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Graduate Programs

Dual M.Sc. degree in Marine Policy and Sciences

The School of Marine Sciences offers a unique, strongly interdisciplinary dual degree program in marine policy and science. The program was initiated in part with a generous grant from the Kendall Foundation. The dual-degree program is intended for students interested in the application of science and policy in government agencies, non-governmental organizations, or industry. The program is intended to provide terminal degrees but does not rule out continuation to a Ph.D. The course of study is normally three years. It leads to two master's degrees: one in marine science (specializing in oceanography or marine biology or aquaculture) and one in marine policy.

The marine science and policy program is based on the idea that good conservation requires:

  • A sophisticated understanding of the role and limits of science in the policy process;
  • An equally sophisticated understanding of the institutional processes necessary to resolve collective action dilemmas; and
  • The wide dissemination of this knowledge among resource users and others concerned with the management of marine resources.

Students are required to complete the requirements for a master's degree in one of the marine sciences (marine biology or oceanography) and the requirements for a marine policy degree. Six hours of each degree can be counted as electives for the other; as a result a total of only 48 hours is required to complete both degrees (rather than the 60 usually required for two completely independent masters degrees). The course requirements for the science degrees are listed above. Students in the dual-degree program must complete the following for the marine policy degree: 18 hours of social science courses, including the required courses, from among those listed above for the marine policy degree. (See details on the web site of the School of Marine Sciences).

Students in the dual-degree program may fulfill the thesis/internship requirements for the two degrees in one of three ways.

  1. A separate thesis may be written for the science degree and for the policy degree.
  2. A thesis may be written for the science degree and an internship completed for the policy degree.
  3. A single thesis may be written combining a joint science and policy topic. A combined thesis must contain a substantial amount of information on both policy and science.

Students in the dual-degree program will have two graduate advisors, one from the marine natural sciences and one from marine policy. The graduate advisory committee, at a minimum, consists of the two advisors plus one additional member from the sciences and one from the social sciences, i.e., a committee of at least four members. A program of study for each degree, including thesis plans, must be developed and approved by the advisory committee and the respective graduate program coordinators by the end of the second semester of the student’s tenure in the program.

Yong Chen

218 Libby Hall, University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5741

(207) 581-4303

ychen@maine.edu

Programs of study

Each student’s program of study will be designed to meet the requirements of both the marine science and marine policy degrees in which they are enrolled. However the dual degree program gives the student and his or her committee the latitude to devise a program that is able to thoroughly integrate both the science and policy aspects of the student’s specialty. Sample programs of study are listed here for illustration:

For a student primarily interested in fisheries management and enrolled in the dual degree program (e.g., marine policy and marine biology)

A typical program of study for the marine policy degree:

ECO 420 - Microecconomics
SMS 551 - Fisheries Management
SMS 552 - Ecological Approaches to Marine Resource Management
SMS 553 - Institutions and the Management of Common Pool Resources
SMS 555 - Resource Management in Cross-cultural Perspectives
SMS 562 - Fisheries Population Dynamics
SMS 597 - Independent Study: Multi-Variate Analysis in Fish Ecology
SMS 597 - Independent Study
SMS 598 - Special Topics: Marine Law
SMS 699 - Graduate Thesis

A typical program of study for marine biology:

SMS 501 - Biological Oceanography
SIE 510 - GIS Applications
SMS 550 - Fisheries Oceanography
SMS 551 - Fisheries Management
SMS 552 - Ecological Approaches to Marine Resource Management
SMS 562 - Fisheries Population Dynamics
SMS 597 - Special Topics: Multi-variate Analysis in Fish Ecology
INT 563 - Marine Benthic Ecology
SMS 691 - Marine Science Seminar
SMS 699 - Graduate Thesis

For a student primarily interested in coastal zone management and enrolled in the dual degree program (e.g., marine policy and marine oceanography/geology):

A typical program of study for marine policy

ECO 420 - Microeconomics
SIE 509 - Principles Geographic in Information Systems
SMS 552 - Ecological Approaches to Marine Resource Management
SMS 553 - Institutions and the Management of Common Pool Resources
SMS 558 - History of Uses and Abuses of the Coastal Zone
SMS 555 - Resource Management in Cross-cultural Perspectives
SMS 557 - Coastal Procedures and Coastal Zone Management
SMS 598 - Special Topics: SMS Ocean and CST Law
PAA 627 - Environmental Policy
SMS 699 - Graduate Thesis

A typical program of study for oceanography/geology

SMS 501 - Biological Oceanography

SMS 520 - Chemical Oceanography
ERS 532 - Coastal Sedimentology
SMS 541 - Physical Oceanography
ERS 532 - Advanced Sedimentology
ERS 602 - Selected Topics Study in Geology II
ERS 602 - Selected Topics: Quaternary Geology
ERS 602 - Selected Studies: ERS II Graduate Seminar

Marine Science

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