SMAST offers a dual PhD degree program established between the University of São Paulo, Brazil, Institute of Oceanography (IOUSP) and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. A student enrolling in the PhD program of either institution may indicate on their application their intent to participate in the dual-degree program. Participating students have two co-advisors, one at each university. Upon passage of the PhD exams (written and oral) and dissertation proposal presentation, dual-degree students are required to conduct at least 30% of their research at the guest institution. Students are advised to choose research areas of mutual interest to the two institutions.
Successful applicants will generally have completed an undergraduate or graduate degree with a GPA of at least 3.00 or the equivalent. They will also have an undergraduate major in one of the basic scientific disciplines or engineering, or will have strong multidisciplinary training with completion of at least six semesters of coursework in the natural sciences, generally to include biology, chemistry, and/or physics. Preparation in mathematics at least through integral calculus is strongly encouraged.