admitted to the University, he or she has not been admitted to any department or to any degree program. Although non-degree students may enroll in DMS courses, some USM departments will not allow these students to enroll in their graduate courses. It is the responsibility of the student to check admission standards of the individual schools or colleges before enrolling in their courses.

To be allowed to continue as a non-degree graduate student, the student must consult with the department chair or academic adviser of the department in which he or she is taking courses during the first semester enrolled at the University regardless of whether or not the student plans to seek a degree.

No more than twelve (12) semester hours earned while classified as a non-degree graduate student will be accepted toward a Master's degree at USM. A student must, therefore, gain conditional or regular admission before completing more than twelve (12) semester hours of study for additional hours to be counted toward a Master's degree. Moreover, no credit earned beyond the Master's degree while classified as a non-degree student may be applied toward the doctoral degree.


How to Apply

a. Information about application procedures can be found at here

b. There are a limited number of graduate assistantships available through the department. These are awarded on a competitive basis. All applicants are considered for graduate assistantships which include a full tuition waiver. Note that these assistantships are usually awarded to students accepted under regular admission.

c. After all credentials are received, the Graduate or International Admissions Office will compute the applicant's grade point average and will forward the application, reference forms and transcript to the department chair. As soon as the application has been processed by the department chair, the school or college dean concerned, and the Graduate Dean, the Office of Graduate or International Admissions Office will notify the applicant of the University's decision on the request for admission.


For about Undergraduate Marine Science Admissions click here.