New online master’s program will train next generation of leaders in ocean science and technology

February 25, 2021

GSO is launching a new online master’s program aimed at professionals seeking to enter or advance their careers within the burgeoning ocean economy.

Classes for the online Master of Oceanography program will begin May 11. The program, which includes classes taught in asynchronous seven-week sessions, allow students to earn their degree in as little as two years while working full-time, maximizing flexibility and convenience for career enhancement and professional growth. Prospective students are encouraged to apply through the April 6 deadline.

“It is a rare and exciting opportunity for students from anywhere on the globe to take classes with leaders in ocean science and technology,” said Art Spivack, URI professor of oceanography and the program’s director. “Students will work directly with world-renowned oceanographers, gaining in-depth and broad practical knowledge that will propel their careers.”

The online Master of Oceanography is designed for students who have a passion for applying science and technology to real-world oceanographic challenges. Students develop a foundational knowledge of all oceanographic disciplines, paired with advanced studies on a topic of the student’s choosing. The 30-credit program delivers practical experience and in-depth knowledge aimed at enhancing careers in maritime commerce, port management, the uniformed marine services, government agencies and environmental organizations.

“I’m so excited about this program and the potential for reaching a range of students and professionals who find access to higher education a challenge because they physically cannot be in class at a given time each week,” says Graduate School of Oceanography Dean Paula S. Bontempi. “GSO has tailored the learning to their lifestyles. What is also exciting is the evolution of the program to focus on the blue economy, which in Rhode Island is valued at an estimated $5 billion-plus annually, and trillions globally. The Master of Oceanography program provides a pathway for students and professionals around the world to gain greater understanding and expertise related to the rapidly growing sustainable ocean economy.”

Upon completion of the program, graduates are expected to: demonstrate a command of the fundamental principles of oceanography; understand the current state of oceanic challenges and technologies; have an ability to create and apply solutions linking science to policy and management practices; and have developed a proficiency in communication with the ability to discuss scientific and technical issues with diverse audiences.

The Master of Oceanography is offered through URI Online, which provides students and professionals access to a URI education anywhere, anytime across the globe. URI Online offers fully-online undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs in areas such as communications, health care management, cybersecurity, cannabis studies, data science and nursing.

For more information, contact Arthur Spivack at or visit