The University of Southern Mississippi
Department of Marine Science

The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Marine Science (DMS) began in the mid-1980’s when the state assigned the university the leadership role in marine science. Initially called the Center for Marine Science, the department established multi-disciplinary graduate programs in marine science. DMS marine science degree programs (B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.) emphasize a cross-discipline approach in which all students obtain a working understanding of the four major fields of marine science: physical oceanography, geological oceanography, biological oceanography, and marine chemistry. This approach to educating competent marine scientists has been embraced by many of this nation’s most successful oceanographic institutions.

Master of Science in Marine Science

Marine Science is a multidisciplinary field focusing on the study of oceanic processes. Research and training in the Marine Science degree programs involves physical, chemical, biological, and geological oceanography along with remote sensing, ocean acoustics, and numerical modeling. We have active research projects in coastal and open ocean, large lakes, and riverine and coastal wetland settings, and those that focus on issues including climate change, biofuels development, environmental quality, hypoxia and carbon cycling.

  • Minimum of 34 graduate hours with a 3.0 GPA or higher; 18 hours must be at the 600 level or higher.
  • Pass an oral comprehensive examination administered by the thesis committee.
  • Completion of a thesis approved by the faculty advisor, the graduate thesis committee and the graduate reader.
  • Successful public oral defense of the thesis at a research seminar.

Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Science

  • Minimum of 84 graduate hours beyond the B.S. degree or a minimum of 54 graduate hours beyond the M.S. degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • Pass both a written and oral comprehensive examination administered by the doctoral committee.
  • Fulfillment of the research tools requirement specified by the student’s doctoral committee.
  • Completion of a dissertation approved by the faculty advisor, the doctoral committee and the graduate reader.
  • Successful public oral defense of the dissertation at a research seminar.

For more information on the M.S. and the Ph.D. in Marine Science, please visit: http://www.usm.edu/marine/marine-science-degrees

Master of Science in Hydrographic Science

This graduate degree program offers a rigorous, one-year Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Hydrographic Science. This non-thesis degree program requires 36 semester hours of graduate-level courses, taught on-site, and enables professional field hydrographers to participate in a resident master's level program without impacting operations for employers. A selection of elective courses is also offered that gives students the option of completing the degree program with a practical field orientation or with a more theoretical course of study.

This is the only accredited academic program in Hydrographic Science in the U.S. that is certified at the Category A level by the Féderation Internationale des Géométres/International Hydrographic Organization (FIG/IHO) International Advisory Board. This curriculum was recognized at the Category A level by the FIG/IHO International Advisory Board on Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors in April 2000.

At a minimum, this program provides students with fundamental, practical, and detailed knowledge in the following topics:

  1. Survey Planning: Geodesy, Littoral/Ocean Geomorphology, and Coastal Navigation.
  2. Data Collection: Global Positioning System (GPS), Navigation, Multi-beam Sonars, Laser Bathymetry, Multi-spectral and Hyper-spectral Imagery, and Bottom Imaging Sonar;
  3. Data Processing: Orthorectification and Stereo Photography.
  4. Data Management: Geographic Information System (GIS), National/International Virtual Digital Databases, Data Exchange Formats.
  5. Production and Applications: Products on Demand, Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS), Navigation End-Use and Coastal Zone Management.

Survey Planning: Geodesy, Littoral/Ocean Geomorphology, and Coastal Navigation.

For more information on the Master of Science in Hydrographic Science, please visit: http://www.usm.edu/marine/hydrographic-science-overview