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Monterey Peninsula College
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Marine Science

College or University: University of San Diego

Type of degree: M.S.

Brief overview of program: USD’s Department of Marine Science and Environmental Studies offers graduate work leading to the degree of Master of Science in Marine Science. This degree is based largely on research and is intended to provide graduate students with an opportunity to design experiments or observations that test hypotheses; to contribute new information to a knowledge base; and to learn to write in a way that facilitates scientific exchange. The program, which combines coursework and research, culminates in a written thesis. The program utilizes not only the excellent facilities at the University of San Diego’s Shiley Center for Science and Technology, but those of some other nearby institutions, such as the Southwest Fisheries Science Center (National Marine Fisheries, NOAA), the Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, and the Leon R. Hubbard Hatchery. Thesis committees may be headed by faculty listed on this page, as well as other scientists on and off campus. Committee members are drawn from the Marine Science faculty at USD, other science departments at USD, and senior research scientists at Southwest Fisheries Science Center and Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute. Students are encouraged to have one outside member on their thesis committee in order to take advantage of San Diego’s rich community of ocean specialists. USD faculty currently are involved in research in marine geochemistry, climatology, paleoclimatology, hydrology, oceanography, marine biology, locomotion and fluid dynamics, physiology, ecology and population genetics. Affiliated science faculty work in the areas of bioacoustics, aquaculture, molecular genetics, ecology and physiology. Although there are opportunities for graduate students who are interested in biology to work with a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate animals, as well as a more limited number of plants, applicants should think carefully about the functional areas of biology they wish to work in. Whether in the life sciences or physical sciences, local research opportunities abound: from the coasts and estuaries of San Diego County to offshore and island environments. The deserts of southern California, which include inland water bodies and former ocean basins, offer additional research possibilities. In some instances, research may focus on more distant areas. More information about faculty interests, graduate student thesis titles, and facilities is available through our Web site. The Master of Science in Marine Science degree can serve as a terminal graduate degree prior to entry into the work force, an enhancement of skills for an existing job in a technical area or in education, or a step toward a Ph.D..

Website: Click here for program website

Program Point of Contact: Ronald S. Kaufmann



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This project is supported, in part, by the NationalScience Foundation.  Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation .