Dec 09, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Coastal Sciences PhD


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 and social science and policy. Graduate students receive focused academic and hands-on training in a variety of marine and coastal fields.  

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 local, 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 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)
  • Research Tools – determined by major professor and graduate advisory committee (15 hours)
  • Electives  – determined by major professor and graduate advisory committee (11 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)
  • Research Tools  – determined by major professor and graduate advisory committee (15 hours)
  • Electives  – determined by major professor and graduate advisory committee (29 hours)
    • COA 791, 797, and 898 do not count as electives or research tools.