Overview

The Marine Biology and Ecology (MBE) graduate program focuses on a wide range of field, laboratory, and theoretical coursework in research areas such as coral reef studies, biological oceanography, and marine biology, fisheries biology, and the biology and behavior of marine animals. MBE M.S. students can choose from a diversity of research areas and coursework that provide a broad educational perspective. 

Admission Requirements

Most successful applicants have a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences including a strong foundation in physical sciences (chemistry, physics, calculus) and basic biological sciences. However, applicants with a diversity of other degrees also are successful. Courses in marine biology and oceanography are not necessary for entrance into the program. Applicants should contact specific faculty to discuss mutual research interests. The GRE score is not required for admission. Applicants whose first language is not English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of at least 550. All application requirements are available here.

Curriculum Requirements

Each student will design a customized curriculum based on their research focus with advisor approval.

The MBE M.S. degree requires 30 total credits. 1
MBE or Other Approved Electives 224
Thesis Research 6
Master's Thesis
Additional Requirements
Research Ethics
MBE Seminar 3
Total Credit Hours30
1

Minimum of 24 course credits and 6 thesis credits.

2

No core courses are required. Students choose courses with the advice of their committee. 

3
  • Attendance to the MBE seminars is required every semester. 
  • All MBE students must give a talk in the series annually after the first year. 

Sample Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
RSM 700 Research Ethics 0
Approved Elective 3
Approved Elective 3
Approved Elective 3
 Credit Hours9
Spring
Approved Elective 3
Approved Elective 3
Approved Elective 3
 Credit Hours9
Year Two
Fall
Approved Elective 3
Approved Elective 3
 Credit Hours6
Spring
MBE 810 Master's Thesis 3
 Credit Hours3
Summer
MBE 810 Master's Thesis 3
 Credit Hours3
 Total Credit Hours30

Mission

The mission of the Marine Biology and Ecology (MBE) MS program is to train the next generation of scientists in the fundamental skills, knowledge, and practice of biology of the oceanic environment. Through coursework and independent research, we strive to prepare our students for positions in academia, government, or industry in jobs that leverage their skills in critical thinking, current technical knowledge such as statistical analysis and modeling, and understanding of the global marine environment. Our program commits to inspire graduates to continued scholarship, service, and innovation in an environment that is inclusive and diverse.

Goals

The goal is for MS students to demonstrate mastery of the fundamental skills, knowledge, and practice of biology of the oceanic environment, and commitment to scholarship, service, and innovation in an environment that is inclusive and diverse.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate a broad understanding of marine and atmospheric science and an awareness of how scientific research in their topical areas bears on current human and societal issues.
  • Students will be able to critically evaluate scientific literature, review previous knowledge on a topic, formulate testable hypotheses, and skillfully use available data and tools to advance knowledge in a topical area. They will be able to conduct high-quality research as evidenced by their thesis research.
  • Students will demonstrate advanced oral and written communication skills, and be able to effectively communicate scientific information to a peer audience.