http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/grad-studies

Introduction

The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science was established in 1943 as the Marine Laboratory of the University of Miami. It has grown from its modest beginnings in a boathouse to be one of the nation’s leading institutions for oceanographic and atmospheric research and education.

Originally a tropical marine biological facility, the Marine Laboratory initiated a program of studies leading to the Master of Science degree in 1949. In 1953, laboratory and classroom buildings were constructed on the School’s present campus on Virginia Key, and in the late fifties, the Marine Laboratory expanded its staff and developed its oceanographic capabilities in response to the increased interest in scientific research in the United States. It became the Institute of Marine Science in 1961. Ocean-going research vessels were acquired, and additional buildings were constructed to accommodate new wide-ranging projects. In 1969 the Institute, now a School, was named for Dorothy H. and Lewis Rosenstiel in recognition of a major contribution made through the Rosenstiel Foundation to encourage progress in the marine and atmospheric sciences at the University of Miami. In 1977, the School and College of Arts and Sciences joined together to establish an undergraduate Marine and Atmospheric Science program based on the Coral Gables campus. The degree granting authority for this program was formally transferred to the Rosenstiel School in 2008.

Today the Rosenstiel School has a faculty of 70 scientists who conduct sponsored research while offering graduate studies leading to the Master of Professional Science, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The School offers curricula in atmospheric sciences, marine ecosystems and society, marine biology and ecology, marine geology and geophysics, meteorology and physical oceanography, ocean engineering and ocean sciences. The School also offers undergraduate programs leading to the Bachelor of Science in Marine and Atmospheric Science degree.

The Rosenstiel School uses multiple laboratory and high-performance computing facilities and a state-of-the art catamaran.

The Marine Technology and Life Sciences Seawater Complex (MTLSSC), opened in 2014, houses studies that rely on seawater for observing air-sea interactions in a controlled environment and for holding, spawning and rearing marine organisms. This complex is the centerpiece of an updated Rosenstiel School campus.

The catamaran, named the F. G. WALTON SMITH, in honor of the founder of the Rosenstiel School has been in service since 2000. The 96-foot-long catamaran is able to explore the deep ocean as well as normally inaccessible shallow environments such as reefs, mangroves and grassbeds.

Degree Programs

The Rosenstiel School is made up of seven academic programs. These are:

  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • Marine Ecosystems and Society
  • Marine Biology and Ecology
  • Marine Geology and Geophysics
  • Meteorology and Physical Oceanography
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Ocean Sciences

In conjunction with the University of Miami School of Law, the Department of Marine Ecosystems and Society at the Rosenstiel School also offers a joint degree program in Law and Marine Affairs. Upon completion of this program, a student earns a Juris Doctor degree from the School of Law and a Master of Professional Science in Marine Affairs and Policy from Rosenstiel.

The College of Engineering, together with the Rosenstiel School, offers a Master of Science degree in Ocean Engineering. Applicants for this graduate program apply directly to the College of Engineering.

Admission requirements and undergraduate preparation recommendations for all graduate prograsm are available at www.rsmas.miami.edu.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Professional Science (MPS) Program

The Master of Professional Science (M.P.S.) degree is offered in the disciplines of Marine Ecosystems and Society (Aquaculture Management, Coastal Zone Management, Coastal Sustainability, Exploration Science, Marine Conservation, Fisheries Management and Conservation, and Underwater Archaeology), Marine Biology and Ecology (Marine Mammal Science and Tropical Marine Ecosystem Management), Atmospheric Sciences (Broadcast Meteorology, Computational Meteorology and Oceanography, Weather, Climate and Society, and Weather Forecasting), and Ocean Sciences (Applied Remote Sensing and Natural Hazard and Catastrophes). It is expected that the normal time for completion of degree requirements for the Master of Professional Science degree will be ~ 15 months of full-time study.

Credit Hour Requirements

Students in the Master of Professional Science Program are required to complete 24 course credit hours and 6 internship credit hours. Within each track, there are compulsory classes and electives. Coursework is multidisciplinary and thus will be accepted from multiple departments. As the terminal part of the degree, students must complete an internship with an approved agency, institution, or business, culminating in a final report.

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination is required of all M.P.S. students after completing at least 18 course credit hours and prior to beginning an internship. In most cases, the exam will be written and will be based on M.P.S. coursework or the common body of knowledge relevant to each track. However, each division determines the content and form of the examination and establishes the test date for its students in a given year-class according to general school guidelines. In the event of a failure, a student may be re-examined once, upon the advice of the student's advisor and at the discretion of the faculty of the division. If granted, the re-examination must be given before the end of the following semester. The Graduate Studies Office should receive written notification of the examination results. Students who fail the re-examination are subject to dismissal from the school.

Internship

Each student will be required to complete an internship with an organization engaged in some activity associated with marine and atmospheric science and identify an Internship Supervisor. Internships can be either paid or unpaid by the organization, or students can complete the internship by formal participation in a University sponsored program. An internship proposal, including contact information for the Internship Supervisor, must be submitted to the academic advisor and mentor for approval before the internship can begin.

Internship Report and Oral Presentation

The final grade will be based on a written report and an oral presentation. The internship report is not a summary of involvement but rather a contributory assessment of the experience, including developmental insight and a summary of any research performed. Internship report guidelines will be provided.

Conference Attendance

Though not mandatory, M.P.S. students are strongly encouraged to attend a scientific conference during their academic residency at RSMAS.

The M.S. Program

It is expected that the normal time for completion of degree requirements for the Masters of Science degree will be two years of full-time study.

