Protect our Oceans, Coastlines and Marine Wildlife

Everything that humans do impacts marine ecosystems and in turn, marine ecosystems impact the lives of humans. Nova Southeastern University’s M.S. in Marine Sciences program gives you the opportunity to dive deep into the study of marine systems, learning about a variety of special topics, including everything from shark research to coral reef reservation.

What better place to advance your education in marine science than at a university with an entire campus and marina devoted to the field? NSU is uniquely located at the edge of diverse marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems allowing students, faculty, and researchers to engage in multidisciplinary studies.

At NSU, you’ll have immersive learning experiences laboratory and classroom settings as well as on the field. Mangroves, coral reefs, tropical freshwater, beaches, and deep-water habitats are just a few miles away from campus, which means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to work hands-on in the environments that match your interests.

Choose From Three Marine Science Concentrations

Marine Biology

Become an expert in the nature and ecology of marine life

Coastal Zone Management

Focus on contemporary problems and conflicts arising from increased use of coastal areas

Marine Environmental Science

Use science and policy to gain a deeper understanding of marine environmental issues

Quick Facts


NSU’s M.S. in Marine Science is 36 total credits to complete. You will be required to take 9 credits of core courses, 21 credits of electives in your chosen concentration, and at least 6 capstone or thesis credits.

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 M.S. in Marine Science are offered at NSU’s Oceanographic Campus only. Classes are held in the mornings and evenings and typically meet one to two times per week.


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

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

$66,350 Median Salary Per Year


$93,580 Median Salary Per Year

Environmental Scientists and Specialists

$73,230 Median Salary Per Year

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Marine Science Curriculum

Core Courses (9 credits)
MSMS 5010
Biostatistics (MSMS 5010 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 5040
Marine Chemistry (MSMS 5040 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 5060
Scientific Communication (MSMS 5060 / Credits: 3 )
Marine Biology Concentration (choose a minimum of 18 credits**)
MSMS 5020
Marine Ecosystems (MSMS 5020 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 5050
Physical Oceanography (MSMS 5050 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6001
Marine Physiology (MSMS 6001 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6002
Coral Reef Ecology (MSMS 6002 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6003
Deep-Sea Biology (MSMS 6003 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6004
Marine Fisheries (MSMS 6004 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6005
Invertebrate Zoology (MSMS 6005 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6006
Tropical Marine Invertebrates (MSMS 6006 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6007
Marine Mammalogy (MSMS 6007 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6008
Biology of Sharks and Rays (MSMS 6008 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6010
Marine Apex Predators (MSMS 6010 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6011
Marine Avian Ecology (MSMS 6011 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6012
Corals from the Inside Out (MSMS 6012 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6014
Marine Larval Ecology (MSMS 6014 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6016
Ichthyology (MSMS 6016 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6017
Tropical Fish Biology (MSMS 6017 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6021
Histology and Ultrastructure of Marine Organisms (MSMS 6021 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6022
Methods in Marine Community Ecology (MSMS 6022 / Credits: 3 )
**Choose an additional (3) credit hours from courses in any of the three concentrations ( / Credits: 3 )
Coastal Zone Management Concentration**
MSMS 6101
Coastal Policy for U.S. Living Marine Resources (MSMS 6101 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6102
Ocean and Coastal Law (MSMS 6102 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6103
Invasive Species (MSMS 6103 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6212
Stable Isotopes in Marine Ecology (MSMS 6212 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6213
Coral Reef Biogeochemistry (MSMS 6213 / Credits: 3 )
**Choose an additional (3) credit hours from courses in any of the three concentrations ( )
Marine Environmental Science Concentration (choose a minimum of 18 credits**)
MSMS 5030
Marine Geology (MSMS 5030 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6201
GIS & Environmental Remote Sensing (MSMS 6201 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6203
Climate Change (MSMS 6203 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6204
Anthropogenic Impacts in Marine Environments (MSMS 6204 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6208
Aquaculture (MSMS 6208 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6209
Biodiversity (MSMS 6209 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6210
Scientific Method and Experimental Design (MSMS 6210 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6211
Genomics (MSMS 6211 / Credits: 3 )
**Choose an additional (3) credit hours from courses in any of the three concentrations ( / Credits: 3 )
Capstone or Thesis Path+
MSMS 6400
Thesis (MSMS 6400 / Credits: 3 )
MSMS 6450
Capstone (MSMS 6450 / Credits: 3 )

+Students are allowed to take one elective outside their concentration and have it count toward their final credit total. After completing the required core and concentration coursework, students must take two required capstone courses, totaling 6 credits. 

For specific course requirements, refer to the “Master of Science in Marine Science Program (M.S.)" in NSU's Halmos College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Student catalog.

The academic program and curriculum requirements listed on this page are from the NSU Halmos College of Arts & Sciences Graduate Student Catalog. Students are bound by policies and curricula published in the catalog in effect the semester they enter the university unless an agreement is made with appropriate NSU administration officials allowing them to abide by policies published in a later catalog.

Admissions Requirements

  • Completed NSU Graduate Application and $50 Application Fee
  • Transcripts from all previously attended higher education institutions including degree conferral.  
    • (Applicants who have not yet completed their undergraduate degree programs may submit official transcripts prior to degree conferral to be considered for provisional admission.  Final official transcripts must be submitted to receive full admission into the program.) 
  • Submit (2) Letters of Recommendation 
  • Undergraduate GPA of +2.85 or higher to apply 
  • For non-native English speakers and graduates of foreign institutions (where English is not the primary language instruction). Demonstrate English-language proficiency is required through one of the following options:
    • Successful completion of a degree at an approved U.S. institution of higher education where English is the primary language of instruction.
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) official score of 213 on the computerized test, 550 on the paper test format, or 79 on the Internet format. 

Prerequisite Courses

  • Applied Statistics or Biostatistics
  • Biology I with Lab
  • Biology II with Lab
  • Chemistry I with Lab
  • Calculus I or higher
  • One or more of the following: Anatomy, Ecology, Geology, Physiology (general or basic level)

Note: The above-listed courses must be completed prior to acceptance to the MS in Marine Science. NSU’s Department of Marine & Environmental Sciences will review similar coursework as possible substitutes upon request.

Graduate Open House

Join us on Monday, March 18th at 12:00 PM EST to learn more about our marine/environmental sciences, including careers within the field, NSU graduate degree offerings, and the application process.

This event is free and open for all to attend. You may register for the Open House here.

Program directors and department faculty from the Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences and NSU Halmos College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Admissions will be in attendance to answer your questions about your program(s) of interest.

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
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