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Doctoral Programs

Ph.D. in Marine Biology/Oceanography

There are two informal divisions within the Ph.D. in Oceanography Program: marine biology and physical oceanography.  Ph.D. applicants should have obtained an agreement from a faculty member to serve as major professor. For the biological sciences, Ph.D. applicants should have a completed draft dissertation proposal that must be submitted with the application. The proposal content will be a major factor in acceptance.

The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 90 credits beyond the baccalaureate. At least 42 credits must consist of upper-level course work. At least 24 credits must consist of dissertation research. The student may not register for research credits (DIS) until after successfully defending the research proposal. After faculty acceptance of the research proposal, the student must register for a minimum of 3 research credits per session until completion of the degree. The student is limited to a total of 9 credits of coursework per term. 


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

  • understand the basic marine biological, chemical, geological, and physical processes to a level sufficient to communicate and collaborate with experts in those sub-disciplines; and  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 Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography 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
  • Students are expected to complete degrees within 5 years of full-time study, and within 9 years in the case of part-time students (a minimum of 3 years enrollment in the Ph.D. program is required)

*Students are expected to complete the Ph.D. program in nine years or less, a minimum of three years is required.

Milestones towards the degree include:

1) Submission of a successful application package

2) A qualifying exam

3) Defense of planned research at a qualifying proposal presentation

4) Passing of a Ph.D. comprehensive examination

5) A successful public and private defense presentation of the completed dissertation before the supervising committee.

For more information on our Graduate Programs:

Graduate Admissions - Biological Science
Phone: 954-262-8066
Mailing Address: 3301 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796


Graduate Admissions - Marine Science
Phone: 954-262-8066
Mailing Address: 8000 North Ocean Drive, Dania Beach, FL 33064-3078


CLICK HERE to schedule a Prospective Student Campus Tour of the Oceanographic Campus!


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