Credit Hour Requirements

24 graduate course credit hours are required for the Master of Science degree. All students are required to take the Research Ethics Course (RSM 700). In addition, the student must enroll for a total of 6 credit hours of thesis research (810).

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination is required by the end of the third semester. The exam can be written, oral or both. Each program determines the content and form of the examination, and establishes the test date for its students in a given year-class. The Graduate Studies Office receives written notification of the results via a form completed by the Program Director. In the event of a failure, a student may be re-examined once, upon the advice of the student's advisor and/or committee, and at the discretion of the Program Academic Committee with advice from the Comprehensive Exam Committee. If granted, the re- examination must be given before the end of the following semester. Students who fail the re-examination are subject to dismissal from the school.

Thesis

A thesis is normally required for the Master of Science degree in marine and atmospheric science. A public oral defense of the thesis must take place.

The “Supervisory Committee” and “Dissertation Committee” described in the UM handbook are commonly known as the student’s “Committee” at RSMAS, and are normally the same committee.

Once the Committee is formed (typically in the second year), the “Appointment to Student’s Committee” form should be completed, signed by all members and the Program Director, and forwarded to GSO. Proposed changes to the membership of a Committee must be approved by the Committee Chair and must carry the endorsement of the Program Director, before being forwarded to GSO. The Committee should meet at least annually to review the student's progress, and the student and Committee should prepare a short report on progress and research directions. No student gains the right to be recommended for the degree simply by fulfilling requirements. This right is reserved for the student's Committee.

The PH.D. Program

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is offered in applied marine physics, marine biology and fisheries, marine and atmospheric chemistry, marine geology and geophysics, and meteorology and physical oceanography. It is expected that the total time to complete the requirements for the Ph.D. degree will normally be four years of full-time study from the date of receipt of the M.S. degree or, if the M.S. is bypassed, five years of full-time study from the date of admission with a bachelor’s degree.

Credit Hour Requirements

Each program sets their own requirements with regard to course and research credits as stated in the Program Handbook, as long as a minimum of 60 credits are taken. Students entering with a Masters degree can transfer up to 24 credits. Students with prior graduate coursework can transfer course credits using the Petition to Transfer form. In either case, students must fill out an Academic Plan form in the first semester in residence if they wish to transfer prior credit.

All RSMAS Ph.D. students are required to take Research Ethics Course (RSM 700).

If a student has been permitted to bypass the M.S. degree, 6 credits of PGM 810 will be converted to PGM 830 (where “PGM” is the program abbreviation).

Dissertation Committee

The “Supervisory Committee” and “Dissertation Committee” described in the UM handbook are commonly known as the student’s “Committee” at RSMAS, and are normally the same committee. Once the Committee is formed (typically in the second year), the “Appointment to Student’s Committee” form should be completed, signed by all members and the Program Director, and forwarded to GSO. Proposed changes to the membership of a Committee must be approved by the Committee Chair and must carry the endorsement of the Program Director, before being forwarded to GSO. The Committee should meet at least annually to review the student's progress, and the student and Committee should prepare a short report on progress and research directions. No student gains the right to be recommended for the degree simply by fulfilling requirements. This right is reserved for the student's Committee.

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination is required by the end of the third semester. The exam can be written, oral or both. Each program determines the content and form of the examination, and establishes the test date for its students in a given year-class. The Graduate Studies Office receives written notification of the results via a form completed by the Program Director. In the event of a failure, a student may be re-examined once, upon the advice of the student's advisor and/or committee, and at the discretion of the Program Academic Committee with advice from the Comprehensive Exam Committee. If granted, the re- examination must be given before the end of the following semester. Students who fail the re-examination are subject to dismissal from the school.

Qualifying Examination

The written qualifying examination is normally administered around the time of the proposal defense. In addition, an oral qualifying examination may be required by the program or the student's committee. The committee will prepare and administer the written examination (and oral examination, if required) within the program guidelines. A form notifying the Graduate Studies Office of the outcome of the Qualifying Exam will be submitted by the Committee Chair and approved by the Program Director.

Dissertation Proposal

The dissertation proposal, containing the following items, must be defended and approved by the student's committee:

  1. tentative title

  2. statement of the problem and objectives

  3. methodology, including equipment and facilities required

  4. timetable

A Proposal Approval Form must accompany the proposal and be signed by the members of the student's committee and Program Director.

Admission to Candidacy

Upon completion of the following requirements, the student is admitted to candidacy:

  1. have an approved committee on file in Graduate Studies
  2. successfully pass the comprehensive examination
  3. submit and successfully defend the dissertation proposal
  4. successfully pass the qualifying examination
  5. have a 3.0 average in all credit hours earned (≥ 12 credit hours although some programs require more)
  6. remove all “I” or deficiencies

An application for Admission to Candidacy must be completed. All doctoral students must be admitted to candidacy at least one semester prior to the one they intend to graduate.

Dissertation

Students must be registered for research credits during the semester of defense. Defense must occur before the last day of the semester.

An Announcement of Defense form, signed by all committee members, must be turned in to the Graduate Studies Office by the student at least 14 days prior to the defense date. The student is responsible for obtaining signatures from all Committee members and program director. Each Committee members must be given no less than 14 days to review material prior to signing the Announcement of Defense form. Thus, the student must provide the committee with a complete version of the dissertation 28 days prior to the desired defense date. A Student Payroll End Date form (attached to the Announcement of Defense form), should also be submitted at the same time.

Students who wish to have their Defenses announced to the broader UM community should also fill out the University of Miami Graduate School defense notice form. Note that this cannot be used as a substitute for the RSMAS Announcement of Defense form.

The committee chair should notify GSO, in writing, of the outcome of the defense.