Graduate Program Requirements

Information to consider as you prepare for graduate school in marine science— including examples of graduate programs in marine sciences and admissions requirements. 

There are many many universities at which marine science M.S. or PhD degrees can be earned. Your Ursinus academic advisor and the marine science faculty can help you to compile a list of universities to which you can apply based on your interests. All programs require an application, personal statement, and letters of recommendation. Many require the GRE. Some require a curriculum vitae. Some require that you are guaranteed a spot in someone’s lab to be accepted.

Early in your Ursinus career it is a good idea to make a table of the graduate programs to which you might be interested in applying. In the table you should include the prerequisites for each program so that you can be certain to complete them. Other items in the table might be the names of the faculty that you would like to contact in those programs, the application deadlines and requirements.

Last Updated: 2/21/2023



Minimum GPA/GRE


Application Notes

University of Miami

M.S. or PhD in Marine Biology and Ecology


GRE not required

B.S. or B.A. in biology, courses in calculus, physics, chemistry

Contact specific faculty to discuss mutual research interests.

University of Delaware*

M.S. and PhD in marine studies College of Earth, Ocean and Environment



GRE score used

B.S. or B.A.

Essays, recommendations, test scores, transcript, encouraged to contact potential advisors

Boston University

Marine Biology

No minimum

Biology and chemistry courses, statistics if possible

Demonstrated aptitude for research is sought in applicants

Scripps Institution
of Oceanography

M.S. or PhD in marine biology


Basic course work in botany, microbiology, or zoology, two years of chemistry, including organic chemistry. Strongly recommended: cellular biology, molecular biology, comparative physiology, genetics, developmental biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, vertebrate and invertebrate zoology, microbiology, and/or botany

Must have advisor agreement; grades, GRE optional

University of Chicago- Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Holes, MA

Integrative biology

GRE optional

Sound background in field of interest, research experience

Talk to current and former students and reach out to faculty


Biological Oceanography

GRE optional

Science or engineering undergraduate degree; math up to differential equations; one year of physics, organic and inorganic chemistry; statistics, biology courses inc. genetics

Encouraged but not required to reach out to faculty


Marine Geology and Geophysics

GRE optional

Calculus, linear algebra, courses and degree in geophysics, geology, chemistry, physics, earth science, or engineering

MIT/WHOI Tips for Contacting Potential Advisors

tips for contacting potential advisors here!

University of Miami

M.S. or PhD in Ocean Sciences


Calculus, Statistics, Physics, Computer Programming (Matlab, IDL, C, or Fortran).

Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) in Mathematics, Physics, Geosciences, Engineering or an equivalent degree


University of Delaware*

M.S. and PhD in ocean engineering cross-disciplinary program operated jointly by the CEOE and the College of Engineering.


B.S. in Engineering, 3.0 GPA for an M.S. or 3.5 GPA for PhD


University of Rhode Island

Evolution and Marine Biology

3.0, sometimes lower if exceptional promise shown


Contact faculty directly’ submit writing sample, posters, publications

University of North Carolina

Marine Biology

GRE not required

B.S. or M.S. degree in a basic science or engineering (e.g., physics, chemistry, geology, biology, oceanography, marine sciences, meteorology, mathematics, computer science, environmental science, engineering)

Research experience sought in applicants

University of North Carolina

Geological Sciences

GRE not required

Undergraduate degree in traditional geology, biology, geochemistry, geophysics, physical geography, or other related interdisciplinary fields.

Reach out to faculty to discuss mutual interests and research opportunities

*These are examples of University of Delaware programs, of which there are many