Curriculum Requirements

The applicable requirements will be those in effect during that academic year when the student first registered in the Program, unless stated otherwise in Handbook or by the Program Director. 

All RSMAS courses are listed on the GSO website. All courses taken by students should be approved by their advisors. Students are recommended to consult with their advisors and the OCE Program Director regarding their choices of courses. Deviations from the requirements must be approved by the advisor and the OCE Academic Committee.

OCE students follow one of four academic tracks: Ocean Dynamics, Air-Sea Interaction and Remote Sensing, Marine Biogeochemistry, or Biophysical Interactions. 

Ocean Dynamics Track

The OCE M.S. degree requires 30 total credits. 1
Core Courses6
Choose 2 courses from the following:
Ocean Biogeochemistry
Physical Oceanography
Mathematical Methods in Marine Physics
Ocean Dynamics Track6
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics I
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics II
Electives 212
Thesis Research 6
Master's Thesis
Additional Requirements
Research Ethics
Comprehensive Examination 3
OCE Seminar 4
Total Credit Hours30
1

Minimum of 24 course credits and 6 thesis credits.

2
  • The remaining course credits can be obtained by taking other graduate courses offered by OCE, RSMAS, or UM.
  • OCE M.S. candidates are not required to take a class outside OCE.
3
  • Material from the required core courses will appear on the Comprehensive Examination (along with material from other courses from the first year).
  • Grade of PhD-Pass or MS-Pass.
    • A student receiving a grade of PhD-Pass has the option of bypassing the M.S. degree, but may choose to complete the M.S. degree.
  • All M.S. and Ph.D. students are required to take the comprehensive examination. For full-time students, the comprehensive examination should be taken before the end of their first full year of graduate studies at RSMAS (beginning in the fall semester). This examination will be arranged by a comprehensive examination committee comprised of the OCE graduate program director and the instructors (or their assignees) of the required courses taken by the students.
  • The purpose of this examination is to evaluate students’ understanding of materials in the required courses, and their ability to integrate and apply these materials. The outcome of the comprehensive examination determines whether students are permitted to proceed to the M.S. or Ph.D. program.
  • The comprehensive examination consists of oral and written components.
    • The written component, which lasts no longer than 8 hours, consists of a combination of open- and closed book questions on the material covered in the required courses taken by each student.
    • The oral component, which lasts no longer than 2 hours for each student, may include questions from all the courses taken by the student.
  • Students and advisors will receive feedback from the comprehensive exam committee on the strengths and weaknesses of the student, and possible recommendations on how to address those.
  • The outcome of the exam, which is determined by the comprehensive examination committee, is based on the student’s performance on this examination, together with consideration of the student’s first year academic record. Possible exam outcomes are:
    • PhD-Pass: Students with this result may bypass the M.S. degree and start working toward earning a Ph.D. If the student chooses to, he/she may complete a M.S. degree before pursuing a Ph.D.
    • MS-Pass: Students with this result are required to defend a master’s thesis and get approval from his/her M.S. thesis committee before pursuing a Ph.D.
    • Fail: Students with this result will have an opportunity to re-take the exam once.
4
  • Attendance to the OCE, MPO or AMP seminars is required every semester.  
  • In the same seminar series, each student is expected to give at least one 15-minute presentation each year after the student passes the comprehensive examination.

Air-Sea Interaction and Remote Sensing Track

The OCE M.S. degree requires 30 total credits. 1
Core Courses6
Choose 2 courses from the following:
Ocean Biogeochemistry
Physical Oceanography
Mathematical Methods in Marine Physics
Air-Sea Interaction and Remote Sensing Track6
Fluid Mechanics
Wave Propagation in the Ocean Environment
Electives 212
Thesis Research 6
Master's Thesis
Additional Requirements
Research Ethics
Comprehensive Examination 3
OCE Seminar 4
Total Credit Hours30
1

 Minimum of 24 course credits and 6 thesis credits.

