Oceanography

M.O., M.S., Ph.D.

401.874.6246

Faculty: Professor Corliss, dean; Professor Smith, associate dean. Professors Ballard, Carey, Collie, Cornillon, D’Hondt, Durbin, Ginis, Hara, Heikes, Kincaid, King, Lohmann, Merrill, Moran, Oviatt, Rossby, Rothstein, Shen, Specker, Spivack, and Wishner; Associate Professors Donohue, Kelley, Menden-Deuer, Robinson, Roman, and Rynearson; Assistant Professor Loose; Professors-in-Residence Donaghay, Rines, Sheremet, and Sutyrin; Research Professors Smayda and Watts; Professors Emeriti Hargraves, Jeffries, Knauss, Leinen, Pilson, Quinn, Rahn, Saila, Schilling, Sigurdsson, Swift, Wimbush, and Yoder; Associate Professor Emeritus Napora.

Specializations

Biological, chemical, geological, and physical oceanography. Also archaeological oceanography (see below).

Financial Support

A variety of assistantships are available for M.S. and Ph.D. candidates.

Master of Oceanography

Admission requirements: GRE (aptitude required) and bachelor’s degree in natural sciences or engineering. Most international students at GSO have a paper TOEFL score above 600 or a computer TOEFL score above 250, corresponding to 100 on the new Internet-based test (iBT). The University minimum must be met on each of the four sections of the TOEFL; see uri.edu/gsadmis/gs_apply_int. Most applicants are admitted for the fall semester, but admission for the start of the spring semester is possible. No application will be considered that shows an undergraduate average of less than B unless there is post baccalaureate work indicating outstanding ability. To ensure full consideration for admission, the complete application packet should be received by January 15.

Program requirements (total of 30 credits): written comprehensive examination; OCG 695 (two credits); major paper (three credits); OCG 501, 521, 540, 561; six credits in oceanography or other science departments; three credits in policy, management, economics, or a related field; three credits in statistics, data analysis, or scientific writing.

Master of Science

Admission requirements: GRE (aptitude required, advanced in the applicant’s undergraduate major recommended) and bachelor’s degree in natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics. Most international students at GSO have a paper TOEFL score above 600 or a computer TOEFL score above 250, corresponding to 100 on the new Internet-based test (iBT). The University minimum must be met on each of the four sections of the TOEFL; see uri.edu/gsadmis/gs_apply_int. Most applicants are admitted for the fall semester, but admission for the start of the spring semester is possible. Due to the limited number of students who can be accepted as degree candidates, no application will be considered that shows an undergraduate average of less than B unless there is postbaccalaureate work indicating outstanding ability. To ensure full consideration for admission and financial support, the completed application packet should be received by February 1.

Program requirements: thesis, OCG 695, and participation in a regular ocean research cruise. For specialization in biological or chemical oceanography, OCG 501, 521, 540, and 561; for specialization in geological oceanography, six credits of 500- and 600-level OCG courses outside the geological oceanography discipline (not including OCG 695); for specialization in physical oceanography, OCG 501, 510, and any two of OCG 605, 610, and 613.

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission requirements: GRE (aptitude required, advanced in the applicant’s undergraduate major recommended); and bachelor’s degree in natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics. Most international students at GSO have a paper TOEFL score above 600 or a computer TOEFL score above 250, corresponding to 100 on the new Internet-based test (iBT). The University minimum must be met on each of the four sections of the TOEFL; see uri.edu/gsadmis/gs_apply_int. Most applicants are admitted for the fall semester, but admission for the start of the spring semester is possible. Due to the limited number of students who can be accepted as degree candidates, no application will be considered that shows an undergraduate average of less than B unless there is postbaccalaureate work indicating outstanding ability. To ensure full consideration for admission and financial support, the completed application packet should be received by January 15.

Program requirements: comprehensive examination, dissertation, OCG 695, participation in a regular ocean research cruise, six credits of 600-level OCG courses (excluding problems and research courses and OCG 695). For specialization in biological or chemical oceanography, OCG 501, 521, 540, and 561; for specialization in geological oceanography, OCG 540 and any two of OCG 501, 521, and 561; for specialization in physical oceanography, OCG 501, 510, 605, and 613 and any six credits of 500- and 600-level OCG courses outside the physical oceanography discipline. A Ph.D. qualifying examination is required of all doctoral students. This requirement is satisfied by completing, with a grade of B or better, the courses specified for the appropriate discipline.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree in oceanography offers an option in marine policy. Ph.D. students who have successfully completed their comprehensive examinations and obtained approval from cognizant major professor may apply to the Master of Marine Affairs program (see Marine Affairs) to expand their skills in ocean/coastal policy, management, and law relevant to professional positions both inside and outside of government. Students who successfully complete the M.M.A. degree may transfer up to six credits from that program into the oceanography Ph.D. at the discretion of their major professor in oceanography.

Business/Oceanography/M.B.A./M.O. Joint Degree Program

The College of Business and the Graduate School of Oceanography offer a joint degree program in which students are simultaneously enrolled in the M.B.A. and the M.O. programs and may complete both degrees within 16 months. Students take courses in business, oceanography, and economics. An internship with a business is also embedded in the curriculum.

Oceanography/History Ph.D./M.A. Joint Degree Program

The Graduate School of Oceanography and the Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences offer a joint degree program focused on archaeological oceanography. Students in this program are simultaneously enrolled for the oceanography Doctor of Philosophy degree and the history (anthropology and archaeology option) Master of Arts degree. A twelve-credit reduction (six in each degree) is allowed for students in this program.

Fifth-Year Master of Oceanography Program

The 5th-Year Master of Oceanography program is designed for students who want to enter the program while still undergraduates and earn the degree in the year following completion of their BS. In general, students will take three of the core courses required fro the MO degree during their fourth year, leaving 20-21 credits to be completed during the fifth year. Interested students should visit: gso.uri.edu/5th-year-mo for further information.

MO Graduation Requirements

  • 30 credits including the following,
  • Core Classes: OCG 501, Physical Oceanography; OCG 521, Chemical Oceanography; OCG 540, Geological Oceanography; and OCG 561, Biological Oceanography
  • 3 credits in statistics, data analysis or scientific writing at the graduate level; 6 additional credits in oceanography or in related courses from other science departments
  • Participation in the GSO-wide student seminar series (2 credits) OCG 695
  • 3 credits of individual study resulting in a major paper
  • Successful completion of a written Master’s examination
  • Students in the fifth-year program are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.2 in their undergraduate classes and a 3.0 in graduate courses.