College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
Oceanography Department

M.S., Ph.D. Degrees

Minimum Requirements for Degrees: M.S.: 30 credits; Ph.D.: 18 thesis credits

The M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are offered in several concentration areas of oceanography: physical, chemical, biological, geological and fisheries oceanography. 

Oceanography is both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. The M.S. and Ph.D. degrees emphasize processes that influence the ocean as a system, including its circulation, composition, biological productivity and geology. Students considering graduate study in oceanography should have a strong background in physics, chemistry, biology, geology or mathematics and a working familiarity with the other subjects. 

Opportunities for laboratory and field work are available through the Institute of Marine Science, the research unit of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Research facilities are located in Fairbanks, the Seward Marine Center, the Kasitsna Bay Laboratory and Juneau. Facilities include the Ocean Acidification Research Center, the Alaska Stable Isotope Facility, seaside laboratories with running seawater systems, small boats, autonomous undersea vehicles and a variety of instrumentation for research in water circulation, marine particle dynamics, nutrient and trace metal chemistry, genomics, zooplankton ecology and other fields. The College operates the R/V Sikuliaq, a 261-foot ice capable oceanographic research ship owned by the National Science Foundation. Oceanography faculty and students are regular users of Sikuliaq and other ships for high-latitude research, not only in the Alaska region and the Arctic but also in the Antarctic/Southern Ocean, Greenland, the North Pacific and elsewhere.