Overview

The University of Miami School of Law and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) offer a joint degree program in law and Marine Ecosystems and Society (MES). Upon completion of this program, a student earns the Juris Doctor degree from the School of Law and a Master of Professional Science in Marine Ecosystems and Society from RSMAS.

The M.P.S. degree allows students to focus their coursework in one of four areas:

  1. Aquaculture Track: Focuses on the environmental, technological, social, economic, legal and political aspects of sustainable aquaculture.
  2. Coastal Zone Management Track: Gain exposure to the legal and governance frameworks associated with the management of near-shore waters. These areas present unique challenges to resource managers in the shipping, tourism, development, fisheries, aquaculture and oil industry.
  3. Marine Conservation Track: Design a curriculum around personal career goals while focusing on innovative solutions to current marine ecosystem threats. This track combines science, law, economics, and policy to foster the conservation awareness of marine ecosystems.
  4. Underwater Archaeology: Focuses on the theory, field techniques, and management practices necessary to work within the field of archaeology and the broader general field of marine sciences. Coursework integrates topics such as site mapping and documentation, interpretation of shipwrecks and submerged sites, best management practices, marine protected areas, and marine survey technology. Underwater Archaeology (UARCH) students receive training as AAUS Science Divers during their first semester in the MPS Program. Students will have opportunities to work side-by-side with professional archaeologists through internships and field projects with private, public, or non-governmental agencies, both nationally and internationally, and conduct relevant fieldwork. UARCH applicants and students should be aware of and follow the guidelines outlined by UARCH faculty Track Leader, Dr. Frederick Hanselmann. 

Admissions

  • Students who apply for the joint J.D./M.P.S. program must apply to both the School of Law and to Master of Professional Science program at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS).
  • Prospective students must achieve a qualifying score on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and on the General Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for admission to the respective schools. A minimum, combined  score of 297 (Verbal + Quantitative only)  is required to be considered for MPS.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation are required for admission to RSMAS.  An applicant may use letters submitted to his/her law school application for consideration into RSMAS. Applicants must submit a written request to the law school in order to release his/her letters of recommendation to the MPS office for his/her RSMAS application.
  • Applicants must submit official transcripts from all previous and current academic institutions, even if credits were not awarded. Applicants must submit a written request to the law school in order to release his/her transcripts to the MPS office for his/her RSMAS application. University of Miami (UM) alumni and/or current students are not required to submit an official transcript from UM as part of the application process; the MPS office at RSMAS has access to UM transcripts.
  • An applicant must notify both schools that he or she is applying for the joint J.D./M.P.S. program and, in order to remain in the joint program, must meet the minimum standards of both schools.

Credits
A student may complete requirements for both degrees within seven regular semesters or, subject to course availability, in an intensive program of six regular semesters and two full summers. The joint degree program saves a student 12 credits over earning the degrees separately. An individual would essentially complete 82 credits (rather than the normal 88) in law courses and 24 credits (rather than the normal 30) in marine and atmospheric science courses for a total of 106 credits in order to receive the J.D. and the M.P.S. degrees. A maximum of 6 credits from the law school must be petitioned and approved for transfer to the student's graduate record in order to meet the 30-credit minimum for a master's degree.  Prior to submitting a formal petition to the Graduate School, a student's academic advisor from the law school and the MPS Director/Associate Director must approve the credits requested for transfer. 

Curriculum
The student's work in the joint degree program, whether connected with a course, seminar or individual research project at the School of Law or the Rosenstiel School, must result in a substantial research project of publishable quality in marine law or policy or related scientific issues. Students may use their required upper-class research paper at the School of Law to fulfill this requirement. JD/MPS students should follow the MPS Checklist, which outlines requirements for all JD/MPS students regardless of track. 

Requirements: Juris Doctor (J.D.)

Students must complete at least 12 credits from among the following courses or seminars:

Requirements: RSMAS courses are identified and organized by each MPS track

 A student must complete 24 credits of courses from RSMAS:

Courses will be updated from time to time and students should consult with a faculty advisor, or other designated person, prior to registering for any course not specifically listed above, or to ensure a course not listed will be credited toward this degree. RSMAS, Department of Marine Ecosystems and Society, makes no representation that all of the above courses will be available to any given student at all times during the course of his or her studies.

