Marine Geosciences

Request Info

The Marine Geosciences (MGS) graduate program is focused on studying the geology, geophysics, and geochemistry of the earth system, beneath, within, and above the oceans.

Students work closely with faculty at the forefront of research on earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, hydrothermal seafloor vents, and paleoclimate. MGS faculty and students also emphasize interdisciplinary study where geological phenomena interact with or are influenced by processes generally studied in other disciplines, such as ocean currents, climate, and biological evolution.

MGS research uses pioneering remote sensing techniques to assess the earth’s crustal movement and sedimentation in coastal zones. MGS degree programs are at the forefront of understanding carbonate deposit systems, and paleoclimate researchers are using stromatolites and reefs to learn more about past climate change by studying the interaction between biological and geological processes. Ocean observing systems, such as hydrological observatories, are playing prominently in research efforts as well.

Degrees Offered

M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Interdisciplinary studies with expertise in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and/or biology are encouraged.

A 5-year B.S. /M.S. in Geological Sciences and Marine Geosciences allows qualified UM Undergraduate students to complete a master’s degree in one year of study beyond the B.S. In doing so, students can save both time and money. To learn more click here

A certificate program is also offered for working professionals who seek specialization on applied carbonate geology. To learn more click here


The undergraduate student wishing to prepare for graduate work in the marine geosciences must be well trained in the basic sciences. The GRE score is not required for admission. You may optionally submit your GRE score, but not all faculty will consider this information. Individual faculty members may consider GRE scores as part of a holistic evaluation of the candidates. Applicants and whose first language is not English must pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of at least 550. According to the special interests of the individual, the undergraduate major and minor should be in geology, physics, chemistry, and/or mathematics. All application requirements are available here.

Funding Opportunities

The overwhelming majority of MGS students are supported as research assistants. These assistantships, which are awarded competitively, provide a monthly stipend and cover tuition costs. Students not supported as research assistants are generally supported on special fellowships provided by their employer or, for some non-U.S. students, their home country.


New initiatives within MGS include the South Florida and Caribbean Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (SFC CESU), Center for Southeastern Tropical Advance Remote Sensing (CSTARS), and the Research Initiative on Bahamian Stromatolites.