Jacksonville University's Master of Marine Science (MS/MA in MSC) degree program is designed to provide its graduates with the specific knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in variety of marine-related positions in industry, government and education or for entry into doctoral marine science programs. The program emphasizes a hands-on approach to learning through either the completion of an original thesis project under the mentorship of an experienced marine science researcher, or a non-thesis option with a more extensive laboratory experience. The graduate program continues the undergraduate emphasis on individualized programs of study that ensure students the best possible preparation based on their interests, background and abilities.
Marine science faculty and researchers currently work in many fields critical to the understanding and sustainable use of marine resources and systems including aquaculture, benthic ecology, marine and estuarine ecology, coral reef ecology, environmental chemistry, phycology, environmental microbiology, toxicology, marine mammal physiology, and ichthyology.

The program is designed to be completed in two years for full-time graduate students. Students must take a core 4-course sequence and complete a proposal for their thesis research topic, or design a laboratory experience in conjunction with a graduate advisor. Thesis research is conducted through the next year, culminating in oral and written presentation of a thesis. Research facilities include state-of-the-art laboratories at the Marine Science Research Institute, with opportunities to conduct research at other facilities also possible.

To learn more about the new Master of Arts and Master of Science in Marine Science now available at JU, contact Diana Peaks, director of Graduate, Transfer and Adult Admissions, at 904-256-7000.

 

Degree Requirements​

 

Master of Science (MS) - Thesis required- 30 semester hours (SH) with no more than 6 SH in thesis preparation research. Thesis defense required.

Master of Arts (MA) - A Non-Thesis Option- 30 semesters (SH) with minimum of 6 SH of laboratory courses required. Comprehensive exam required.

Program is designed to be completed with two-years of full-time study, but could be completed with part-time work if done within 7 years of starting first graduate course. Only 6 SH of graduate work can be transferred and applied to the MS in MSC at JU.

Graduate students shall successfully complete 30 units of coursework with a grade of B (3.0) or better in each course, a comprehensive exam, either a thesis project and an oral research defense, or a laboratory experience to qualify for the M.S. degree in Marine Science.

Degree requirements for the Thesis option M.S. degree in Marine Science are:

  • Four- course core: MSC 501, MSC 502, MSC 503, and MSC 504.
  • A thesis approved by the student's thesis committee. The Thesis Committee will be composed of minimum of 3 individuals, including the Student's Thesis Advisor, and two other members, one of which may be from outside the Department or University.
  • An oral thesis defense must be completed in the form of a seminar open to the general public. The student's thesis committee must be present, may require further oral questioning after the seminar, and will evaluate the success of the presentation.
  • The MS degree will be approved upon submission of a final written thesis approved by the Student's Thesis Committee.
  • A laboratory experience of not less than 6 SH approved by the graduate advisor.
  • A total of 30 SH graduate level work (500 or above) with approval of the student's graduate advisor
  • One semester of practical experience as a teaching assistant in an undergraduate marine science or biology laboratory.

Degree requirements for the Non-thesis option M.A. degree in Marine Science are:

  • Four- course core: MSC 501, MSC 502, MSC 503, and MSC 504.
  • A laboratory experience of not less than 6 SH approved by the graduate advisor.
  • A total of 30 SH graduate level work (500 or above) with approval of the student's graduate advisor
  • One semester of practical experience as a teaching assistant in an undergraduate marine science or biology laboratory.

All students shall maintain continuous enrollment in the graduate program until all degree requirements are met. If a student receives lower than a B in a core course, the student may retake one course. Two courses with grades below "B" (3.0) can result in the student being removed from the graduate program. Students are encouraged to complete their degree requirements within three years.

Core Courses

MSC 501 Advanced Marine Ecology 3
Three hours lecture per week. An advanced course on biological processes in oceanic and coastal waters. Emphasis is on empirical and theoretical concepts of marine ecosystem dynamics, primary and secondary production and detrital cycling.
 
MSC 502 Chemical Oceanography 3
Three hours lecture per week. The role of the oceans in the major global biogeochemical cycles of carbon, sulfur, nutrients, gases and trace elements. Studies include reaction rates, chemical speciation, equilibria, solubility, oxidation-reduction, absorption, complexation, and their effects on the composition of seawater and the transfer of substances at the Earth's surface.
 
MSC 503 Geologic and Littoral Processes 3
Three hours lecture per week. A comprehensive study of the origin and development of the major structural features of the ocean basins and the continental margins. Discussion of the techniques used in obtaining geologic data and the interpretation of sedimentary processes, vulcanism, and the stratigraphy of the ocean basins.
 
MSC 504 Physical Oceanography 3
Three hours lecture per week. Geographic and hydrodynamic aspects of oceanography, with emphasis on estuaries. Physical properties of seawater and theories and methods involved in ocean currents, air-sea interaction, waves, and tides.
Total 12 Credit hours

Electives

 MSC 510  Graduate Seminar  1
One hour per week. Seminar will be held on marine related topics changing each semester. Each student will be required to give at least one seminar. May be repeated for credit.
 