For More Information

J.D. (University of Miami School of Law)
Sandy Abraham
Executive Liaison, Interdisciplinary Programs and Initiatives
Tel: 305-284-4030  E-mail: sabraham@law.miami.edu

M.P.S. (Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science)

Maria L. Estevanez  (Track Advising: Coastal Zone Management, Marine Conservation)
Tel: 305-421-4012  E-mail: mestevanez@miami.edu 

Dr. Frederick Hanselmann  (Track Advising: Underwater Archaeology)

Tel: 512 557-3949  Email: fjanselmann@rsmas.miami.edu

Dr. Daniel D. Benetti (Track Advising: Aquaculture)

Tel: 305-421-4889  E-mail: d.benetti@miami.edu

Kandra Velez (Admissions Advising - All Tracks)

Tel: 305-421-4340  E-mail: kxv139@miami.edu 

Craig W. Purcell (Admissions Advising - All Tracks)

Tel: 305-421-4340  E-mail: c.purcell2@umiami.edu

 Admission Requirements

  • An applicant must notify both schools that he or she is applying for the joint J.D./M.P.S. program and, in order to remain in the joint program, must meet the minimum standards of both schools.
  • Students who apply for the joint J.D./M.P.S. program must apply to both the School of Law and to the Master of Professional Science (MPS) program at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS).
  • Prospective students must achieve a qualifying score on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) for admissions consideration into the dual-degree program. 
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation are required for admission consideration to RSMAS.  An applicant may use letters submitted to his/her law school application for consideration into RSMAS. Applicants must submit a written request to the law school in order to release his/her letters of recommendation to the MPS office for his/her RSMAS application.
  • Applicants must request delivery of official transcripts from all current and prior academic institutions, even if credits were not awarded. University of Miami (UM) alumni and/or current students are not required to submit an official transcript from UM as part of the application process; the MPS office at RSMAS has access to UM transcripts.

Students entering this track need to have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education.

Note to students: Deficiencies in required coursework may be considered on a case by case basis for otherwise highly qualified students or those demonstrating experience with these skills.

Accepting applications for Fall 2021 admissions:

·       July 25th, 2020 - July 5th, 2021 (U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents)

·       July 25th, 2020 - June 1st, 2021 (International Applicants)

Accepting applications for Spring 2022 admissions:

·       Now until December 1st, 2021 (U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents)

·       Now until November 1st, 2021 (International Applicants)

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

·       Online CollegeNet application

·       Transcripts from all past/present academic institutions (colleges and universities), including all study abroad and community colleges and, if applicable, a transcript evaluation report from an approved international credentialing agency (for non-U.S. academic institutions).

·       NOTE: The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for admission; however, an applicant may submit a valid score report for MPS merit-based partial tuition waiver consideration. Three (3) or six (6) credits may be waived if eligible.  GRE score reports are valid for 5 years from test date.

·       Three (3) letters of recommendation

·       Valid Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS scores) for international applicants.

·       Personal statement (also known as a statement of purpose)

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:

·       Statement of Financial Responsibility Form (SFR) and corresponding bank letter

·       Color copy of current visa (if available).

·       Color copy of valid passport (must include picture page and barcode page)

·       If applicable: most recent I-94 travel record

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) if applicable, 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. University of Miami (UM) alumni and/or current students are not required to submit an official transcript from UM as part of the application process; the MPS office at RSMAS has access to UM transcripts.

Transcripts from Non-U.S. Academic Institutions:                 

Domestic or international applicants that have academic credits from or attended an international institution must have their educational credentials earned outside the United States verified by an approved international credentialing evaluation service.  Each of the university's 11 schools and colleges has specific procedures that must be followed by international applicants. Visit our International Applications page for more information.

Documents Required 

Submit the following educational documents to an approved international credentialing evaluation service for evaluation:

a) Official original diplomas and certificates in the original language, and

b) Official original transcripts in the original language (names of courses, grades, and hours of instruction) for every year of study. 

Documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by professional, certified English translations.  Translations supplement but do not replace the official documents.

Type of Evaluation Required

The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is requiring international applicants to their programs to complete a course-by-course evaluation with GPA.  

Where to Submit Documents for Evaluation

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 ensure the vendor sends your evaluation directly to mps@rsmas.miami.edu for MPS applications 

Evaluation Fee

Applicants are responsible for the evaluation fee.

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). 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.

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. 

Students enrolled in our dual-degree program with the School of Law may use their letters of recommendation from the law school for use in his/her graduate application. Please be advised, RSMAS track leaders may request additional letters of recommendation for admissions consideration into the MPS program.