2
  • The remaining course credits can be obtained by taking other graduate courses offered by OCE, RSMAS, or UM.
  • OCE M.S. candidates are not required to take a class outside OCE.
3
  • Material from the required core courses will appear on the Comprehensive Examination (along with material from other courses from the first year).
  • Grade of PhD-Pass or MS-Pass.
    • A student receiving a grade of PhD-Pass has the option of bypassing the M.S. degree, but may choose to complete the M.S. degree.
  • All M.S. and Ph.D. students are required to take the comprehensive examination. For full-time students, the comprehensive examination should be taken before the end of their first full year of graduate studies at RSMAS (beginning in the fall semester). This examination will be arranged by a comprehensive examination committee comprised of the OCE graduate program director and the instructors (or their assignees) of the required courses taken by the students.
  • The purpose of this examination is to evaluate students’ understanding of materials in the required courses, and their ability to integrate and apply these materials. The outcome of the comprehensive examination determines whether students are permitted to proceed to the M.S. or Ph.D. program.
  • The comprehensive examination consists of oral and written components.
    • The written component, which lasts no longer than 8 hours, consists of a combination of open- and closed book questions on the material covered in the required courses taken by each student.
    • The oral component, which lasts no longer than 2 hours for each student, may include questions from all the courses taken by the student.
  • Students and advisors will receive feedback from the comprehensive exam committee on the strengths and weaknesses of the student, and possible recommendations on how to address those.
  • The outcome of the exam, which is determined by the comprehensive examination committee, is based on the student’s performance on this examination, together with consideration of the student’s first year academic record. Possible exam outcomes are:
    • PhD-Pass: Students with this result may bypass the M.S. degree and start working toward earning a Ph.D. If the student chooses to, he/she may complete a M.S. degree before pursuing a Ph.D.
    • MS-Pass: Students with this result are required to defend a master’s thesis and get approval from his/her M.S. thesis committee before pursuing a Ph.D.
    • Fail: Students with this result will have an opportunity to re-take the exam once.
4
  • Attendance to the OCE, MPO or AMP seminars is required every semester.  
  • In the same seminar series, each student is expected to give at least one 15-minute presentation each year after the student passes the comprehensive examination.

Marine Biogeochemistry Track

The OCE M.S. degree requires 30 total credits. 1
Core Courses6
Choose 2 courses from the following:
Ocean Biogeochemistry
Physical Oceanography
Mathematical Methods in Marine Physics
Marine Biogeochemistry Track9
Biological Oceanography
Chemical Oceanography
Marine Organic Geochemistry
Electives 29
Thesis Research 6
Master's Thesis
Additional Requirements
Research Ethics
Comprehensive Examination 3
OCE Seminar 3
Total Credit Hours30
1

 Minimum of 24 course credits and 6 thesis credits.

