Oceanography, Ph.D.

Oceanography, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. in Oceanography

Oceanography PhDNASA scientists, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and highly decorated military generals have chosen Florida Tech for their education. Graduate students looking at oceanography doctoral programs should also consider everything that Florida Tech has to offer, including many distinguished accolades for its excellence in science and engineering education.


The Ph.D. in oceanography program at Florida Tech provides students five areas of specialization:

  • Biological Oceanography – an emphasis on biological aspects including phytoplankton, zooplankton and coral reef technology. 
  • Chemical Oceanography – study of pollutants to help reverse manmade damage to oceans, as well as marine and environmental chemistry such as biomediation and elements integral for biological processes. 
  • Coastal Zone Management – research on protection and management of shorelines through local and global cause and effect relationships of human activities in the development and use of environmental resources in the coastal zone. 
  • Geological Oceanography – discovery of unknown topography of the deepest depths of the ocean through hands-on research on erosion control and coastal margins, marine particle composition and sea flour acoustics. 
  • Physical Oceanography – use of advanced mathematics and engineering for quantitative analysis in research topics such as salinity, heat storage and density.

World-Class Faculty That Mentors Students

Ph.D. in oceanography students enjoy a collaborative learning experience at Florida Tech, where professors mentor them in a tight-knit research-based environment. Students develop expertise across a variety of disciplines, making them more attractive to employers. Rigorous courses, excellent laboratories and valuable field experiences combine to create subject matter experts.

Research Opportunities

When doctoral students choose Florida Tech for a Ph.D. in oceanography over other programs, vast research opportunities are the reason why. Nurturing research projects in their chosen field, students are given many resources (laboratories, internships, collaborative research experiences) to expand their understanding of oceanography issues. Florida Tech offers a high quality of challenging curriculum and research experiences that students might expect to find at much larger universities in a smaller, more intimate environment.

High Tech Facilities

In terms of resources, Florida Tech provides a unique array of specialized facilities that other universities might not offer to Ph.D. in oceanography students.

  • The university's state-of-the-art facilities in the F. W. Olin Physical Sciences Center (and Instrumentation Center) and the F.W. Olin Life Sciences Building include cutting-edge laboratories and instrumentation. 
  • The Ralph S. Evinrude Marine Operations Center and the oceanfront Vero Beach Marine Laboratory (VBML) works on advancing marine research, education and outreach. VBML serves as a beachfront field station for the university in support of research and marine sciences teaching.

Superb Location for Oceanography Majors

While some students earning a Ph.D. in oceanography 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 in close proximity to rich marine environments such as the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River Lagoon – the most diverse estuary in North America. Miles of Florida coastline also provides students seeking a Ph.D. in oceanography 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 offers a flexible environment for working professionals to attain a Ph.D. in oceanography. According to the United States Labor Bureau, oceanography careers (as part of Geoscientists) are projected to grow by 16 percent through 2020.

Jobs will involve such expertise in the study and analysis of ocean currents, water temperature changes, salinity, and ecosystem changes. A Ph.D. in oceanography enhances salary potential and specifically prepares graduates for fulfilling careers in academia or industry.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Department of Environmental Regulation and NASA have all hired graduates from Florida Tech.