Oceanography M.S.

rocky ocean shoreline with crabs
Oceanography M.S.

Program Overview

The Oceanography (OCE) graduate program has a diverse set of faculty, staff, and students who examine ocean processes in broad fields of physical, biological, chemical, and geological oceanography and geophysics.  Basic and applied research of an experimental, numerical, and analytical nature is conducted in oceanic settings that range from shallow nearshore and estuarine waters to the deep ocean and span all ocean basins on earth including the Arctic. 

OCE offers programs leading to M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees.  These interdisciplinary programs prepare students for professional careers in ocean-relate fields.  In addition, students can also pursue an ocean mapping option within the Department of Earth Sciences and carried out within the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping.

Research and Facilities

The oceanography graduate program within the Department of Earth Sciences and the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering (SMSOE) is enhanced by the ocean engineering and marine biology graduate programs, and by other departments and institutes at UNH, including the civil and mechanical engineering and biology departments; the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS); the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping (CCOM); and the Ocean Processes Laboratory (OPAL). Other related programs include the N.H. Sea Grant Program, the Center for Collaborative Science, and the Atlantic Marine Aquaculture Center, Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC), Northeast Consortium (NEC), and the Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP). Oceanographic laboratories at UNH include the Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML) on Appledore Island, the Coastal Marine Laboratory (CML) in Newcastle, the Jackson Estuarine Laboratory (JEL) at Adams Point on the Great Bay, and the Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory (COEL) on the main UNH campus. Additional laboratories for the oceanography faculty are located on campus in James, Morse, Rudman, and Spaulding Halls. The SMSOE operates a marine support facility and two UNH research vessels moored in Portsmouth Harbor at the UNH pier, the R/V Gulf Challenger and the R/V Gulf Surveyor, as well as a number of small boats. The SMSOE also supports the UNH Diving Program and oversees a shared­ use Instrumentation Pool for student and faculty use.


Department of Earth Sciences
56 College Road
214 James Hall
Durham, NH 03824

P: (603) 862-1718
E: earth.sciences@unh.edu

Curriculum & Requirements

M.S. Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits for the thesis option or 34 credits for the non-thesis option.

Required Courses
ESCI 997Seminar in Earth Sciences1
ESCI 998Proposal Development1
Select two of the following core courses:6-8
ESCI 850
Biological Oceanography
ESCI 852
Chemical Oceanography
ESCI 858
Introduction to Physical Oceanography
ESCI 859
Geological Oceanography
Select one of the following:6 or 2
Thesis Option:
OCE 899
Master's Thesis (acceptable to the thesis-examining committee and must pass a thesis defense)
Non-Thesis Option:
ESCI 898
Directed Research
or OCE 898
Directed Research
Other Relevant Graduate Courses16-22
CEE 822
Introduction to Marine Pollution and Control
EOS #844
EOS 895
Topics (Model & Anal. Biogeochem Cycles)
EOS 895
Topics (Climate & FIsheries)
EOS 896
Topics (Bio-Optics & Primary Production)
EOS 896
Topics (Dyn. of Global Marine Ecosystems)
ESCI 801
Quantitative Methods in Earth Sciences
ESCI 834
ESCI 841
ESCI 845
Isotope Geochemistry
ESCI 847
Aqueous Geochemistry
ESCI 854
ESCI 856
ESCI 860
ESCI 862
Glacial Geology
ESCI 864
Spectral Analysis of Geophysical Time Series Data
ESCI 865
ESCI 871
Geodesy and Positioning for Ocean Mapping
ESCI 874
Integrated Seabed Mapping Systems
ESCI 875
Fundamentals of Ocean Mapping II
ESCI 896
Topics (Nearshore Processes)
ESCI 972
Hydrographic Field Course
ESCI 994
Advanced Seminar (Ocean Seminar)
ESCI 995
Advanced Topics (Geophysical Fluid Dynamics)
ESCI 996
Advanced Topics (Ocean Modeling)
IAM 940
Asymptotic and Perturbation Methods
MATH 835
Statistical Methods for Research
MATH 839
Applied Regression Analysis
MATH 845
Foundations of Applied Mathematics I
MATH 846
Foundations of Applied Mathematics II
MATH 853
Introduction to Numerical Methods
ME 807
Analytical Fluid Dynamics
ME 812
Waves in Fluids
ME 909
Viscous Flow
MEFB 825
Marine Ecology
ME 910
OE 810
Ocean Measurements Laboratory
OE 853
Ocean Hydrodynamics
OE 854
Ocean Waves and Tides
OE 857
Coastal Engineering and Processes
OE 865
Underwater Acoustics
OE 995
Graduate Special Topics (Coastal Sediment Transport)
ZOOL 810
ZOOL 872
Fisheries Biology
Total Credits30-34

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