Requirements

 

 

 MS in Marine Science

Minimum Requirements For Admission

Application before January 15 is encouraged; beginning February 1, the admission committee will make initial recommendations about applicants for the following Fall class, with formal letters sent to applicants by the end of March. Although students are normally admitted in the Fall Semester, depending on availability of space and funding, applications may be approved and students admitted throughout the year. In addition to the general admissions requirements of the Graduate School, minimal requirements for admission in full standing to the Marine Sciences MS Program are:
  1. A baccalaureate degree in marine sciences or in a discipline related to marine sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, geology, physics) from an accredited four year college or university.
  2. An undergraduate minimum grade-point average of 3.0 overall (4.0 point system).
  3. A minimum score of 300 combined on the verbal and quantitative subtests of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
The applicant will be required to submit:
  1. A completed application including a statement indicating the student's interests and professional goals.
  2. Official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended.
  3. Three letters of recommendation.
  4. Official scores from the Graduate Record Exam (General Test).
 
Assessment of credentials will be supplemented by evaluation of letters of recommendation and the educational background of the student. Foreign applicants will be required to pass the TOEFL exam with a score of 525 or greater, or equivalent score on computer administered tests.
Provisional admission may be granted upon recommendation of the departmental admissions committee. Full standing can be attained after conditional admission by satisfactorily completing (with a grade of no lower than "B") nine (9) semester hours of course work in marine sciences at USA.
 
To insure compatibility between the student's research interests and the faculty expertise in the Marine Sciences Department, particular attention will be given to the statements of research interests. A faculty member will be asked to act as a "mentor" for the applicant based on the statement of interest and, if necessary, a personal interview. Through this process the student's interests will be matched to the expertise available within the faculty. Moreover, the mentor also may be able to offer the student financial support if a departmental stipend is not available. Students whose interests do not correspond to those of a faculty member and/or have not identified a faculty willing to serve as a mentor, will not be admitted into the MS degree program in marine sciences.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science degree in Marine Sciences is awarded in recognition of the student's demonstrated ability to successfully complete a prescribed program of courses. It also is preferred that students undertake original scholarly research, which culminates in writing and defending an acceptable thesis.

Required Credit

A minimum of thirty-two (32) semester hours of course credit beyond the baccalaureate degree is required for students pursuing an MS degree. Details about the curriculum are given as follows.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of eight (8) semester hours of graduate courses taken at another accredited university in the same (or closely related) subject as that of the masters program may be considered as part of the MS degree requirements at USA. Only grades of "A" or "B" may be accepted as transfer credits. The student's mentor (major professor), in consultation with the Chair, and if necessary, the student's advisory committee, will evaluate transfer credit; the transfer credit is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School only after completion of a minimum of eight semester hours of graduate course work in the MS program in marine sciences at USA

Residence, Full-Time Study, and Continuous Registration

A minimum of two consecutive semesters of full-time study in residence is required. The residency requirements may be met at USA or the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

Employment other than University activities directly associated with graduate study is not allowed during full-time study, unless specifically approved by the Chair.

Time Limit 

All requirements for the MS degree must be completed within five years from the date of matriculation. A student who has not satisfactorily completed a MS degree in a five-year period must apply for a defined extension to complete the degree. This request must be recommended by a major professor, the Chair, the Director of Graduate Studies, and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. If the student does not complete the degree requirements in the defined extension period, the Director of Graduate Studies may recommend, and the Dean of the Graduate School may take, whatever action is necessary up to and including dismissal.

Failure to complete the work within the periods specified shall necessitate reevaluation of the student's program, and may result in a recommendation of dismissal by the Director of Graduate Studies to the Graduate Dean.

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MS in Marine Conservation and Resource Management

 Minimum Requirements For Admission 

Applications for Fall admission are due by March 31 of each year. Enrollment normally begins in the fall semester; however spring admissions will be considered on a case by case situation. In addition to the general admissions requirements of the Graduate School, minimal requirements for admission in full standing to the MS Program in Marine Conservation and Resource Management are:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in a discipline related to marine sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, geology, physics, and engineering) or conservation biology (economics, sociology) from an accredited four year college or university.
  2. An undergraduate minimum grade-point average of 3.0 overall (4.0 point system).
  3. A minimum score of 300 combined on the verbal and quantitative subtests of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

 The applicant will be required to submit:

  1. A completed application including a statement indicating the student's interests and professional goals.
  2. Official transcripts from all undergraduate institutions attended.
  3. Official scores from the Graduate Record Exam (General Test).

 Provisional admission may be granted upon recommendation of the departmental admissions committee. Full standing can be attained after conditional admission by satisfactorily completing (with a grade of no lower than "B") nine (9) semester hours of course work in marine sciences at USA.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science degree in Marine Conservation and Resource Management is awarded in recognition of the student's demonstrated ability to successfully complete a prescribed program of courses. Students are not required to undertake original scholarly research (thesis), but instead complete a capstone project (see below).

