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Admission Requirements for M.S. and Ph.D. programs

The Department of Oceanography welcomes applicants with a strong background in science, technology, engineering or math disciplines. A bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for our M.S. and Ph.D. programs, however individuals do not need a M.S. to apply for the Ph.D. program. Applicants should have completed college-level math through integral calculus, one year of college-level chemistry, and one year of calculus-based physics.  In addition, we recommend an undergraduate survey course in biology and/or geology.

Admission to all degree programs is competitive.  The Department of Oceanography seeks students with strong undergraduate grade point averages (particularly in all science and calculus courses) and high-ranking GRE scores.

Some general guidelines are as given below:

Grade Point Average (GPA)

There is no minimum GPA to be considered as an applicant, but most incoming students have GPAs well above 3.00.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

Current GRE scores are required to apply. There is no minimum GRE score to apply.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required. The recommendation letters are important. Choose recommenders who can adequately and fairly assess your potential, both as a student and a researcher.


International applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL or IELTS. For the TOEFL, a minimum score of 550 (paper-based) or 230 (computer-based) or 80 (Internet-based) is required. For IELTS, as score of 6.0 or better is required.

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