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Prospective Graduate

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The Graduate Program in Marine Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides teaching and research in estuarine, coastal and oceanographic sciences, leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Marine Sciences. Master’s students typically enter the graduate program with a B.S. degree in a basic science or engineering (e.g., physics, chemistry, geology, biology, oceanography, marine sciences, meteorology, mathematics, computer science, environmental science, electrical or mechanical engineering). Each student entering the program who does not already have an appropriate M.S. degree is admitted as an M.S. student. Occasionally a student who holds a Master’s degree in a field of study that is somewhat remote from marine sciences will be admitted into the program as an M.S. student. Entering students that have earned a M.S. in Marine Sciences or a closely related field will be enrolled directly into the Ph.D. program. Read More...

Our students specialize in one of the following areas: marine biology/ecology, marine microbiology, marine chemistry, biogeochemistry, marine geology, and physical oceanography. Students whose advisor is located at IMS have the opportunity to move to Morehead City, NC, to work on their research after their first year on campus in Chapel Hill, NC.

On average 35% of entering MASC students move from Chapel Hill to Morehead City after 2 semesters of coursework to focus on research with their major advisor at IMS. Strong and on-going research collaborations between MASC and IMS faculty have further ensured that UNC Marine Sciences students are able to enjoy the advantages of a top tier research university campus and a first rate coastal research institute campus.

Our graduate students, many of whom are recipients of NSF, EPA-STAR, DOD, and other prestigious and highly competitive external fellowships, are integral members of research teams and generally go on to successful careers in environmental sciences. Despite our brief history as a curriculum/department, more than 30 of the graduate and undergraduate students and post-docs that have been part of our research program presently hold faculty positions at universities and institutions, including several who are distinguished professors, department chairs, and institute directors. In recent years we have invested even more heavily in recruiting to attract a diverse and high-quality student body.

We increasingly recruit and involve outstanding undergraduates in our research programs. Our involvement in undergraduate education has also dramatically increased. We carry our research activities into the classroom at the undergraduate as well as the graduate level through a multitude of introductory, advanced, and small enrollment seminar courses. We believe one of our great strengths is that we hold our graduate and undergraduate students to a very high standard and that we involve them as active members of research teams.

Important Deadlines

  • The Graduate School is now accepting applications for Fall 2020 enrollment in the Marine Sciences Graduate Program.
  • Dec 10 – Deadline for applications to be guaranteed consideration for Graduate School Fellowships.
  • End of Jan – First round of students that will be invited for an on-campus interview during the recruitment weekend will be notified.
  • Mar 4-7 – Recruitment weekend for prospective Marine Sciences graduate students.
  • Second week of March – First round of students accepted into the graduate program will be notified.
  • Apr 15 – Student deadline for accepting offers of admission and fellowships; support may be withdrawn after this date.
  • June 9 – Final deadline for Fall 2020 applications.


Admissions Information

Information for Prospective Graduate Students

Graduate Student Opportunities