The MS program in Marine Biology and Ecology have the following subject emphases, from which each student choses a relevant curriculum:

CORAL REEF AND COASTAL ECOLOGY employs ecological, physiological and molecular approaches to understand, conserve, manage, and restore coral reefs, seagrasses, mangroves and their associated biota.

MARINE ORGANISMAL AND BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE focuses on how marine organisms respond to their environment on physiological and evolutionary time scales. This research integrates whole animal and cellular studies of physiology, biochemistry, neurobiology, genomics, molecular biology, aging, pathology and toxicology to understand factors controlling these responses and to develop these systems as models for human health.

BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY focuses on adaptations, ecological interactions, food webs, and biogeochemical cycles of the ocean.

FISHERIES SCIENCE studies the direct and indirect impacts of living marine resource exploitation on marine populations, communities and habitats and investigates solutions to the problems of unsustainable, habitat-damaging and/or inefficient fishing, including the minimization of bycatch and food web disruption.

In the first year, a MS student takes required course work, passes the comprehensive exam, forms a dissertation/thesis committee, and has the first committee meeting. MS students move quickly to execute preliminary research in support of the thesis. In the second year a student and the committee agreeon a dissertation/thesisproposal topic, and the student writes and defends the proposal. MS students move quickly to execute research, write the thesis, defend it, and graduate.  Documentation for committees and committee meetings must be provided to the GSO, and description of annual progress must be provided to the MBE AC.