Ocean Engineering (M.S.)

Ocean Engineering (M.S.)

ocean engineering students in the ocean

Why get an advanced degree in ocean engineering?

Ocean engineering is an interdisciplinary program that prepares students to interact with professionals in diverse disciplines within the ocean science community to develop responsible solutions leading to sustainable activity and life in the ocean. Ocean Engineering is a path toward developing practical, real-world ways to address the many urgent problems threatening the health of our oceans and, indeed, our entire planet. Rising sea levels, increasing populations close to the coast, and more frequent and severe storms are all issues that ocean engineers are addressing.An increasing number of positions for marine engineers coupled with a low number of ocean engineering programs nationwide means a very favorable job outlook.

Why choose UNH’s ocean engineering program?

UNH’s ocean engineering program provides hands-on research in ocean renewable energy, ROVs, ocean mapping, ocean acoustics and coastal processes that gives students practical experience in their chosen field. Collaboration with outstanding faculty and researchers, working in state-of-the-art engineering facilities, along with strong partnerships with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and private partners, gives students great advantages in securing jobs after they graduate.

Potential careers

  • Aquaculture
  • Coastal engineering (structures, erosion)
  • Environmental consulting
  • Government (NOAA, local, state and federal agencies)
  • Marine robotics
  • Ocean acoustics
  • Ocean equipment and instrumentation manufacture
  • Ocean instrumentation
  • Ocean mapping
  • Oceanographic research
  • Offshore structures
  • Renewable energy (wave and tidal)


Martin Wosnik

Director, Center for Ocean Engineering
Office: Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory, Suite 102, 24 Colovos Road, Durham, NH 03824

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  • Engineer gives back to program that inspired her
    Angela Hampson, who completed an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and graduate degree in ocean engineering, mentors with STEM outreach program she attended as a teen.
    Engineer gives back to program that inspired her
    Angela Hampson, who completed an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and graduate degree in ocean engineering, mentors with STEM outreach program she attended as a teen.
  • The Ocean Engineering program at UNH has allowed me to apply my undergraduate experience in chemical engineering and use it for research that has a much greater interest for me.
    The Ocean Engineering program at UNH has allowed me to apply my undergraduate experience in chemical engineering and use it for research that has a much greater interest for me.

Curriculum & Requirements

Programs in Ocean Engineering are by definition interdisciplinary and require students to interact with the ocean science community as well as the traditional engineering disciplines. In this context, students are exposed to the broad-based issues of working engineering problems in the ocean environment. They are trained to develop responsible solutions to problems that will lead to sustainable activity and life in the ocean.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Ocean Engineering requires the completion of at least 30 graduate credits.

Core Courses2
OE 990
OE 991
Ocean Seminars I
and Ocean Seminars II
Select one of the following:3-4
BIOL 855
Biological Oceanography
or ESCI 852
Chemical Oceanography
or ESCI 858
Introduction to Physical Oceanography
or ESCI 859
Geological Oceanography
or ESCI 868
ESCI 869
Applied Physical Oceanography for Hydrographic Surveyors
and Marine Geology and Geophysics for Hydrographic Surveyors
Select four courses from the following:13-16
ESCI 820
Ocean Measurements Lab
OE 817
Marine Robotics and Applications
OE 853
Ocean Hydrodynamics
OE 854
Ocean Waves and Tides
OE 857
Coastal Engineering and Processes
OE 858
Design of Ocean Structures
OE 864
Spectral Analysis of Geophysical Time Series Data
OE 865
Underwater Acoustics
OE 874
Integrated Seabed Mapping Systems
Select an additional two 800-900 level CEPS courses6-8
Complete a master's thesis:6
OE 899
Master's Thesis
Total Credits30-36

Students graduating with a MS or MEng in Ocean Engineering should be able to :

  • Use their ocean engineering graduate education for success in technical careers in industry, academia, government, or for advanced ocean-related research in engineering and the physical sciences.
  • Rigorously apply fundamentals of science and engineering to professional practice that enhances our understanding of and/or contributes to the sustainable development of the oceans.
  • Contribute their ocean engineering problem solving skills to society through participation and leadership in groups dedicated to serving both professional associations and the public interest.


Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Jan. 15 (for funding); April 1 (recommended US; final international); July 1 (final)
  • Spring: Dec. 1
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: CT MA ME VT

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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UNH's School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering serves as the interdisciplinary nexus for marine science and ocean engineering teaching and research across the university.

School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering

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Students on the lawn at Thompson Hall
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