The Master of Professional Science in Tropical Marine Ecosystem (TME), a track within the Department of Marine Biology and Ecology at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), provides students with advanced training in the theoretical aspects of tropical marine ecology, as well as the practical aspects needed to begin a career in this field. Please refer to the MPS website for more information about the TME track.

Admission Requirements

Prerequisites:
  1. Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.)
  2. One year of General Biology + General Biology Labs
  3. One year of General Chemistry
  4. At least one semester of Calculus
  5. 9 additional credits in natural science (Research in these fields may, in some cases, substitute for coursework hours.)

Note to students: Deficiencies in the required courses may be considered on a case by case basis for otherwise highly qualified students.

Accepting applications for Fall 2020 admissions:

  • July 25th, 2019 - July 20th, 2020 (U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents)
  • July 25th, 2019 - June 1st, 2020 (International Applicants)

An application to the MPS program consists of the following (fall & spring admissions only):

If admission to the MPS program is granted, it will be contingent upon receipt of all items listed above (including official transcripts and test scores) and the following for international applicants:

Permanent Residents must provide a color copy of Permanent Resident Card (Green Card).

Previous graduate and undergraduate scholastic performance, work and volunteer experience, valid test scores (GRE, TOEFL/IELTS), and the letters of recommendation are all considered in evaluating an applicant.

Transcript from U.S. Academic Institutions:

Please make sure you possess the required undergraduate coursework and/or degree before applying. Official transcripts must be mailed or e-mailed directly from the relevant academic institution (Office of the Registrar) to the MPS office.  Our email is mps@rsmas.miami.edu; mailing address is available on the MPS website’s Contact Us page. If an applicant is not able to submit an unofficial transcript with his/her application, the applicant may submit unofficial transcripts via email to mps@rsmas.miami.edu. Unofficial transcripts are accepted for review purposes only, not for admission. If admission to the MPS program is granted, it will be contingent upon receipt of all official records. Please be advised, official transcripts will only be accepted if they are sent to us directly from the academic institution. Transcripts sent by you or issued to you (even if they are in a sealed envelope) are not considered official.

Transcripts from Non-U.S. Academic Institutions:                 

All graduate applicants who received degrees or are currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program from a college or university outside the United States (except applicants to Law* and Nursing**) must submit official transcripts and diplomas (if available) from all colleges and universities to an approved international credentialing agency. Applicants attending a non-U.S. institution for non-credit must also submit academic records to an approved evaluation agency.

Transcripts in a language other than English must be provided in that language and must be accompanied by a certified English translation.  International applicants must also submit a copy of his/her diploma in the official language of the country from which the degree was awarded and provide a certified English translation of the diploma. Submit these items to an approved international credentialing agency. Follow the specific instructions of the selected evaluation agency to request a course-by-course evaluation with degree equivalency and grade point average (GPA) calculation. Applicants must request that the evaluation report and copy of all the official documents used in the evaluation are sent directly from the approved evaluation agency to the MPS office mps@rsmas.miami.edu.

  • Josef Silny & Associates (JS&A), Inc, International Education Consultants, is the preferred evaluation vendor for international applicants to the University of Miami due to their competitive prices and high-quality service. Click here for more information including the Application for Evaluation of Foreign Educational Credentials. 
  • Please note that international applicants are not required to use the services of JS&A. The international credential evaluation services of any approved vendor may be used. Click here to view a list of approved vendors.
  • Please be sure the vendor sends your evaluation directly to mps@rsmas.miami.edu.
  • Evaluation Fee - Applicants are responsible for the evaluation fee. Please note that failure to comply with these instructions may cause significant delays in the review and processing of your application, and therefore also significant delays in the processing of your I-20.

Letters of Recommendation:

Three (3) letters of recommendation are required for admissions consideration. Each applicant must request letters of recommendation from three (3) different references using the guidelines provided in the online application. Applications from CollegeNet may be submitted without letters of recommendation. However, an applicant’s file will not be reviewed by Track Leaders until all required admissions materials (including letters of recommendation) are received by the MPS office. Upon completion of the application, your references will receive an e-mail from CollegeNet, requesting the online submission of the required documentation (questionnaire + letter of recommendation).

