Challenging Educational Opportunities

Academic Programs

For Graduate Students

Watkins Lab
Watkins Lab. Photo Alex DeCiccio.

GSO offers graduate instruction leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Master of Science (MS), and a non-thesis Master of Oceanography (MO) degrees in oceanography. Students can focus on specific areas of oceanography– biological, chemical, geological, and physical–as well as in interdisciplinary and related areas such as atmospheric chemistry. In addition, dual degree programs include the Blue MBA with the College of Business Administration, leading to a Master of Business Administration plus a Master of Oceanography; and with the College of the Environment and Life Sciences, a Master of Marine Affairs (MMA) plus a PhD in Oceanography.


For Undergraduates

Professor Steven Carey and a student check a feed from E/V Nautilus in GSO's Inner Space Center.
Professor Steven Carey and a student check a feed from E/V Nautilus in GSO’s Inner Space Center.

GSO isn’t just for graduate students. Our wide range of undergraduate course offerings covers everything from ocean exploration and volcanoes to marine pollution, astrobiology, and climate change. Undergraduates may choose a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Geology and Geological Oceanography in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences, and in Physics and Physical Oceanography in the College of Arts and Sciences. A minor in Oceanography is also available. Undergraduates can even stay at URI for a fifth year to earn a Master of Oceanography (MO) along with their bachelor’s degree.

Our world-class faculty and researchers often mentor undergraduates through laboratory- and ship-based independent study courses and serve as for-credit internship sponsors. In addition, many undergraduates find work opportunities each semester and summer in Narragansett Bay Campus laboratories and offices. Each year GSO scientists, coastal managers, or outreach professionals host undergraduate students as part of URI’s eight-month Coastal Fellows Program, tackling marine and environmental issues through a vertically integrated, multigenerational team approach. Undergraduates from other institutions may apply for a 10-week Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Oceanography (SURFO) affording them opportunities to directly participate in basic research.