Graduate degree programs specifically in marine conservation biology are rare, but are available at the master's and doctoral levels. These programs usually incorporate plenty of hands-on learning and research experience to prepare students for future careers in the field. Learn more about three of the available graduate programs specifically in marine conservation.
Types of Graduate Programs in Marine Conservation Biology
Master of Professional Science in Marine Conservation
There is at least one Master of Professional Science in Marine Conservation program available that aims to advance conservation for marine life and environments. The program totals 31 to 32 credits and requires an internship experience for 3 to 6 months for hands-on learning. Students receive training in Geographic Information System (GIS), marine law, environmental management, utilization of social media and more. Other core courses cover topics in statistics, research diving techniques, outreach, international ocean law, marine conservation biology and ocean policy.
Master of Advanced Study in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation
Students may also choose to pursue at least one available Master of Advanced Study in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation that includes a wide range of hands-on experience through lab work and field trips. This program can be completed in 1 year and requires a final capstone project that is very flexible in nature to allow students to work with outside agencies, faculty members or other organizations to create a management plan, film, written paper, analysis or other project pertaining to the field. Coursework for the program is highly customizable and allows students to choose from a wide range of electives to meet their particular interests and career goals. The program begins with a 10-week lecture and lab course that covers a variety of topics in the field and also includes coursework options in subjects like environmental economics, ocean policy and law, biology, ecology and marine conservation.
Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Science and Conservation
There is at least one Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program available specifically in marine science in conservation that is research-based to prepare students for careers in research and/or academia. Students in the program must present at several research seminars, take a preliminary exam and complete a dissertation, which generally takes students a total of about 6 years to complete. The dissertation also includes a public seminar and dissertation exam as a part of the defense process. As is common for most doctoral degree programs, coursework is flexible to allow students to pursue their research interest, but some required courses may include topics in professional development, marine ecology, political ecology, marine conservation and statistics.
Common Entrance Requirements
Most graduate programs in marine conservation biology require students to have at least a bachelor's degree and some of these programs may require a minimum GPA around a 3.0. Some of these programs may require students to submit their GRE scores, while other schools may only suggest sending them if they will strengthen the student's application. These programs typically require applicants to include their official transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and/or a resume or CV with their application. Doctoral programs in the field may ask students to contact faculty members and make sure they have some common research interests.
Master's and doctoral programs in the field of marine conservation biology are few in number, but usually provide students with plenty of hands-on learning and research opportunities. These programs may require a final capstone or internship experience at the master's level and a dissertation at the doctoral level.