Dive Deep into Your Research Interests

You’re ready to take your interest in marine environments to the next level. Nova Southeastern University’s Ph.D. in Marine Biology/Oceanography prepares you for further research on a selected topic of importance in the ocean sciences. You can focus on marine biology or physical oceanography, aligning your interests to your personal and career goals. 

NSU is also home to several institutes including the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program, NSU's Guy Harvey Research Institute, Marine Environmental Education Center, the National Coral Reef Institute, and the Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Research Center. As a graduate student, you’ll have access to expert faculty and leading researchers studying everything from shark movement patterns to coral reef conservation. Upon completion of this program, you’ll be prepared for careers in academia, industry, and government.


Quick Facts


NSU’s Ph.D. in Oceanography/Marine Biology requires a minimum of 76 credits beyond the baccalaureate. At least 42 credits must consist of upper-level coursework. 

Start Dates

Admissions is on a “rolling” basis with program start dates offered in August (Fall term), May (Summer term) and January (Winter term).

Delivery Options

Classes for the Ph.D. in Oceanography/Marine Biology are offered at NSU’s Oceanographic Campus only.


Visit the Tuition and Fees page for more information.

Application Deadline

Fall 2024: Friday, July 19th, 2024
Winter 2025: Friday, November 15th, 2024
Summer 2025: Friday, April 18th, 2025

Career Outcomes


$93,580 Median Salary Per Year

Environmental Scientists and Specialists

$73,230 Median Salary Per Year


$84,040 Median Salary Per Year

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Admissions Requirements

For Ph.D. applicants, previous degree(s) should be in the area of mathematics (for Physical Oceanography) or an appropriate area of the natural sciences (for Marine Biology). A Master's degree in Biological Oceanography, Biology, Marine Biology, or related science is preferred. Acceptance into the program is effectively provisional for all. The accepted student is a "pre-candidate" until later defense of a research proposal and successful passing of comprehensive exams.

  • Submit Online Application + $50 application fee
  • Submit GRE scores (taken within the past 5 years). You may request this from ETS GRE
  • Submit official transcripts from all attended institutions, undergraduate and graduate
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Letter of Endorsement from an NSU faculty member
  • Statement of career goals (completed within the application)

Note: The NSU Faculty Letter of endorsement is the most important item for the application. The letter will detail the lab you are joining, your proposed research, any applicable pay, how your research will be funded, etc. Without that letter, NSU cannot review your application.

Learning Outcomes

A successful recipient of the Ph.D. in Oceanography/Marine Biology is expected to: 

  • Understand basic marine biological, chemical, geological, and physical processes to a level sufficient to communicate and collaborate with experts in those sub-disciplines; and to be able to apply this knowledge to issues in research and resource management
  • Apply the scientific method to define, investigate, and evaluate hypotheses in at least one of these sub-disciplines
  • Conduct (as guided by, and to the satisfaction of, the doctoral committee and NSU's Halmos College faculty) advanced, original, and independent research that adds to the body of oceanographic knowledge in one or more of the sub-discipline areas
  • Communicate scientific results and conclusions clearly and logically in a written dissertation and in scientific presentations and publications

Program Director and Admissions Staff

Bernhard Riegl, Ph.D.

Department Chair & Professor
Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences
Image of Bernhard Riegl, Ph.D.

Emma Brennan

Administrative Coordinator
Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences
Image of Emma Brennan

Theodore Uy

Graduate Recruiter
Halmos Graduate Admissions
Image of Theodore Uy

You and NSU – the Sky’s the Limit

Your support and involvement helps us create, investigate and improve the world around us. Join us in our passion to bring out the best in our students, our society, our environment and our economy.