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School of Ocean Science and Engineering

Coastal Sciences Graduate Fellowship in Support of Diversity

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The Coastal Sciences Division is pleased to announce the availability of graduate fellowships in support of diversity to prospective students seeking a M.S. or Ph.D. degree.

These fellowships are awarded competitively and are intended to support the recruitment of graduate students from historically underrepresented groups in coastal and marine science who demonstrate scholarly promise.

  • Candidates must contact potential faculty advisors in the Department of Coastal Sciences to discuss their research and educational interests and must identify a faculty sponsor prior to submitting a fellowship application.
  • The Graduate School application fee for students applying to the Coastal Sciences Graduate Fellowship in Support of Diversity will be waived if you email coastal.sciencesFREEMississippi to initiate your application fee waiver before you apply. Mississippi residents who fall in historically underrepresented groups in coastal and marine science are particularly encouraged to apply.

COA Students



  • $1,900/month (M.S.)
  • $ 1,950/month ( Ph.D. ) 

Salary increases by $50/ month when the student advances to candidacy. Additional benefits include a tuition waiver and health insurance

Application Deadline Admission
January 15  Fall admission to the graduate program


How to Apply

To be considered for a fellowship, applicants will be required to submit the following by the application deadline via

  1. CV
  2. Official transcripts
  3. Statement of purpose
  4. Three letters of recommendation. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure recommendation letters are submitted by the deadline.
  5. Essay that speaks to the candidate‚Äôs inclusion in one or more historically underrepresented group in higher education. 

The Essay

Applicants should use the essay to articulate how their experiences and background have influenced their career to this point ( including how those experiences influenced their decision to apply for graduate school ). Within this statement, applicants should provide insight about how they could contribute to a scholarly environment that values inclusivity and diversity. Applicants should also consider their potential in contributing to the inclusivity of coastal sciences, USM, and their broader field of study, as applicable. The essay should be a maximum of two pages. Applicants should use this essay to address how one or more of the following identities or experiences, and their intersections, apply to them. 

  • Member of an ethnic or racial group underrepresented or marginalized in graduate education and coastal and marine science, including, but not limited to, Black, Indigenous (American Indian /Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or other Native Pacific Islander) and/or Latinx.
  • First-generation college student   
  • McNair or Mellon Mays Undergraduate Scholar 
  • Other identities and experiences, including, but not limited to:  
    •  Being of a gender and/or sexual orientation / identity historically underrepresented
    • Those who identify as a military veteran 
    • Those who manage a disability 
    • Those who have experienced housing or food insecurity 
    • Single parents


The candidates will be initially evaluated based on the completeness of their applications, their academic records (as evidenced through their CVs and transcripts), their potential to flourish in the Coastal Sciences program (as evidenced through their statements of purpose and letters of recommendation), and potential to contribute to diversity, equity and inclusion in the Division of Coastal Sciences (as evidenced in their essays). The top three candidates will then be invited for an on-campus or virtual interview with faculty and students from the Division of Coastal Sciences. Preference for Mississippi residents from historically underrepresented groups in coastal and marine science may be shown if all other marks between applicants are equal. 



For all admission applications, (undergraduate, graduate or international), visit

COA Graduate Program page

For Specific Admission Requirements, visit the COA Graduate program page.


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