Master of Science
Main Campus - Melbourne

Master of Science in Oceanography–Biological Oceanography

The master of science degree can be earned in one of five options: biological, chemical, geological or physical oceanography, or coastal zone management. The successful student is well prepared for a challenging professional career or for continuing with graduate studies.

Admission Requirements

General admission requirements and the process for applying are presented in the Academic Overview section of the university catalog.

Students may be admitted during any semester, but for optimal scheduling, the fall term is recommended. Students with deficiencies in their undergraduate preparation (up to 12 credit hours) may take deficiencies and courses for graduate credit concurrently. GRE General Test scores and a statement of objectives are required and should be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Although not required for admission, an on-campus interview is highly recommended.

The applicant should have an undergraduate major in one of the physical or life sciences with a background that includes computer science, mathematics through calculus and at least one year each of college biology, chemistry and physics. The biological background should include invertebrate zoology.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Oceanography – Biological Oceanography is conferred on students who have successfully completed a minimum of 30 credit hours (including thesis) of required and elective coursework. The nonthesis track requires a minimum of 33 credit hours and a final program examination.


To earn the master of science degree, the student must complete the following courses or their equivalents. Equivalent coursework can be substituted for required courses as recommended by the student's advisor and program chair. Representative electives for each option are available from advisers. At least six credit hours of thesis or internship is required, and an additional three credit hours can be granted in place of the three credit hours of elective, subject to approval by the program chair. Thesis or internship registration must be continuous from the initial registration until graduation.

OCN 5101 Principles of Biological Oceanography 3
OCN 5210 Marine and Environmental Chemistry 3
OCN 5301 Principles of Geological Oceanography 3
OCN 5401 Principles of Physical Oceanography 3
OCN 5990 Oceanography Seminar (each semester) 0
   Elective 3
   Option Requirements 15


Option Courses (15 credit hours) CREDITS
OCN 5709 Numerical Analysis of Biological Data 3
Two of the following 6
OCN 5102 Marine Phytoplankton
OCN 5103 Marine Zooplankton
OCN 5104 Marine Benthos
   Thesis 6