Doctoral / PHD Programs in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography

9 universities offer graduate PHD program in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography

University of California-San Diego logo
Ranked as:  #34 in Best National University
Tuition:  $28,631 per year
Total Cost:  $57,262 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  California
Acceptance:  36.61%

At least 36 units make up the M.S. program, which concludes with a master's thesis. 24 coursework units and 12 independent research units make up the total 36 units. Students can anticipate funding themselves for the duration of their program and should expect to finish the program in one and a half to two years. Prior to completing their application, candidates for the M.S. degree should decide on potential study areas and advisors. 

Biological oceanography research is conducted on spatial and temporal scales ranging from short-term interactions between individual organisms (mm., sec.) to interdecadal variation in widely dispersed populations. The techniques used are diverse, and even within one space/time domain can include field observations, experimentation in the laboratory, and mathematical modeling. Research topics include primary and secondary productivity and nutrient regeneration, community ecology of benthic and pelagic organisms, food web structure and trophic ecology, population dynamics, habitat changes and disruptions, nonequilibrium ecosystems, microbial ecology and biogeochemical cycling, fishery biology and management, marine mammal ecology and communication, systematics and biogeography, population genetics and evolution, behavior as it affects distributions and food web interactions and climate change impacts including warming, ocean acidification and deoxygenation

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Biological Oceanography (BO) PHD and Masters Program

  • GRE Required:  No
  • Research Assistantships:  1594
  • Teaching Assistantships:  2777
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University of Wisconsin-Madison logo
Ranked as:  #38 in Best National University
Tuition:  $25,523 per year
Total Cost:  $51,046 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Wisconsin
Acceptance:  57.25%

The Freshwater and Marine Sciences (FMS) Graduate Program offers curricula leading to the master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees or a doctoral minor in freshwater and marine sciences. Interdisciplinary in nature, each individualized program of study provides graduate training in aquatic sciences and integrates related sciences.

UW–Madison is recognized worldwide as a leader in the field of limnology and aquatic ecology. The FMS Program began in 1962 as the oceanography and limnology program. The program combines research and teaching from several fields and departments to develop a greater understanding of aquatic systems—their origins, inhabitants, phenomena, and impact on human life.

The FMS Program emphasizes limnological studies and is based on the premise that limnology and marine sciences are integrated fields requiring a broad base in the fundamental disciplines. Students may specialize in limnology or in marine sciences, or they may focus on processes common to both environments.

All Ph.D. candidates are expected to obtain a broad background in aquatic sciences and depth in their research area. The background may include biology, chemistry, data science, geology, physics, or other related fields. The major, by nature of the program, includes advanced courses in several subdisciplines in freshwater and marine sciences. The minor may be used to obtain tools of research, focus in greater depth on a single discipline within freshwater and marine sciences, or open additional areas related to the field, such as the social sciences.

The Center for Limnology also maintains a year-round laboratory at Trout Lake. This facility is a well-equipped biological field station in the Northern Highlands lake district of Wisconsin. Several research vessels are available for research on the Great Lakes. Ships belonging to other institutions are used for oceanographic field research.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, .

Applicants to the program typically have at least one year of college-level biology, chemistry, physics, and calculus. In addition, applicants should highlight their substantive experiences and career goals in freshwater and marine sciences.

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Various types of financial-assistance programs are available to qualified students in the form of research assistantships, teaching assistantships, fellowships, and special grants. Decisions regarding are based on letters of recommendation, grades, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, and, for research assistantships, the matching of interests or experience of the applicant to the research program. For research assistantships, the applicant interests and experience must match the needs of the funding project. Students are encouraged to seek outside funding.

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Half of degree coursework (26 credits out of 51 total credits) must be completed graduate-level coursework courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university Course Guide.

Students must earn a B or above in all courses counting toward degree requirements.

Doctoral students are required to take a comprehensive preliminary exam by the end of their fifth semester of study in the Ph.D. program. A final oral exam of the doctoral dissertation is required. Deposit of the doctoral dissertation in the Graduate School is required.

The degree has a flexible curriculum. Students are required to develop a plan of courses with their advisor.

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

A Graduate Program Handbook containing all of the program policies and requirements is forthcoming from the program.

With program approval, students may be to count credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned ten years or prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

With program approval, 7 credits from a UW–Madison degree are allowed to count toward the degree. Coursework earned ten years or prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

With program approval, 15 credits taken as a UW–Madison Special Student are allowed toward minimum coursework requirements. Coursework earned ten years or prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

A semester GPA below 3.000 will result in the student being placed on academic probation. If a semester GPA of 3.000 is not attained during the subsequent semester of enrollment the student may be dismissed from the program or allowed to continue for one additional semester based on advisor appeal to the Graduate School.

A candidate for a doctoral degree who fails to take the final oral examination and deposit the dissertation within five years after passing the preliminary examination may be required to take another preliminary examination and to be admitted to candidacy a second time.

Graduate students in the FMS Program are typically supported through research assistantships, teaching assistantships, fellowships, and special grants.

Take advantage of the Graduate School professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career.

Articulate challenges, frontiers, and limits with respect to theory, knowledge or practice within relevant areas of freshwater and marine sciences.

Integrative BiologyCollege of Letters ScienceFreshwater and Marine Science, Ph.D.fms.wisc.edu.

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Freshwater Marine Science, Ph.D.

  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research Assistantships:  2733
  • Teaching Assistantships:  2355
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details
University of Miami logo
Ranked as:  #55 in Best National University
Tuition:  $40,220 per year
Total Cost:  $80,440 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Florida
Acceptance:  33.09%

The graduate program in Marine Biology and Ecology (MBE) focuses on a broad range of field, laboratory, and theoretical training in study fields such as coral reef studies, biological oceanography, marine biology, fisheries biology, and the biology and behavior of marine animals. 

The Department of Marine Biology and Ecology at the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science, provides a 30-credit MPS program with two distinct tracks: Marine Mammal Science (MMS) and Tropical Marine Ecosystem Management (TME).

Those enrolled in the MNS will sharpen their skills in marine mammal management, including associated ecosystems, population assessments, acoustics, and care.

On the other hand, those who pursue a degree in TME will hone both theoretical knowledges of tropical marine ecology as well as practical aspects to assist them when they begin their professional career. F

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M.P.S. in Marine Biology and Ecology

  • GRE Required:  No
  • Research Assistantships:  805
  • Teaching Assistantships:  425
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details
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99 universities offer the Master's program in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography.

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University of New Hampshire-Main Campus logo
Ranked as:  #137 in Best National University
Tuition:  $29,970 per year
Total Cost:  $59,940 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New Hampshire
Acceptance:  84.81%

Our marine biology Ph.D. program will help you advance your career as you seek to understand and protect marine and estuarine ecosystems and the organisms that inhabit them. Our graduates now lead agencies involved in managing valuable marine resources, teach marine biology in academic and public settings, own aquaculture companies, andwork in research.

Students can become certified research divers through our strong dive program. Finally, there are several state-of-the-art research resources on campus, including a DNA sequencing facility, an aquaculture laboratory, and various microscope and instrumentation centers.

Mikayla Cote, a student in the Biological Sciences program at COLSA.

Mikayla Cote examines the influence of marine microzooplankton grazing on the production consumption of transparent exopolymer particles (TEP) and marine aggregates in general.

A photo of Biological Sciences graduate student Grant Milne in diving gear out on NH Great Bay Estuary.

Grant Milne explores the use of passive acoustic monitoring and metabarcoding of seawater samples as methods of measuring soundscape properties and detecting marine taxa to identify indicators of the underwater acoustic environment in temperate coastal habitats.

A photo of Marine Biology Ph.D. student Kyrie Newby.

Effects of heatwaves on small-scale fisheries and marine ecosystems.

The Marine Biology (MB) option is intended for students interested in marine, coastal, and estuarine ecosystems, and the organisms that inhabit them, at all levels of inquiry. many combine the two. Students who have earned advanced degrees at UNH lead agencies involved in managing valuable marine resources, teach marine biology in academic and public settings, own aquaculture companies, or earn a living as researchers. In addition to on­-campus facilities, UNH owns the Coastal Marine Laboratory and the Jackson Estuarine Laboratory, and a range of research vessels. UNH has an excellent SCUBA diving program for students interested in becoming certified to dive as part of their research.

