Oceanography, Ph.D.

Oceanography, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. In Oceanography

Oceanography PhD

NASA scientists, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and high-ranking military officers have chosen Florida Tech for their education. 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.
  • 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 doctoral program in oceanography extreme flexibility to tailor their degrees to their particular interests and career goals.


World-Class Faculty That Mentors Students

Doctoral students in cceanography 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.  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.

High-Tech Facilities

A doctoral 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

Florida Tech also attracts students from around the world. The university’s location on Florida’s 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 Department of Environmental Protection, and NASA have all hired graduates from Florida Tech.