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Master of Science in Oceanography

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  • Course description
    The Department of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii offers Master's degree in the field of Oceanography. Students in the Department specialize in one of three sub-disciplines: biological , marine geology and geochemistry , or physical oceanography. Both the M.S. and Ph.D programs are academically challenging and are designed to prepare students for careers in academia, industry, and government. M.S. and Ph.D programs require independent research as well as basic and specialized courses. Information about these programs is provided in the Graduate Student Handbook (PDF); important aspects of the programs relevant to prospective students are summarized below:
    • Prospective applicants are highly encouraged to find a faculty member who shares their research interests and is willing to sponsor the student. Such sponsorship includes willingness to serve as the student's major advisor and provide financial support for the student. Student's chances of successful admission are greatly increased with a faculty sponsor.
    • Applicants must have a record of rigorous university-level coursework in science or engineering, including undergraduate studies in biology, physics, chemistry, geology, mathematics, microbiology, zoology, or related fields.
    • All applicants must have completed college-level mathematics and calculus courses that include linear algebra, ordinary differential equations, and vector calculus. Applicants must also have completed at least one year each of college-level physics and chemistry.
    • GRE scores (general test only) are necessary for admission to the Department. TOEFL scores are required of foreign applicants for whom English is not their primary language.
    • Upon admission to the program, students take interdisciplinary core courses, in addition to courses required by the subdisciplines. Students must also demonstrate competence in computer programming, and have at least 30 days of field-work experience.
    • Degree requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are typically completed within 2 to 3 years and 4 to 6 years of admission, respectively.
    • Upon admission to the Department, students are mentored by a primary thesis advisor, with additional guidance provided through appointment of an Advisory Committee and advisement by the student's Thesis Committee.
    • Students may advance to M.S. candidacy upon successful completion of required core courses. Master's students must also write and publicly defend a thesis. With approval of an Advisory Committee, students may petition for direct advancement to Ph.D. candidacy.

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