Graduate School of Oceanography

URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography is one of the world’s premier academic institutions of oceanography and ocean exploration. GSO’s research, education, and outreach activities advance our knowledge of the world’s ocean.

Undergraduate Opportunities

GSO researchers provide opportunities for URI undergraduates participate in research cruises aboard R/V Endeavor. (photo credit: Madison Francoeur)
GSO researchers provide opportunities for URI undergraduates to participate in research cruises aboard R/V Endeavor. (photo credit: Madison Francoeur).

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.

Undergraduate Oceanography Majors

In association with the Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO), other colleges within URI offer two programs that lead to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree:

  • geology and geological oceanography (with the College of Environment & Life Sciences)
  • physics and physical oceanography (with the College of Arts & Sciences)

Apply online for these undergraduate degree programs. Also explore the 5th-Year Master of Oceanography Program designed for URI students who want to enter GSO’s MO program while still an undergraduate and complete the MO degree in the year following completion of the B.S.

Minor in Oceanography

The 18-credit minor in oceanography is available to students interested in scientific understanding of the ocean, including its role in controlling the environment in which we live, its usefulness as a resource, and the importance of marine area protection and sustainability. This minor is open to all students regardless of their major. Required Courses Worksheet).

Undergraduate Oceanography Courses for Non-Science Majors

GSO offers the following oceanography courses:

  • OCG110 The Ocean Planet
  • OCG123 Oceans, Atmosphere & Global Change
  • OCG 131 Volcanoes & the Environment
  • OCG 200 Extreme Weather

To find our more about these and other courses, go to the online URI Course Catalog.

Undergraduate Oceanography Courses for Science and Engineering Majors

GSO offers the following oceanography courses:

  • OCG 420 Deep-Sea Biology
  • OCG 401 General Oceanography
  • OCG 451 Oceanographic Sciences
  • OCG 480 Introduction to Marine Pollution

Undergraduate students can receive research experience credit at the Graduate School of Oceanography through OCG 491 and OCG 493/4.

To find our more about these and other courses, go to the online URI Course Catalog.

Related Degree Programs in Marine Biology and Ocean Engineering

The Department of Biological Sciences, in the College of Environment of Life Sciences, offers a B.S. degree in marine biology. The curriculum is designed for students who plan to pursue a professional career in marine biology.

The Department of Ocean Engineering, in the College of Engineering, provides a challenging and diverse intellectual environment offering academic programs leading to B.S. degrees in ocean engineering. The undergraduate program is one of a limited number of ABET-accredited programs in the country. As a student in URI’s ocean engineering program, you’ll learn from faculty who are internationally recognized for their contributions in research and education.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Oceanography (SURFO) is a 10-week program designed primarily for science, math and engineering students who will have just completed their junior year of undergraduate coursework.

Job Opportunities at the Bay Campus

Undergraduates interested in employment, intern, volunteer opportunities, as well as for-credit internships to assist with a wide variety of research, education, outreach, development, engagement, and administrative projects and activities based at the URI Narragansett Bay Campus should submit an “Expression of Interest Form” and résumé. Students of all majors are welcome — marine biology, natural sciences, engineering, marine affairs, environmental economics, journalism/communications, film studies/digital art, computer science, business, etc.

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