GRE:

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for admission; however, an applicant may submit a score report for MPS merit-based partial tuition waiver consideration. Three (3) or six (6) credits may be waived if eligible. 

If requesting delivery of your official GRE score report, please use institution code 7690 (department code). This code indicates delivery of test scores to the RSMAS campus, home of the MPS office. 

We currently offer a 3-credit or 6-credit merit-based tuition waiver through two different types of criteria:

OPTION 1: COMBINED GPA/GRE CRITERIA

·       The minimum eligibility requirements for a 3-credit waiver is 297 on the GRE (a combined total score on the verbal and quantitative sections only), and a cumulative U.S. Grade Point Average (G.P.A .) of 3.0. The minimum eligibility requirements for a 6-credit waiver is 308 on the GRE (a combined total score on the verbal and quantitative sections only) and a cumulative U.S. Grade Point Average (G.P.A .) of 3.3.

·       Applicants are still required to complete the analytical writing section of the GRE, however only the verbal and quantitative scores will be considered for tuition waiver purposes.

·       The first reported GRE scores received by the MPS Office will be considered for waiver eligibility.  However, applicants and newly-accepted students (not current students) may retake the GRE and submit an updated/higher score by July 23rd for U.S. citizens/permanent residents, and June 1st for international applicants.

·       We recommend submitting updated scores after you've achieved your personal best. The MPS Office will consider the highest score listed on the GRE test report. GRE scores are valid up to 5 years from test date.  Prospective applicants who submit an application before completion of the GRE are still eligible for waiver consideration, upon receipt of GRE scores by the MPS Office.  Applicants and newly-accepted students (not current students) may submit "unofficial" GRE scores by downloading test scores from the ETS website while "official" records arrive in the  mail. Send unofficial scores to mps@rsmas.miami.edu if you are unable to submit scores with your application. GRE scores are considered "official" if they are mailed directly to MPS from ETS.

OPTION 2: GPA-ONLY CRITERIA

·       The minimum eligibility requirements for a 3-credit tuition waiver based on GPA alone is a GPA of 3.3. The minimum eligibility requirements for a 6-credit waiver based on GPA alone is a GPA of 3.6.


Please note that a portion of these waivers are sponsored through philanthropic missions and students may be matched with the best suited award. If a merit-based tuition waiver is awarded, an applicant will be notified upon acceptance and, depending of the source of the award, there may be certain requirements for acceptance.  Those eligible to receive merit-based tuition waivers are not required to not apply, accept or reject the waiver; waivers are applied upon course registration. 3-credit waivers are applied to a student's first year at RSMAS. 6-credit waivers are distributed equally across your first two semesters at RSMAS (Fall & Spring semesters). Students who submit GRE scores will be awarded the higher of the two options. Students who do not submit GRE scores are only eligible for option 2.

English Proficiency Requirement

Academic success at the University of Miami depends on one’s ability to communicate effectively in English. 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/Duolingo 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 the IEP offers graduate students include an international teaching assistant training course, customized classes, LL.M. Intensive English, and volunteer opportunities.

VISIT THE IEP WEBSITE

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

Curriculum within the MPS program will be decided on a case-by-case basis during academic advising. However, students select from a variety of multidisciplinary courses across many departments and schools at RSMAS/UM, in a holistic effort to meet their personal and professional goals. JD/MPS students may follow the Plan of Study Grid corresponding to their respective area of focus, which identifies required and elective courses.  Students must enroll in graduate level courses during their time a RSMAS; no credit will be awarded for undergraduate courses.

Plan of Study

JD/MPS students may follow the Plan of Study Grid corresponding to their respective area of focus:

The Plan of Study Grid identifies required and elective courses for each area of focus; however, a student's schedule will be decided on a case-by-case basis during academic advising. JD/MPS students select from a variety of multidisciplinary courses across many departments and schools at RSMAS/UM, in a holistic effort to meet their personal and professional goals.

The joint degree program saves a student 12 credits over earning the degrees separately. An individual would essentially complete 82 credits (rather than the normal 88) in law courses and 24 credits (rather than the normal 30) in marine and atmospheric science courses for a total of 106 credits in order to receive the J.D. and the M.P.S. degrees. A maximum of 6 credits from the law school must be petitioned and approved for transfer to the student's graduate record in order to meet the 30-credit minimum for a master's degree.  Prior to submitting a formal petition to the Graduate School, a student's academic advisor from the law school and the MPS Director/Associate Director must approve the credits requested for transfer.