The student presents to the Guidance Committee a preliminary research proposal in which the soundness, originality, and feasibility of the planned research are clearly described. The Guidance Committee is responsible for approving the proposal, and also oversees the qualifying examination through which the student is admitted to doctoral candidacy. The Doctoral Dissertation Committee is established at this point. To earn the Ph.D. degree, students must complete an original dissertation project, present the results at a public seminar, pass an oral dissertation defense consisting of questions from members of the Dissertation Committee, and have the dissertation approved by the Dissertation Committee and accepted by the Graduate School.

Up to 8 credits of graduate credit from another institution may be transferred, provided the credits were not counted toward another degree, and the course grade was a B or higher.

All students in the Biological Sciences Graduate Program are required to take Introductory Graduate Seminar (BIOL 901) and fulfill all applicable competency requirements (these may vary by option). Those with teaching assistantships (TAs) must enroll in College Teaching (LSA 900) before or concurrent with their first teaching assignment.

Core Course. Introductory Graduate Seminar (BIOL 901).

Competency in experimental design and analysis. Two advanced courses in experimental design and analysis are offered, normally in alternate years. The first is Applied Biostatistics II (BIOL 811), and the second is Design, Analysis and Interpretation of Experiments (ANFS 9 ).

Recommendations often include coursework in professional writing and communication: Scientific Writing (BIOL 902) is taught fall semester, and open to students at any stage of the program. Scientific Communication (BIOL 950) is usually taught in spring. A course in Grant Writing (NR 905) is offered by the Natural Resources.

All students in the Biological Sciences Program are expected to present their research in public seminars (including the UNH Graduate Research Conference), and acquire teaching and or mentoring experience.

Students will demonstrate broad understanding of fundamental areas of biology, especially areas relevant to their research project.

Application fee: $65 Underrepresented U.S. minority applicants to this program may be eligible for an application fee waiver.

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work.

Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.

The GRE (general or topical) is NOT REQUIRED for admission by any of the programs in the Biological Sciences.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language.

However, you should never be afraid to reach out to a prospective mentor as graduate opportunities can open throughout the year.

Other general tips and advice for applying to graduate school: Take time to think why you want to graduate school and conduct research (and communicate this clearly when reaching out to prospective mentors).

Paragraph 1: Introduce yourself! State your name, educational status and history (including GPA and major and or degree. If you have graduated, include when you graduated and your current position.), and what semester and year you are aiming to start your graduate studies.

Paragraph 2: Discuss your relevant qualifications and experience that make you an ideal candidate for our graduate program. This may include specific skills you have, research experiences, internships, publications or presentations, and relevant coursework.

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Marine Biology (Ph.D.)

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logo
Ranked as:  #16 in Best Regional University in South Coast
Tuition:  $21,286 per year
Total Cost:  $42,572 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  North Carolina
Acceptance:  67.97%

Graduate Students, Marae Lindquist and Evangelyn Buckland, High Five During field work in a marsh.

The Biology and Marine Biology offers programs leading to a Master of Science degree in Biology and in Marine Biology, as well as a Ph.D. in Integrative, Comparative Marine Biology.

Biology Marine BiologyDobo Hall 1010601.

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Biology and Marine Biology

  • GRE Required:  Register to view the details
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logo
Ranked as:  -
Tuition:  $22,588 per year
Total Cost:  $45,176 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Florida
Acceptance:  70.37%

Students considering doctoral programs in oceanography doctoral programs should consider everything that Florida Tech has to offer.

Studying for a doctorate in oceanography at Florida Tech provides students options to specialize in these five areas:.

Biological Oceanography Training with an emphasis on biological aspects including phytoplankton, zooplankton, coral reefs, harmful algal blooms, invasive species, and estuarine restoration.

Chemical Oceanography Studying pollutants to help reverse human damage to oceans, as well as marine and environmental chemistry, including bioremediation and elements integral for biological processes.

Geological Oceanography Discovering the topography and hydrology of the ocean through hands-on research on erosion control and coastal margins, sedimentary composition, and seafloor acoustics.

