Students enrolled in the EVR program work at the intersection of science and society, addressing pressing ocean, coastal, and climate challenges central to long-term sustainability and resilience. Although course selections are tailored to match individual research and career objectives, our graduates acquire knowledge and expertise critical to ensuring the sustainability of natural resources. 

Admission Requirements

MS applicants must possess a BS or BA in any, relevant academic field. The GRE score is not required for admission. You may optionally submit your GRE score, but not all faculty will consider this information. Individual faculty members may consider GRE scores as part of a holistic evaluation of the candidates. 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

The MES M.S. degree requires 30 total credits. 1
Core Courses3
MES M.S. students are required to complete one (1) of the following:
Statistics and Data Analysis for Environmental Science and Policy
Statistics for Marine Scientists
Electives 221
Thesis Research6
Master's Thesis
Additional Requirements
Research Ethics
EVR Seminars 3
Proposal Defense 4
Total Credit Hours30
  • Minimum of 24 course credits and 6 thesis credits.
    • All M.S. students are required to complete at least 12 course credits in EVR. A formal request for an exception to this rule can be submitted in writing to the Committee Chair, and any/all exceptions will be made at the discretion of the EVR Graduate Program Director.
  • Course enrollment and scheduling is defined by the student and their Chair.
  • Students are affiliated with one or more of the EVR tracks, and will be expected to adhere to all relevant academic requirements.​ 
  • Students are expected to attend EVR department and student seminars.
  • All EVR students are expected to compose a full proposal, including a thorough literature review, clearly outlined objectives, a summary of the significance of their proposed project (including broader impacts, if relevant), a detailed research plan, and a budget. 
  • A proposal template will be provided, and all M.S. students are required to attend a proposal writing seminar during their second semester in residence. 
  • Following the written proposal vetting process by the committee, students are required to formally defend their proposal. The purpose of the proposal defense is to ensure that each student possesses the requisite knowledge and expertise to successfully execute the proposed research project, as well as facilitate an open discussion regarding the stated objectives and experimental approach.​
  • Students must submit and defend their proposal before the start of their third semester in residence.

Sample Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredit Hours
EVR 624 or RSM 612 Statistics and Data Analysis for Environmental Science and Policy
or Statistics for Marine Scientists
Approved Elective 3
Approved Elective 3
RSM 700 Research Ethics 0
 Credit Hours9
Approved Elective 3
Approved Elective 3
Approved Elective 3
 Credit Hours9
Second Year
Approved Elective 3
Approved Elective 3
 Credit Hours6
EVR 810 Master's Thesis 3
 Credit Hours3
EVR 810 Master's Thesis 3
 Credit Hours3
 Total Credit Hours30


The M.S. in Marine Ecosystems and Society (MES) fosters innovative, collaborative and multidisciplinary research and education centered on the conservation and sustainability of marine ecosystems and the services they provide to society.


Students acquire knowledge and expertise critical to ensuring the sustainability of natural resources. Tailored to their career objectives, students develop expertise in quantitative and qualitative disciplines for integrating the human and natural dimensions of environmental resources and understanding the implications of policy and regulatory frameworks.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate an advanced understanding of a range of marine related disciplines, specifically relevant to their research (proposed and executed).
  • Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills through the development and execution of an original research plan, including the application of appropriate methodologies.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate ideas effectively and professionally, both in writing and orally.