 MSC 520  Estuarine and Coastal Ecology  3
Three hours lecture per week. Course will focus on estuarine ecology, including estuarine kinematics and dynamics; classification of estuaries; estuarine circulation and mixing.
 
 MSC 530  Biology of Marine Animals  3
Three hours lecture per week. Course will include the biology, ecology and physiology of marine animals, including invertebrates and vertebrates, with a discussion of adaptations and evolution in a marine environment.
 
 MSC 540  Marine Mammal Biology 3
Three hours lecture per week. Comprehensive study of marine mammal taxa with primary focus on cetacea and sirenia. Topics include evolutionary history, taxonomy, anatomic and physiologic adaptations to the marine environment, population dynamics, behavioral ecology, conservation and legal issues. The role of marine mammals as biomonitors of environmental health is included.
 
 MSC 550  Marine Microbiology 3
Three hours lecture per week. This course focuses on the bacteria, archaea, protists, and viruses that play fundamental roles in marine systems. The organisms and their processes as they relate to biogeochemical cycling, food webs, pollutants and human health will be discussed. Biodiversity and evolution, as they relate to ecological considerations will also be addressed. Peer-reviewed research and review articles will form the basis of the readings.
 
 MSC 595  Laboratory Techniques in Marine Science 3
Three hours laboratory per week. Basic and applied techniques and research methods to understand various marine science related topics. These techniques will be learned and utilized during the course while completing an appropriate research project. May be repeated when topics change for up to 6 SH of credit towards degree.
 
 MSC 610  Ocean & Coastal Environmental Law  3
Three hours lecture per week. Course will examine a number of emerging ocean and coastal policy issues. Among the policy issues are those relating to oil, gas, and alternative energy facilities and equipment in coastal or ocean waters, the privatization of public waters, the impact of rising sea levels upon ocean beaches and estuarine shorelines, beach nourishment and shoreline protection, development setback lines, the use of ocean outfalls to dispose of wastewater, and the future role of the Coastal Resources Commission. Will examine these and other emerging policy issues and the governing state and federal legal regime.
 
 MSC 620  Advanced Marine Botany 3
Three hours lecture per week. Discussions of marine plants including phytoplanton and macroalgal biology with extensive reading of original literature.
 
 MSC 630  Ocean and Coastal Observation Systems 3
Three hours lecture per week. Principles of instruments used in oceanographic research, introduction to electronics, and applications of instrument measurements. Emphasis will vary from CTD profilers, current meters, radiometry and chemical measurement. Introduction to using observational oceanographic data, with hands-on practice in scientific programming for data analysis. Lecture, discussion, and practical experience including the use of existing programs and subroutine libraries.
 
 MSC 640  Ecology of the St. Johns River 3
Three hours lecture per week. Course will examine the geologic history and ecology of the St. Johns River, both economically and environmentally, its estuaries and upland regions. From the early settlers along the St. Johns to the modern port, we'll look back with some detail into the why's and how's of their impact on the St. Johns River. We will also examine how nature influenced the development of northeast Florida.
 
 MSC 650  Field Studies in MSC (Laboratory) 3
Three hours laboratory per week. Field oriented course with an in-depth study of interrelationship of marine and estuarine organisms and their environment; emphasis on quantitative data collection and analysis.
 
 MSC 660  Experimental Design/Biostatistics 3
Three hours lecture per week. Mathematical methods for the analysis of biological, chemical, and physical data from the marine environment - experimental design, parametric non-parametric and re- sampling statistics. Basic design of experiments and field sampling, including random and systemic sampling, subsampling, survey techniques, single and multifactor experiments using randomized, nested, and blocked experimental designs, and data analyses.
 
 MSC 670  Aquaculture 3
Three hours lecture per week. (Co-requisite – MSC 671) The course provides an introduction to the principles upon which viable aquaculture practices are based. Different culture systems, levels of intensity and environments will be discussed. Lectures will contain background notes and information on specific topics like water quality, nutrition, disease, and agri-business. Reference data, exercises and peer reviewed bibliographical sources will be provided as part of the required readings in this applied ecology course.
 
 MSC 671  Aquaculture Laboratory  3
Three hours laboratory per week. (Co-requisite- MSC 670) Participants will grow and maintain a crop of fish, while learning fish management techniques. Students have the opportunity to apply research methods, collect, analyze data, and use it to make management decisions regarding water quality, nutrition, fish health management, and agri-business economics. Student will present their finding as part of a final research paper.
 
 MSC 680  Contemporary Issues in Marine Science  Var. 1-3
One to three hours lecture per week. Selected topics and current issues in marine science. The subjects will vary each semester. Can be repeated for credit when topics change for up to 6 SH credit towards degree requirements.
 
 MSC 690  Graduate Special Topics Var. 1-6
One to six lecture and or laboratory per week. Course can be offered on an as needed basis for topics not included in the curriculum when faculty availability or opportunities occur. May be repeated for credit when topics change, but no more than 6 SH count towards degree requirement.
 