Florida Tech reputation for excellence in science and engineering education is based on a combination of rigorous curriculum and real-world research experiences. Our multidisciplinary approach to education gives students in the doctoral program in oceanography extreme flexibility to tailor their degrees to their particular interests and career goals.

Students develop expertise across a variety of disciplines, making them attractive to employers. Rigorous courses, excellent laboratories, and valuable field experiences combine to create subject-matter experts. Florida Tech offers a high-quality, challenging curriculum and research experiences in a supportive environment. Students complete a doctoral dissertation with the expectation of publishing their results in scientific journals.

A doctoral program in oceanography requires state-of-the-art facilities, and Florida Tech delivers. Some of those facilities are housed in the F. Olin Physical Sciences Center and Instrumentation Center, and the F.W. Olin Life Sciences Building. The Center for High Resolution Microscopy and Imaging is housed in Life Sciences. An aquarium facility in the L3Harris Center provides opportunities for small-scale experimentation under environmentally controlled conditions. The Ralph S. The Center for Remote Sensing encourages excellence in the development and application of remote-sensing science and technology.

Such facilities work to advance marine research, education, and outreach, as well as integrating marine research with government and non-government institutions, foundations, and industries. These facilities provide easy access to field study sites for work on the biology of coastal organisms and the study of physical and geological processes of the coastal zones.

Florida Tech also attracts students from around the world. The university location on Florida Space Coast puts it near rich marine environments, including the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon. The lagoon is a diverse estuarine ecosystem, and miles of Florida coastline provides students with internships and potential employment with many local, state, and national agencies, marine environmental consulting firms, public aquaria, mariculture companies, and private marine research organizations. Florida Tech is in the middle of one of the largest high-tech workforces in the United States.

Florida Tech offers a flexible environment for working professionals to attain a PhD in oceanography. According to the US Labor Bureau, oceanography careers (as part of geoscientists) were projected to grow by 16% through 2020.

Jobs will continue to involve such expertise in the study and analysis of ocean currents, water temperature changes, salinity, and ecosystem changes. A PhD in oceanography enhances salary potential and prepares graduates for fulfilling careers in academics or industry. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Environmental Protection, and NASA have all hired graduates from Florida Tech.

Get the facts graduate studies at Florida Tech.

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Oceanography, Ph.D.

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logo
Ranked as:  -
Tuition:  $22,242 per year
Total Cost:  $44,484 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Florida
Acceptance:  76.24%

The Ph.D. in Marine Biology/Oceanography at Nova Southeastern University prepares graduates for future research on a chosen topic of importance in the ocean sciences. Students can specialize in marine biology or physical oceanography, based on their personal and professional aspirations. Students understand fundamental marine biological, chemical, geological, and physical processes at a level sufficient to interact and collaborate with experts in those sub-disciplines; and be able to apply this knowledge to research and resource management challenges.

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Ph.D. in Marine Biology/Oceanography

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logo
Ranked as:  -
Tuition:  $15,683 per year
Total Cost:  $31,366 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Texas
Acceptance:  90.13%

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi's Marine Biology program offers Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Marine Biology. The program is aimed for students who are interested in one or more subfields of marine biology and want to work in higher education, government, or private enterprise. This degree program brings together the strength of a diversified, internationally recognized faculty, as well as high scholarly productivity and extramural financing.

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Marine Biology, MS, PhD

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What kind of scholarships are available for Graduate Programs in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography?

We have 209 scholarships awarding up to $2,025,183 for Masters program in for Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography, targeting diverse candidates and not restricted to state or school-based programs.

Scholarship nameAmountCredibility
George and Lavinia Blick Research Fund$25,000High
STEM Teacher Graduate Scholarships$2,500High
PCI Women in STEM Scholarship$2,000High
ABC Humane Wildlife Women In STEM Academic Scholarship$1,000High
GMiS STEM Scholarships$500High

Find scholarships and financial aid for Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography graduate programs

$500 $20000

How can I compare the Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography Graduate Programs?

Compare the GRE score requirements, admission details, credit requirements and tuition for the Master's Program, from 99 universities offering Graduate PHD/Doctoral Programs in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography. Compare Graduate PHD/Doctoral Programs in Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography

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