Academic references are ideal and highly preferred, but we will accept letters from employers and/or supervisors. Please do not request letters from friends, family, ministers, or coaches. If your references have trouble using the online submission portal, they may e-mail their letters (signed and on letterhead) to the MPS office at mps@rsmas.miami.edu. We cannot accept letters that are not signed. Letters sent by the applicant or forwarded to the MPS office by the applicant will not be accepted.

GRE:

Due to COVID-19, the GRE requirement is suspended for Fall 2020 admissions only.

The MPS office must receive your official Graduate Record Examination test (GRE  http://www.ets.org/gre) scores directly from ETS. Please use institution code 7690 (department code) when submitting your request with ETS. This code indicates delivery of test scores to the RSMAS campus, home of the MPS office. 

A minimum, combined score of 297 (Verbal + Quantitative only) is required for admissions consideration. Applicants must also complete the Analytical Writing section of the GRE. However, the Analytical Writing score will not be calculated into your combined score, nor will it be used for tuition waiver eligibility. To learn about our merit-based partial tuition waivers, please visit our Financing Your Education page.

TOEFL/IELTS (for Non-native English Speakers):

To prove language proficiency, students must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). 

·       Paper Based TOEFL (PBT) - minimum score is 550

·       Internet Based TOEFL (IBT) - minimum score is 80

·       IELTS (Academic) - minimum score is 6.5

Please use institution code 2919 (no department code). This institution code is for the TOEFL only; please note that the GRE institution code is different (see above). 

If English is not your native language, the TOEFL/IELTS requirement may be waived if you hold an undergraduate or graduate degree from an academic institution within the United States or from one of the following English-speaking countries:

·       Antigua and Barbuda

·       Australia

·       Bahamas

·       Barbados

·       Belize

·       Canada (except Quebec)

·       Dominica

·       Grenada

·       Guyana

·       Ireland

·       Jamaica

·       New Zealand

·       Kitts and Nevis

·       Lucia

·       Vincent and the Grenadines

·       Trinidad and Tobago

·       United Kingdom

Intensive English Program (IEP)

The University of Miami’s Division of Continuing and International Education offers a fully-accredited Intensive English Program (IEP) to prepare individuals to understand and use English in a variety of academic, professional, and personal situations. Some of the services that IEP offers graduate students include an international teaching assistant training course, customized classes, LL.M. Intensive English, and volunteer opportunities.

Personal Statement (statement of purpose):

Please indicate your track of choice, and all relevant field, lab, and work experience (past and present) in your personal statement. Include your academic and professional goals, and how you envision the MPS program contributing to those goals. We strongly encourage you to include information and/or links to relevant publications, organizations, research projects, supervisors, collaborators, project results, and your role in relation to this.  

MPS Mailing Address:

University of Miami
Rosenstiel School Campus, MPS Office, Room S/A 132
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, FL 33149

Email: mps@rsmas.miami.edu

Website: https://mps.rsmas.miami.edu/index.html 

Phone: (305) 421-4340

Fax: (305) 421-4246

Curriculum Requirements

MBE 615Tropical Marine Ecology3
RSM 600Research Diving Techniques3
RSM 667Motorboat Operator Certification Course1-2
RSM 612Statistics for Marine Scientists3
or MES 608 Biometrics in Marine Science
MES 620Environmental Law and Policy3
or MES 720 Coastal Law and Policy
or MES 616 Ocean Policy and Development and Analysis
MBE 621Field Techniques and Instrumentation in Tropical Marine Ecology3
MES 660
MES 661
Introduction to Marine Geographic Information Systems
and Introduction to Marine Geographic Information Systems - Laboratory
3
MES 610Environmental Planning and the Environmental Impact Statement3
MES 646Marine Population Biology Processes and Modeling3
MBE 805MPS Internship6
Total Credit Hours31

Elective Options

Students may take any elective on the RSMAS campus with the consent of their faculty advisor. Below are a few examples of courses past students in this program used as electives.

