Jun 04, 2020  
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin

Coastal Sciences (Aquaculture) PhD


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Overview


The School of Ocean Science and Engineering offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Coastal Sciences with specialization in a wide range of research fields including benthic ecology, biological modeling, coastal ecology, conservation genetics, fish ecology, fisheries, landscape ecology, marine aquaculture, marine microbiology, marine toxicology, and microbial ecology. Graduate students receive focused academic and hands-on training in a variety of marine-based fields. Students can declare one of four emphasis areas: Aquaculture, Aquatic Health Sciences, Coastal Ecology and Ecosystem Processes, or Fisheries and Fisheries Oceanography.    

The purpose of the Doctor of Philosophy in Coastal Sciences is to prepare students for nationally recognized postdoctoral programs or careers with academic institutions, industry, and government agencies at the state and federal level.  

Admission Requirements


In addition to meeting the Admission Requirements and Procedures , the applicant to the Doctor of Philosophy program must submit:

  1. Official transcript(s) from undergraduate and graduate institutions. Regular admission to the Ph.D. degree program requires a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 on all graduate coursework (if starting with a master's degree) or all undergraduate coursework (if starting with a bachelor's degree).
  2. Official results of the general section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  3. Three letters of recommendation from people qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for graduate study. 
  4. A current curriculum vitae (CV).
  5. A statement of purpose stating interests and career goals. The letter of intent is used as a sample of the applicant's writing and communication skills, and provides information concerning the compatibility of the applicant's interests with departmental research interests. Applicants should consult the Coastal Sciences faculty directory and contact potential faculty mentors prior to submitting an application. Applicants should list potential faculty mentors in their statement.

Program Requirements and Academic Policies


The following list describes the suggested timeline for major degree requirements:

  • Complete training modules for the Integrity Assurance Program during the first semester of enrollment. Students must complete the following CITI modules: (1) Common Course for USM Graduate Students and (2) Animal Subjects Research Course. 
  • Form a graduate advisory committee by the end of the second semester.
  • Pass a qualifying exam by the end of the third semester. 
  • Submit a research prospectus approved by the graduate advisory committee by the end of the fourth semester. This written document must be presented to the graduate advisory committee at least two weeks prior to the student making an oral presentation before a public audience on the prospectus.
  • Pass oral and written comprehensive examinations by the end of the third year in the program.
  • Pass a dissertation defense by the end of the fourth year in the program. At least two weeks prior to the public defense, the student will present an acceptable copy of the dissertation to all members of the graduate advisory committee.

Students should consult the COA Graduate Student Handbook for other details on the program. 

See General Degree Requirements  and General Academic Information  for other requirements and expectations. 

Course Requirements (54 or 84 hours)


Students entering the Ph.D. program with a M.S. degree are required to complete 54 hours in the following program of study:

  • COA 791  - Research in Coastal Sciences (16 hours)
  • COA 898  - Dissertation (12 hours)
  • Electives (11 hours)
  • Research Tools (15 hours)
  • For the Electives and Research Tools, courses should meet the following requirements:
    • Nine (9) credit hours taken from the following course options:
      • COA 601  - Coastal Processes I (3 hours)
      • COA 602  - Coastal Processes II (3 hours)
      • COA 603  - Professional Skills in Coastal Sciences (3 hours)
      • COA 606  - Biometry for the Coastal Sciences (3 hours)
    • Twelve (12) credit hours taken from the following course options:
      • COA 608  - Water Quality (3 hours)
      • COA 643  - Marine Aquaculture: Breeding and Genetics (3 hours)
      • COA 790  - Special Topics in Aquatic Animal Health (3 hours)
      • COA 790  - Special Topics in Aquatic Physiology (3 hours)
      • COA 790  - Special Topics in Marine Aquaculture (3 hours)
    • COA 791, 797, and 898 do not count as electives or research tools. 

 

Students entering the Ph.D. program with a B.S. degree are required to complete 84 hours in the following program of study:

  • COA 791  - Research in Coastal Sciences (28 hours)
  • COA 898  - Dissertation (12 hours)
  • Electives (29 hours)
  • Research Tools (15 hours)
  • For the Electives and Research Tools, courses should meet the following requirements:
    • Required Courses:
      • COA 601  - Coastal Processes I (3 hours)
      • COA 602  - Coastal Processes II (3 hours)
      • COA 603  - Professional Skills in Coastal Sciences (3 hours)
      • COA 606  - Biometry for the Coastal Sciences (3 hours)
    • Twelve (12) credit hours taken from the following course options:
      • COA 608  - Water Quality (3 hours)
      • COA 643  - Marine Aquaculture: Breeding and Genetics (3 hours) 
      • COA 790  - Special Topics in Aquatic Animal Health (3 hours)
      • COA 790  - Special Topics in Aquatic Physiology (3 hours)
      • COA 790  - Special Topics in Marine Aquaculture (3 hours)
    • COA 791, 797 and 898 do not count as electives or research tools. 

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