Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Science
The Department of Marine Science offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Science with specialization in a wide range of marine science fields, including biological, geological and physical oceanography, marine chemistry, and hydrographic science. The Ph.D. program emphasizes excellence in research. Qualified students holding either a bachelor's or master's degree in a relevant field of science, mathematics, or computer science are encouraged to apply for admission to the Ph.D. program.
Students must meet the general requirements set forth in the Graduate Bulletin of The University of Southern Mississippi. The Ph.D. in marine science requires eighty-four (84) graduate hours beyond the bachelor's degree or fifty-four (54) graduate hours beyond the master's degree.
In addition to the general admission and academic requirements for all graduate programs as set forth in this Bulletin, regular admission to the Ph.D. program in marine science requires successful completion of the Graduate Record Examination (all sections) and a high grade point average for the last two years of undergraduate study as well as a 3.50 GPA on previous graduate study. Successful applicants have highly competitive scores and have a grade point average of 3.0 or above for undergraduate work and 3.5 on previous graduate study. Also required are three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for graduate study.
A letter of intent should also be addressed to the department chair expressing personal academic and research goals. A minimum score of 560 is required on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for applicants whose native language is not English. For students wishing to be considered for graduate assistantships for the academic year beginning in the fall semester, application materials should be received by the department no later than March 1.
Plan of Study. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study Form to the Graduate School by the end of the second semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study Forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php - click on the "Plans of Study" link.
Research and Scholarly Integrity Education
All faculty holding Regular or Associate graduate faculty status, must complete CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments. All graduate students must complete the CITI training modules required by the Graduate School and their departments the first semester they are enrolled in graduate school. The RSIE policy and training information are found on the Graduate School web page –www.usm.edu/graduate-school. Contact the Dean of the Graduate School if you have any questions regarding the policy of training information.
- The student must complete all core courses with a grade of B or better.
- The student can accumulate no more than two Cs.
- The student is required to pass an oral or written qualifying examination or both.
- Research tool(s) requirement for marine science doctoral students is tailored to the specific tools and skills needed by the student for his/her dissertation research or future career. Contact the department for specific requirements.
- Selection and approval of a suitable research problem.
- The student is required to pass an oral or written comprehensive examination to determine the student's comprehension of course material and the student's ability to pursue the proposed research.
- Completion and successful defense of a scholarly dissertation based on the student's original research. (12 hours of 898 are required)
- A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation.
- Residency. Students must meet the residency requirements specified in the Bulletin.
- In addition to the degree program requirements described in this Bulletin, all students in the Ph.D. degree program must accumulate at least ten (10) days of appropriate field experience in order to successfully complete the degree program. Contact the department chair for information on appropriate types of field experience.
- Continuous enrollment - Students must meet the requirement specified in the front section of this Bulletin.
- All other timeline requirements can be obtained through the chair of Marine Science.