The Department of Marine Sciences offers graduate studies in the field of oceanography, leading to the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science. The Master’s degree is offered as a research-oriented Plan A (thesis) program, and as a course-based Plan B program. The Plan B program includes an accelerated (4+1) program for UConn undergraduates majoring in Marine Sciences. Entry into the Ph.D. program usually requires a Master’s degree, but particularly well-prepared students may enter directly from a Bachelor of Science program.
The curriculum for the Plan B master’s degree includes coursework in biological, chemical, physical and geological oceanography and an examination in the final year. Potential employers include non-governmental organizations, state and federal agencies, secondary and postsecondary educational institutions, and environmental consulting firms. This program may also provide preparation for more advanced graduate studies, although students interested in research are encouraged to apply for the Plan A (thesis-based) M.S.
Master of Science Plan A
Requires 21 credits of advanced coursework, including at least 12 credits of graduate MARN coursework, nine GRAD 5950 credits, and completion of a research project, the results of which are reported in a thesis.
Masters of Science Plan B
Requires 30 credits of advanced coursework, including at least 12 credits of graduate MARN coursework, and a final examination. No research project is required.
Although students decide on their coursework in consultation with their major advisor based on their academic background and research goals, the coursework is typically built around a two-tiered structure: four courses MARN 5010, 5030. 5050, and 5065, designed to provide a core understanding of the basic sub-disciplines of the field of oceanography, followed by a series of more specialized courses offered to meet the individual needs of the student.
Accelerated (4+1) Master of Science Plan B
Students pursuing a UConn undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Sciences can apply to use up to 12 credits of graduate coursework taken as an undergraduate towards both their B.S. and their M.S. For students in the accelerated program, the Master of Science Plan B degree can be earned in a single year after finishing the B.S.
Required Core Courses: All students in the accelerated program must take four core courses: MARN 5010, 5030. 5050, and 5065. To finish the combined program in five years, MARN 5010 and 5050 should be taken in Year Four as an undergraduate student and MARN 5030 and 5065 should be taken in Year Five as a graduate student.
Students are also required to take at least six credits from the following list: MARN 5012, 5015, 5017, 5032, 5812, 5505, 5018, 5066, 5052, 5210. Six of these credits should be taken in Year Four (as an undergraduate) and can be used for both the B.S. and the M.S. degrees. The remainder of the required 30 credits must be selected from MARN courses, based on the interest of the student and approval of the student’s major advisor. However, no more than six credits can be at the 3000-4000 level, no more than three credits of MARN 5893 and three credits of MARN 5899 are allowed, and no more than three credits of MARN 4893, 4895, 4896W, or 4898 are allowed.
Final Examination: The students in the accelerated program will be responsible for the material in the four core courses and must pass a final examination based on these courses.
Doctor of Philosophy
Requires 30 course credits plus 15 credits of GRAD 6950 or 6960 in addition to six related area credits. Doctoral students who have already earned a Master’s in the field of study or closely related field must earn 15 credits beyond the Master’s plus 15 credits of GRAD 6950 or 6960 in addition to six related area credits.
The programs are offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.