Marine Technical Certificate

How to Apply

Please submit an application and all required supporting materials to the program coordinator, Anya Hanson at

application form


The URI Marine Technical Certificate Program provides undergraduate students with experiential learning opportunities to acquire technical skills and professional certifications required for professional and research careers in disciplines such as marine biology, oceanography, aquaculture, fisheries, wildlife conservation, ocean engineering, underwater archaeology, and maritime history.

Skills taught include boat handling, scuba diving, underwater research, equipment maintenance, and troubleshooting in adverse conditions in field-based settings. Participants will acquire necessary professional certifications per the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS), the World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC), and any relevant equipment service technician certifications.

The Certificate is available to all undergraduate students, and courses may be applied towards other degree programs at URI. There are no additional fees (beyond the normal URI course fees) to participate in the program.


A total of 12 credits, over 4 courses, is required:

  • 9 credits/3 courses:
    AFS 270: Basic Scuba Diving in Science and Technology
    AFS 290: Small Boats: Their Equipment and Operation
    AFS 433: Research Diving Methods
  • with the option of 3 elective credits/1 course that may be selected from:
    AFS 395: Underwater Photography and Film
    AFS 396: Marine Technical Practicum or
    HIS 396: Maritime History and Underwater Archaeology Field School

    The timeline for completion varies, but the certificate program could be completed in as few as 3 semesters.


The Undergraduate Marine Technical Certificate will provide a formal certificate acknowledging experiential learning as well as real-world, practical experience necessary for most field-based positions in marine-related research careers. This need is widely seen in research positions in marine biology, oceanography, fisheries, biological sciences, biomedical technology, wildlife conservation, ocean engineering, underwater archaeology, and maritime history.

Relevant facilities/organizations that require these skills include: zoos and aquariums, museums, fisheries and aquaculture businesses, federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), Smithsonian Institution, and the National Park Service, as well as not-for-profit organizations focusing on marine resource conservation, educational outreach programs focused on marine conservation, and private corporations such as environmental consulting groups.

Acquiring these positions depends on candidates with well-rounded academic backgrounds in addition to numerous technical certifications and work-related experiences. This certificate aims to fulfill the latter requirements.


Contact: Anya Hanson, or 401.874.6205

Learn more about URI’s Diving Research and Safety Program