Marine Science Graduate Program

J​acksonville 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 in​clude 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 Master of Arts and Master of Science in Marine Science, contact Dr. Quinton White, Executive Director of the MSRI, 904-256-7766.

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Degree Requirements​​

Detailed information can be found in the Marine Science Graduate Student Guidebook

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) - 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.

Courses

Core Courses (12 credit hours)

  • MSC 501: Advanced Marine Ecology (3)
  • MSC 502: Chemical Oceanography (3)
  • MSC 503: Geologic and Littoral Processes (3)
  • MSC 504: Physical Oceanography (3)

Elective Courses

  • MSC 510: Graduate Seminar (1)
  • MSC 520: Estuarine and Coastal Ecology (3)
  • MSC 530: Biology of Marine Animals (3)
  • MSC 540: Marine Mammal Biology (3)
  • MSC 550: Marine Microbiology (3)
  • MSC 595: Laboratory Techniques in marine Science (3)
  • MSC 610: Ocean & Coastal Environmental Law (3)
  • MSC 620: Advanced Marine Botany (3)
  • MSC 630: OCean and Coastal Observation Systems (3)
  • MSC 640: Ecology of the St. Johns River (3)
  • MSC 650: Field Studies in MSC (Laboratory) (3)
  • MSC 660: Experimental Design/Biostatistics (3)
  • MSC 670: Aquaculture (3)
  • MSC 671: Aquaculture Laboratory (3)
  • MSC 680: Contemporary Issues in Marine Science (Var. 1-3)
  • MSC 690: Graduate Special Topics (Var. 1-6)
  • MSC 695: Advanced Laboratory Techniques in Marine Science (3)
  • MSC 699: Thesis Preparation and Research (Var. 1-6 SH)
    May be repeated as needed but only 6 SH to count towards degree completion.

Learn more about grants, internships, and research opportunities.