Nearly three quarters of the Earth is covered by an ocean that harbors most of life’s diversity, feeds and powers coastal economies, regulates global climate, and is a rich source of biomedical models, natural products, and new drugs. The Marine Biology program offers excellent opportunities to pursue graduate research in areas such as the evolution, development, and sensory biology of marine organisms, microbiology, ichthyology, and marine conservation science. Prospective students are encouraged to explore the research interests of our faculty and then directly contact those professors with whom they might like to work, in addition to submitting an application to the graduate school.
Marine Biology students begin their curriculum with a fall semester consisting of four back-to-back, one-monthlong intensive research courses. Four additional courses, chosen from a broad selection of graduate-level courses in Biology and related departments, are necessary to complete the coursework requirement for the PhD. Graduate student support comes from a combination of teaching fellowships and grant-supported research assistantships. By the end of their second year, students complete a written preliminary examination that tests general knowledge in marine biology, and an oral qualifying exam that focuses on areas critical to the student’s dissertation research. Marine Biology graduate students benefit from a strongly interdisciplinary marine science program, involving the Departments of Biology and Earth & Environment, as well as close partnerships with the New England Aquarium, National Marine Sanctuary Program, and Sea Education Association. Check the list of recent dissertations and publications to see the range of topics addressed by Marine Biology students.