Ocean Engineering, M.S.

The University of Rhode Island was the first institution in the nation to establish M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in ocean engineering.

Graduate ocean engineering students can choose from a diverse group of courses in widely different ocean related subjects as a result of the broad and interdisciplinary background and research interests of the faculty. Opportunities exist for students to work with an individual faculty member or small groups of faculty members from other engineering departments and the Graduate School of Oceanography.

High quality education and strong research have been the hallmark of the program since its inception in 1966. Large and small corporations, consulting firms and government research laboratories all employ our graduates. They work across a broad spectrum of subfields in positions that bring them around the globe.

Areas of Study

  • Acoustics: study of sound and vibration in the ocean and seabed, and the associated analysis of both deterministic and random data.
  • Geomechanics: experimental and modeling studies to understand and predict properties and behavior of the seabed.
  • Hydrodynamics: interaction of bodies with fluid flow in the ocean and nearshore environments.
  • Ocean Instrumentation: development and use of new and improved instruments for monitoring ocean processes, and the subsequent analysis of the data.
  • Offshore Energy: development of new technologies that provide renewable energy.
  • Offshore Structures: study of nearshore piers, breakwaters, groins, piles, and sewer outfalls as well as common offshore structures such as petroleum drilling and operating platforms.
  • Water Wave Mechanics: linear and non-linear problems that focus on wave dynamics in both the deep ocean and nearshore.

For specific questions, please contact graduate director Dr. Stephen Licht at slicht@uri.edu.

Joint Program with Technical University Braunschweig

Administered in collaboration with Technische Universität Braunschweig in Germany, this program enables students to complete simultaneous engineering master’s degrees from both institutions over a two-year period or a doctorate from both institutions. This project was jump-started by the generous support of the Transatlantic Program of the Federal Republic of Germany with funds from the European Recovery Program of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), and additional funds from an NSF PIRE grant. It is currently supported by the Max Kade Foundation. 

Under this plan, University of Rhode Island master’s degree students in civil engineering complete the first full year, or approximately one half of the master’s program, in Rhode Island, and then spend the second year of the program as a full-time student at the Technische Universität Braunschweig in central Germany. All work completed satisfactorily abroad is recognized by both the host and home universities, thus enabling students to complete degree requirements in Germany and Rhode Island.