2
  • The remaining course credits can be obtained by taking other graduate courses offered by OCE, RSMAS, or UM.
  • OCE M.S. candidates are not required to take a class outside OCE.
3
  • Material from the required core courses will appear on the Comprehensive Examination (along with material from other courses from the first year).
  • Grade of PhD-Pass or MS-Pass.
    • A student receiving a grade of PhD-Pass has the option of bypassing the M.S. degree, but may choose to complete the M.S. degree.
  • All M.S. and Ph.D. students are required to take the comprehensive examination. For full-time students, the comprehensive examination should be taken before the end of their first full year of graduate studies at RSMAS (beginning in the fall semester). This examination will be arranged by a comprehensive examination committee comprised of the OCE graduate program director and the instructors (or their assignees) of the required courses taken by the students.
  • The purpose of this examination is to evaluate students’ understanding of materials in the required courses, and their ability to integrate and apply these materials. The outcome of the comprehensive examination determines whether students are permitted to proceed to the M.S. or Ph.D. program.
  • The comprehensive examination consists of oral and written components.
    • The written component, which lasts no longer than 8 hours, consists of a combination of open- and closed book questions on the material covered in the required courses taken by each student.
    • The oral component, which lasts no longer than 2 hours for each student, may include questions from all the courses taken by the student.
  • Students and advisors will receive feedback from the comprehensive exam committee on the strengths and weaknesses of the student, and possible recommendations on how to address those.
  • The outcome of the exam, which is determined by the comprehensive examination committee, is based on the student’s performance on this examination, together with consideration of the student’s first year academic record. Possible exam outcomes are:
    • PhD-Pass: Students with this result may bypass the M.S. degree and start working toward earning a Ph.D. If the student chooses to, he/she may complete a M.S. degree before pursuing a Ph.D.
    • MS-Pass: Students with this result are required to defend a master’s thesis and get approval from his/her M.S. thesis committee before pursuing a Ph.D.
    • Fail: Students with this result will have an opportunity to re-take the exam once.
4
  • Attendance to the OCE, MPO or AMP seminars is required every semester.  
  • In the same seminar series, each student is expected to give at least one 15-minute presentation each year after the student passes the comprehensive examination.

Biophysical Interactions Track

The OCE M.S. degree requires 30 total credits. 1
Core Courses6
Choose 2 courses from the following:
Ocean Biogeochemistry
Physical Oceanography
Mathematical Methods in Marine Physics
Biophysical Interactions Track6
Biological Oceanography
OCE 6XX - Math for Biophysical Interactions
Electives 212
Thesis Research 6
Master's Thesis
Additional Requirements
Research Ethics
Comprehensive Examination 3
OCE Seminar 4
Total Credit Hours30
1

 Minimum of 24 course credits and 6 thesis credits.

2
  • The remaining course credits can be obtained by taking other graduate courses offered by OCE, RSMAS, or UM.
  • OCE M.S. candidates are not required to take a class outside OCE.
3
  • Material from the required core courses will appear on the Comprehensive Examination (along with material from other courses from the first year).
  • Grade of PhD-Pass or MS-Pass.
    • A student receiving a grade of PhD-Pass has the option of bypassing the M.S. degree, but may choose to complete the M.S. degree.
  • All M.S. and Ph.D. students are required to take the comprehensive examination. For full-time students, the comprehensive examination should be taken before the end of their first full year of graduate studies at RSMAS (beginning in the fall semester). This examination will be arranged by a comprehensive examination committee comprised of the OCE graduate program director and the instructors (or their assignees) of the required courses taken by the students.
  • The purpose of this examination is to evaluate students’ understanding of materials in the required courses, and their ability to integrate and apply these materials. The outcome of the comprehensive examination determines whether students are permitted to proceed to the M.S. or Ph.D. program.
  • The comprehensive examination consists of oral and written components.
    • The written component, which lasts no longer than 8 hours, consists of a combination of open- and closed book questions on the material covered in the required courses taken by each student.
    • The oral component, which lasts no longer than 2 hours for each student, may include questions from all the courses taken by the student.
  • Students and advisors will receive feedback from the comprehensive exam committee on the strengths and weaknesses of the student, and possible recommendations on how to address those.
  • The outcome of the exam, which is determined by the comprehensive examination committee, is based on the student’s performance on this examination, together with consideration of the student’s first year academic record. Possible exam outcomes are:
    • PhD-Pass: Students with this result may bypass the M.S. degree and start working toward earning a Ph.D. If the student chooses to, he/she may complete a M.S. degree before pursuing a Ph.D.
    • MS-Pass: Students with this result are required to defend a master’s thesis and get approval from his/her M.S. thesis committee before pursuing a Ph.D.
    • Fail: Students with this result will have an opportunity to re-take the exam once.
4
  • Attendance to the OCE, MPO or AMP seminars is required every semester.  
  • In the same seminar series, each student is expected to give at least one 15-minute presentation each year after the student passes the comprehensive examination.