Undergraduate Prep

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Students interested in pursuing graduate-level research in the marine or atmospheric sciences typically enter with a bachelor's or master's degree in a related field. A scholastic average of B or better for undergraduate courses is usually necessary. In addition to good grades and appropriate coursework and credentials, a deep level of enthusiasm and curiosity about the natural world are among the most important hallmarks of a successful graduate student.

Listed below are some informal guidelines on preparation for each of the graduate programs at the Rosenstiel School. Please note that these are not requirements, and we welcome applicants from a diverse array of disciplines.

The courses which should be taken if the student’s program can include them are printed in italic type.

The guidelines listed below are only for the MS and PhD degree programs. Requirements for the MPS program can be found here .

Atmospheric Sciences

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Environmental Science and Policy

There are no specific requirements for the Environmental Science and Policy graduate program. Please contact the Department of Environmental Science and Policy for information on academic requirements.

Marine Biology and Ecology

Students interested in Marine Biology and Ecology for graduate studies should have as background a bachelor's degree that emphasizes the biological sciences, not necessarily the marine sciences. Adequate undergraduate preparation are the types of courses generally used to satisfy the requirements for a bachelor's degree in Biology, thus most successful students have a bachelors' degree in Biology. Undergraduate coursework should include abundant biology electives as well as chemistry, organic chemistry, calculus, and college physics. Other types of degrees are often successful, but require that you make contact with the professor you hope to study with to learn if your degree is appropriate for specific graduate work in Marine Biology and Ecology.

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  • General Requirements

    General Biology (one year)
       Inorganic (one year)
       Organic (one semester)
    Physics (one year)
    Calculus (one year)
    Language (none)

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Marine Geosciences

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  • Geology

    Physical Geology
    Structural Geology
    Field Geology

  • Chemistry

    Inorganic Chemistry
    Physical Chemistry
    Qualitative Analysis

  • Biology

    General Biology


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  • Mathematics

    Differential Equations
    Linear Algebra

  • Physics

    General Physics
    Modern Physics

Meteorology and Physical Oceanography

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  • Mathematics

    Advanced Calculus
    Partial Differential Equations
    Linear Algebra
    Complex Variables
    Probability and Statistics
    Numerical Methods

  • Chemistry

    Principles of Chemistry

  • Engineering

    Heat Transfer
    Fluid Mechanics/Hydrodynamics

    Signal Processing

Ocean Sciences

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  • Preparation for Students in Biophysical Interactions:

    Mathematics: Vector Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Probability and Statistics
    Physics: Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Electromagnetism
    Chemistry: General Chemistry
    Biology: General Biology and some specialized biology courses
    Computer Science: Scientific Programming
    Engineering: Fluid Mechanics