What will I learn?

The Center for Marine Science in conjunction with the Graduate School oversees an interdisciplinary program of study leading to the Master of Science degree in marine science. The educational objectives of this degree program are 1) to provide a broad interdisciplinary understanding of marine science to students having strong undergraduate training in mathematics and the sciences; and 2) to develop skills that will enable these students to utilize this knowledge to solve complex marine environmental problems. These problem-solving skills will provide the foundation for future contributions by the graduates in marine-related industries, environmental management, teaching, research, and other marine-oriented careers. Students will also be prepared to undertake additional graduate study.

Degree Requirements (30 total credit hours)

  • The Master of Science in marine science will require a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate study. These credits may come from the student’s major area of study as well as graduate courses offered by other departments as approved by the student’s advisory committee. The student’s advisory committee shall include a minimum of three faculty members, one of whom must be from a discipline outside of the student’s main discipline.
  • The courses most appropriate for each student will be determined by the student’s advisory committee, with the expectation that a student will usually take no more than 12 credit hours from those courses cross-listed as 400/500.
  • Transfer work must be equivalent to a “B” or better, and courses must be acceptable to the student’s advisory committee. A minimum of 24 credit hours of graduate study must be completed in residence.
  • The student must successfully complete a written comprehensive examination based on his/her core courses, and an oral exam on his/her research project. Students must also submit a prospectus that includes a course plan, literature review and research proposal which is acceptable to the student’s advisory committee.
  • Each student must demonstrate the ability to conduct field sampling, either through work conducted as part of the thesis or by taking a field-based course such as GEO 503, MSC 526, CHM 576/PHY 576, or PHY 577.
  • Each student must complete a thesis, based on original research, acceptable to the student’s advisory committee and to the Graduate School. Each student will present a public seminar on his or her research project. The seminar will be followed by an oral defense of the thesis, conducted by the student’s advisory committee.
  • The program shall be completed within five years of the date of first registration for graduate study.

Which department am I in?

Center for Marine Science

Study options

Full Time (30 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$17,834.00 per year
Application deadline

Expected June, November 2019

Start date

21 August 2019


Center for Marine Science

601 South College Road,


North Carolina,

28403, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Students should have a minimum score of 550 on paper based TOEFL.

For international students

Students must have a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in a natural science or mathematics from a regionally accredited college or university in this country or its equivalent in a foreign institution based on a four year program is required for admission, along with a “B” average or better in the student’s major.

English language requirements: TOEFL - Minimum score of 550 (paper test), or a minimum score of 79 on the Internet-based test (TOEFL IBT). IELTS minimum score of 6.5 or 7.0 to be eligible for a teaching assistantship, but this score does not guarantee acceptance. A minimum score of 45 on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) or a minimum of 25 on the speaking section of the TOEFL IBT or an examination of comparable score on an equivalent test is required to be eligible for an instructional assignment.

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