BIL 623Advanced Biology of Marine Invertebrates4
MES 606Advanced Fieldwork in Coastal Cultures3
MBE 716Bayesian Statistics for Marine Scientists3
MBE 704Biological Oceanography3
MES 720Coastal Law and Policy3
MES 602Economics of Natural Resources3
MES 620Environmental Law and Policy3
MES 610Environmental Planning and the Environmental Impact Statement3
MBE 678Evolutionary Genetics3
MES 614Underwater Archaeology Field Techniques3
MES 604Fieldwork in Coastal Management: Tourism, Conservation, and Development3
MES 605Fieldwork in Coastal Cultures3
MES 625Fisheries Socioeconomics and Management3
POL 631Global Environment Politics3
MES 710International Ocean Law and Governance3
MES 626Submerged Cultural Resource Management3
MES 616Ocean Policy and Development and Analysis3
RSM 710The Physical Environment of Marine Organisms3
MES 601Political Ecology of Marine Management3
MES 662Intermediate Spatial Analysis3
MBE 614Tropical Marine Biology3

Suggested Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
MBE 615 Tropical Marine Ecology (May be waived at the discretion of the Academic Advisor and/or MPS Director) 3
RSM 600 Research Diving Techniques (Can be taken in Fall or Spring - OR - ELECTIVE with the approval of the Academic Advisor and/or MPS Director) 3
RSM 667 Motorboat Operator Certification Course 1-2
RSM 612 or MES 608 Statistics for Marine Scientists
or Biometrics in Marine Science
3
MES 620, 720,
Environmental Law and Policy (or ELECTIVE with the approval of the Academic Advisor and/or MPS Director)
or Coastal Law and Policy
or Ocean Policy and Development and Analysis
3
 Credit Hours13-14
Spring
MBE 621 Field Techniques and Instrumentation in Tropical Marine Ecology 3
MES 660
MES 661
Introduction to Marine Geographic Information Systems
and Introduction to Marine Geographic Information Systems - Laboratory
3
MES 610 Environmental Planning and the Environmental Impact Statement ( or ELECTIVE with the approval of the Academic Advisor and/or MPS Director) 3
MES 646 Marine Population Biology Processes and Modeling ( or ELECTIVE with the approval of the Academic Advisor and/or MPS Director) 3
 Credit Hours12
Summer
MBE 805 MPS Internship (Enrollment in a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 6 internship credits required during a student's time in MPS. Completion of less than 2 intenrship redits must be approved by MPS Director. Typically 2 semesters are needed to complete all aspects of the internship phase of MPS. ) 6
 Credit Hours6
 Total Credit Hours31-32

Mission

The mission of the Master of Professional Science degree in Tropical Marine Ecosystem (TME) is to prepare graduates for technical positions in marine conservation, management, and marine ecosystem science at one of a number of state and federal agencies, institutions, and NGOs by providing students with advanced training in the theoretical and practical aspects of tropical marine ecology. This program introduces students to theoretical aspects of nearshore, benthic ecosystems common to tropical and subtropical regions worldwide (coral reefs, seagrasses, and mangroves) and emphasizes threats facing these ecosystems. Practical aspects of the course exposes students to field methods and techniques, taxonomy and identification of common vertebrates, invertebrates, algae and marine plants, GIS and remote sensing of shallow water marine environments, scientific diving (through the American Academy of Underwater Sciences), and small boat handling (through the Department of the Interior’s Motorboat Operator Certification Course).

Goals

The goal of the Master of Professional Science degree in Tropical Marine Ecosystem is to introduce students to theoretical aspects of nearshore, benthic ecosystems common to tropical and subtropical regions worldwide (coral reefs, seagrasses, and mangroves) with an emphasis threats facing these ecosystems. The TME program assists student in the development and application of scientific field methods and techniques, taxonomy and identification of common vertebrates, invertebrates, algae and marine plants, GIS and remote sensing of shallow water marine environments, scientific diving (through the American Academy of Underwater Sciences), and small boat handling (through the Department of the Interior’s Motorboat Operator Certification Course). The goal of the TME track is to prepare graduates for technical positions in marine conservation, management, and marine ecosystem science at one of a number of state and federal agencies, institutions, and NGOs by providing students with advanced training in the theoretical and practical aspects of tropical marine ecology.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to effectively identify, understand, assess, and manage various tropical marine ecosystems.
  • Students will demonstrate professionalism in all aspects of field and lab work during their internships.
  • Students will submit a final, written report and deliver a final presentation based on the work completed in their internship.