Oceanography, M.S.

Oceanography, M.S.

Get A Master's In Oceanography

Oceanography MS

Oceanography is a broad, multidisciplinary science that integrates the expertise and skills of ocean scientists with that of engineers. Florida Tech’s master’s in oceanography is a research-centric program that focuses on the study of:

  • Ocean currents and waves
  • Coastal processes
  • Planktonic, nektonic, and   benthic ecology
  • Marine meteorology
  • Hydro-acoustic applications
  • Trace-metal pollution

Whether students want to develop a new way of restoring wetlands and shorelines, design solutions for managing the effects of pollution, or solve the mystery of Red Tides, a master’s in oceanography from Florida Tech provides training in some of the most diverse marine environments in the world. This master's-degree program is available in both thesis-based and non-thesis options.


Studying for a master’s 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.
  • Coastal Zone Management—Protecting and managing shorelines through research on local and global cause-and-effect relationships of human activities in the development and use of environmental resources in the coastal zone.
  • 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.
  • Physical Oceanography—Using advanced mathematics, remote sensing, and engineering for quantitative analysis in research topics such as sea level, waves, currents, salinity, heat storage, and density.

Florida Tech's 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 master’s program in oceanography extreme flexibility to tailor their degrees to their particular interests and career goals.

Why Pursue A Master's In Oceanography At Florida Tech?

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Get the facts about graduate studies at Florida Tech

You have two graduate study opportunities:

  1. On Campus
  2. Download the Grad Guide!

  3. At an Education Center near you
  4. Get the Education Center Brochure

You have three graduate study opportunities:

  1. On Campus
  2. Download the Grad Guide!

  3. At an Education Center near you
  4. Get the Education Center Brochure

  5. 100% Online
  6. Learn more about Florida Tech Online

You have two graduate study opportunities:

  1. On Campus
  2. Download the Grad Guide!

  3. 100% Online
  4. Learn more about Florida Tech Online

You have two graduate study opportunities:

  1. At an Education Center near you
  2. Get the Education Center Brochure

  3. 100% Online
  4. Learn more about Florida Tech Online


World-Class Faculty—and World-Class Mentors

When looking at oceanography programs, consider that Florida Tech offers a learning experience where graduates develop expertise across a variety of disciplines, making them more attractive to potential employers. Other oceanography graduate programs may not offer small class sizes where professors mentor students, and students undertake collaborative research projects with faculty and fellow students. Rigorous courses, excellent laboratories, and valuable field experiences combine to make oceanography a popular degree program. NASA scientists, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and high-ranking military officers have chosen Florida Tech for their education.

High-Tech Facilities

A graduate program in oceanography requires state-of-the-art facilities, and Florida Tech delivers. Some of those facilities are housed in the F. W. 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. Evinrude Marine Operations Center and its fleet of small boats gives students and faculty direct access to the Indian River Lagoon. 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.

Superb Location for Oceanography Majors

While many graduate students live and work near campus, Florida Tech also attracts students from around the world. The university’s location on Florida’s Space Coast puts it near rich marine environments such as the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon. The lagoon is the most diverse estuary in North America, 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. Additionally, Florida Tech is in the middle of one of the largest high-tech workforces in the United States.

What Oceanography Research Or Other Opportunities Can I Expect?

Hands-on experience such as oceanography internships and research opportunities provides graduate students with a chance to work on issues in the field that prepare them for the workplace. Enhancing classroom learning, these opportunities present the latest body of knowledge in the industry, offering a chance for students to work in team environments and alongside faculty mentors or industry professionals to conduct meaningful exploration that contributes to their expertise.

Oceanography internships cover a diverse realm of topics related to their chosen area of specialization that can include:

  • Ocean currents and waves 
  • Coastal processes 
  • Planktonic, nektonic and benthic organisms 
  • Marine meteorology 
  • Hydro acoustic applications 
  • Trace-metal pollution identification and distribution
  • Other oceanography internships include teaching assistantships and fellowships, which are awarded by the department each year.


Research is an important part of graduate programs at Florida Tech. Emphasis is placed on a strong scientific background so that students are prepared for careers in academics, research, private industry, or government. Faculty-led and personal research addresses current oceanography topics and concerns with a desire for students to make a contribution to the field.

With pollution, climate change, and overfishing affecting hundreds of millions of people across the world, understanding the changing ocean environment is critical to discovering solutions. Graduate student research is focused on deep-sea, coastal and estuarine environmental factors affected by pollution, climate change and other processes. Students conduct their research toward the master's in oceanography with the expectation of publishing their results in peer-reviewed journals.

How Will A Master's Degree Benefit My Oceanography Career?

From marine life and ecosystems, ocean circulation, plate tectonics, geology of the sea floor, and the chemical and physical properties of the ocean, graduates with a master’s in oceanography from Florida Tech find a wide range of job opportunities. Oceanography jobs are organized among five areas of concentration, but there is often crossover between these disciplines. Florida Tech gives you the interdisciplinary training you need to be successful.

Career Outlook

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things.

According to the 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.

Food and fishing industries hire oceanographers to understand marine life for sustainable harvest. Private firms and government agencies employ oceanographers to study the chemical composition of seawater and how it impacts the atmosphere, weather, and climate. In these and other jobs, oceanographers are working on answers to questions and problems that face our oceans.

Career Options

Oceanography careers include such positions as:

  • Geoscientist
  • Agricultural and food scientist
  • Oceanographic data analyst
  • Physical oceanographer
  • Fish ecologist
  • Director of environmental quality
  • Field technologist
  • Environmental scientist
  • Marine scientist
  • Research scientist
  • Marine support officer
  • Military positions—supporting missions in the armed services
  • College professor

Where Do Oceanographers Work?

Oceanography graduates are employed all over the world, in a variety of exciting positions including research scientists and coastal and oceanographic engineers for government agencies and private companies. Organizations that have provided internships and employment to Florida Tech students include:

  • US Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Environmental consulting firms
  • NASA

Doctoral Program

Another reason to choose Florida Tech over other oceanography graduate programs is access to a doctoral program. Students considering continuing their research find an easy transition into Florida Tech’s doctoral program in oceanography, where they can remain focused on their area of specialization and gain expert oceanography credentials for their future career. A doctorate in oceanography enhances salary potential and prepares graduates for fulfilling careers in academics or industry.

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