Graduate Programs

Researchers on a vessel with a plankton tow.

Marine Studies: Ph.D., M.S.


Students in the marine biosciences program are exposed to a broad spectrum of modern approaches to understand the organization and function of biological systems in marine environments. The marine biosciences program is highly integrative as students are exposed to a wide range of subjects in their coursework and research projects, from molecular biology and biochemistry to ecology and ecosystem studies. Areas of faculty interest within the program span the ecology, physiology, genetics and molecular biology of plants, animals and microbes. Faculty research specializations are particularly concentrated in microbial physiology and molecular ecology, larval ecology and molecular biology, chemical ecology, fisheries ecology, aquacultural genetics and genomics, and wetland restoration. In addition to the sophisticated classroom and laboratory facilities available, students enjoy ready access to a variety of marine ecosystems near the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes: dunes, salt marshes, mudflats, estuaries and the Atlantic Ocean. Field research takes place from the Arctic to the Antarctic, in environments ranging from coral reefs to deep-sea hydrothermal vents, to local salt marshes and coastal waters.

Students in the physical ocean science and engineering program apply basic physical principals in their research in coastal physical oceanography, ocean acoustics, nearshore processes, environmental fluid dynamics, estuarine dynamics and ocean engineering.

Two degree plans are offered. The master of science and doctor of philosophy in marine studies are offered through the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment. The master of science and doctor of philosophy in ocean engineering are offered through a cross-disciplinary program operated jointly by the CEOE and the College of Engineering. This multidisciplinary academic program provides students with broad knowledge in physical oceanography as well as opportunities to focus on desired areas of expertise. The program is particularly appropriate for students with physics, mathematics or engineering backgrounds.

See separate program listings for the M.M.P. in Marine Policy and the Ph.D. in oceanography.


Program Concentrations:

  • Marine Biosciences (M.S., Ph.D.)
  • Marine Policy (Ph.D.)
  • Oceanography (M.S.)
  • Physical Ocean Science and Engineering (M.S., Ph.D.)


Application Deadlines


December 1: Priority consideration for admission and funding

July 1: Final deadline to apply


December 15: Final deadline to apply

UD Tuition

The 2023-2024 UD graduate student tuition rate per credit hour is $1028.