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.


Photo of students in a classroom by Alex DeCiccio.

Challenging Educational Opportunities Await

Photo of Watkins Lab, by Alex DeCiccio.
Photo of Watkins Lab, by Alex DeCiccio.

For Graduate Students

GSO offers graduate instruction leading to several degrees:

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.

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

For Undergraduates

The Graduate School of Oceanography 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.

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