Jun 01, 2023  
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin 
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Coastal Sciences (Aquatic Health Sciences) MS

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The School of Ocean Science and Engineering offers a Master of Science 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 Master of Science in Coastal Sciences is to prepare students for nationally recognized doctoral 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 master’s program applicant must submit:

  1. Official undergraduate transcript(s). Regular admission to the M.S. degree program requires a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on all undergraduate coursework.
  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 first semester.
  • Submit a research prospectus approved by the graduate advisory committee by the end of the second 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 an oral or written comprehensive examination or both by the end of the third semester.
  • Pass a thesis defense by the end of the fourth semester. At least two weeks prior to the public defense, the student will present an acceptable copy of the thesis 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. 

Electives (6 hours): Selected from a combination of the following courses:

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