Required Credit

A minimum of thirty (30) semester hours of course credit beyond the baccalaureate degree is required for students pursuing an MS degree. Details about the curriculum are given as follows.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of twelve (12) semester hours of graduate courses taken at another accredited university in the same (or closely related) subject as that of the masters program may be considered as part of the MS degree requirements at USA. Only grades of "A" or "B" may be accepted as transfer credits. The Chair or Graduate Coordinator will evaluate transfer credit; the transfer credit is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School only after completion of a minimum of eight semester hours of graduate course work in the MS program in marine conservation and resource management at USA.

Course work: All students must complete the four core courses of the program. At least two statistics courses will be required for the program. For students who have not had statistics courses as an undergraduate, ST 540 must be one of those courses taken. The remaining coursework (6 cr) requirement should be met through elective courses that are approved by the program coordinator.

Time Limit

All requirements for the MS degree must be completed within five years from the date of matriculation. A student who has not satisfactorily completed a M.S. degree in a five-year period must apply for a defined extension to complete the degree. This request must be recommended by a major professor, the Chair, the Director of Graduate Studies, and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. If the student does not complete the degree requirements in the defined extension period, the Director of Graduate Studies may recommend, and the Dean of the Graduate School may take, whatever action is necessary up to and including dismissal.

Failure to complete the work within the periods specified shall necessitate reevaluation of the student's program, and may result in a recommendation of dismissal by the Director of Graduate Studies to the Graduate Dean

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   Ph.D. Program

Minimum Requirements For Admission

Students are normally admitted in the Fall Semester. Although applications for admission and fellowships are accepted throughout the year, application before February 1 is encouraged; beginning February 15 the admissions committee will make initial recommendations about applicants for the following Fall class, with formal letters sent to applicants by the end of March. Depending on availability of space and funding, applications may be approved and students admitted throughout the year. In addition to the general admissions requirements of the Graduate School, requirements for admission to the Marine Sciences Ph.D. program are

  1. A narrative statement indicating the student's research interests, professional goals and commitment to full-time study for completion of degree requirements.
  2. Three letters of recommendation.

For students with baccalaureate degrees:

  1. Official scores from the Graduate Record Examination General Test with a minimum score of 300 combined on the verbal and quantitative subtests.
  2. A baccalaureate degree in a discipline related to marine sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, geology, physics) from an accredited four-year college or university.
  3. An undergraduate minimum grade-point average of 3.0 overall (A=4).

For students with MS degrees:

  1. An MS degree in a discipline related to marine sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, geology, physics) from an accredited college or university.
  2. A graduate minimum grade-point average of 3.25 overall (A=4).
  3. Official scores from the Graduate Record Examination General Test with a minimum score of 300 combined on the verbal and quantitative subtests.

International students must submit an official score of at least 525 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or equivalent score on computer administered tests.

To insure research compatibility between the student and the faculty in the marine sciences program, attention will be given to the statement of research interests. A faculty member will be asked to act as a mentor for the applicant based on the statement of interests and, if necessary, a personal interview. Through this process, the student's interests will be matched to the expertise available within the faculty. Moreover, the mentor may also be able to offer the student financial support if a stipend is not available. Students whose interests do not correspond to those of a particular faculty mentor, and have not identified a faculty member willing to serve as a mentor, will not be admitted into the Ph.D. degree program in marine sciences.

Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded in recognition of the student's demonstrated ability to conduct original, scholarly research at the highest levels without extensive supervision. The degree is not granted upon completion of a stated amount of course work, but rather after demonstration by the student of a comprehensive knowledge and research capability in a specialized field of study. The student must demonstrate this ability in writing and by defending a dissertation based upon the results of an original investigation.

Required Credit

A minimum of 60 semester hours of approved graduate credit is required. Details about the curriculum are given below.

Transfer Credit

Graduate courses taken at another accredited university, such as for students with MS degrees in the same (or a closely related) subject as that of the Ph.D. program, may be considered in the Ph.D. plan of study up to a maximum of 32 semester hours. Only grades of "A" or "B" may be accepted as transfer credit. The student's mentor, in consultation with the Chair, and if necessary, the advisory committee, will evaluate transfer credit; the transfer credit is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School only after completion of a minimum of eight semester hours of graduate course work in the doctoral program at USA.

Residence, Full-time Study, and Continuous Registration

A minimum of two consecutive semesters of full-time study in residence is required. The residency requirement may be met at USA or the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

Employment other than University activities directly associated with graduate study is not allowed during full-time study, unless specifically approved by the Chair.

Time Limit

All requirements for the Ph.D. degree must be completed within eight years from the date of matriculation. A student who has not satisfactorily completed a dissertation in an eight-year period must apply for a defined extension to complete the degree. This request must be recommended by the major professor, the Chair of the Department, the Director of Graduate Studies, and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.

If the student does not complete the degree requirements in the defined extension period, the Director of the Graduate Program may recommend and the Dean of the Graduate School may take whatever action is necessary up to and including dismissal.

The comprehensive examination must be passed within five years of the beginning of doctoral study, or within four years if the student entered with a master's degree in the same or a closely related field.

Failure to complete the work within the periods specified shall necessitate reevaluation of the student's program and may result in a recommendation for dismissal by the Director of Graduate Studies to the Graduate Dean.

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