 MSC 695  Advanced Laboratory Techniques in Marine Science  3
Three hours laboratory per week. Basic and applied techniques and research methods to understand various marine science related topics. These techniques will be learned and utilized during the course while completing an appropriate research project. May be repeated when topics change for up to 6 SH of credit towards degree.
 
 MSC 699  Thesis Preparation and Research  Var 1-6 SH
May be repeated as needed but only 6 SH to count towards degree completion.
 

FALL 2013
MS Graduate Students

 

 

 

 

 

(Not Pictured)
Tiffany Razo





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Elaine Urban
Coastal Carolina University, majored in Marine Science
Interest: Environmentalism and toxicology




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Sara Schunter
Jacksonville University, majored in Marine Science
Interest: Ichthyology & Coral Reefs




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Courtney Burdick
University of New England, majored Psychobiology  w/minor Marine Biology
Interest: Marine Mammals


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Marni Falk
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, majored in Zoology
Interest: Marine and Coastal Policy 



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FALL 2012
MS Graduate Students



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Alexander Brehm
Barry University, majored in Marine Biology minoring in Sports Management, dive industry.
Interest Sea Turtles and Animal Husbandry




(Not Pictured)
Justine Dacey

 

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Kaitlyn Dietz
Georgia College & State University, majored in Biology
Interest:
Sea Turtles 



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Ivana Espinosa
University of New haven, CT, majored in Marine Biology
Interest: Marine Mammal Rescue, Rehabilitation, Conservation and Necropsies


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Lindsay Gerzel

Furman University, majored in Biology
Interest: Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition


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Marshalluna Hudson
Univeristy of central Arkansas, Majored in Biology
Interest: MarineMammalogy

 

 

 

  

(Not Pictured)
Andrea Leontiou




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Madelyn Woods
Boston University, majored in Political Science
Interest: Zooplankton and Invertebrate Diversity & Distribution


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Courtney Fletcher
University of Florida, majored in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
Interest: Shark Ecology and Behavior, Marine Science Education

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FALL 2011
MS Graduate Students

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 Kathryn (Kit) Deppe

Undergrad at University of the South (Sewanee, TN), majored in Natural
Resources (Geology & Forestry)
Interest: Fisheries & Coral Reefs

 


Elizabeth Maitland
Undergrad at Jacksonville University, majored in Biology & Marine Science
Interest: Manatee Populations & Submerged Aquatic availability in the St. Johns River

 

 

(Not Pictured)
Kimberly Mann
Undergrad at Troy University, majored in Marine Biology
Interest: Estuary Systems

 


 
Alex Paradise
Undergrad at University of Rhode Island, majored in Marine Biology
Interest: Fish Ecology and Physiology

 

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Undergraduate & Graduate Research Faculty

Dr. Rose Borkowski (e-mail)
Research Interest
D.V.M., University of Florida.
Veterinary Medicine, Biology and Medicine of Birds, Marine and Terrestrial Mammals, Diseases of Zoo and Wildlife Species, Human Anatomy and Physiology.

Dr. Lee Ann Clements (e-mail)
Research Interest
Ph.D., University of South Carolina.
Biological Oceanography, Physiological Ecology and Regeneration in Invertebrates.


Dr. Nisse Goldberg (e-mail)
Research Interest
Ph.D., University of Western Australia.
Marine and Terrestrial Ecology with a Focus on Seaweeds, Fungi, Lichen, and Plants.


Dr. Dan McCarthy (e-mail)
Research Interest
Ph.D., King's College, University of London, England.
Marine Ecology, Invertebrate Zoology, Reproduction of Marine Organisms.


Dr. Anthony Oullette (e-mail)
Research Interest
Ph.D., University of Minnesota.
Toxic Cyanobacteria, Molecular Microbiology, Biochemistry.

Dr. Gerry Pinto (e-mail)
Research Interest
Ph.D. (Fisheries & Allied Aquacultures), Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
MAQ (Master of Aquaculture), Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
B.S. (Fishery Science), Plymouth Polytechnic, Plymouth, England
 

Dr. Jeremy Stalker (e-mail)
Research Interest
Ph.D., Florida International University
Geosciences


Dr. A. Quinton White, Jr. (e-mail)
Research Interest
Ph.D., University of South Carolina.
Invertebrate Zoology, Marine Ecology, Ecology and Life History of Manatees.

______________________________________________________________________________________
Research Associates

Dr. Gerard Pinto

Ph.D. (Fisheries & Allied Aquacultures), Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
MAQ   (Master of Aquaculture), Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
B.S. (Fishery Science), Plymouth Polytechnic, Plymouth, England


John Heine
M.S., California State University.
Marine Science, Phycology, and Scientific Scuba Diving.

Heather McCarthy
M.E.M. (Master of Environmental Management), Duke University.
Coastal Environmental Management and Policy, Sea Turtles, Non-native Species, and Nature Writing