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University of São Paulo Dual PhD PhD

The School for Marine Science & Technology (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.

The dual-degree framework allows graduate students to participate in the program at each institution, while being co-supervised by one faculty member from each institution.

Students are taught by some of the most distinguished faculty in the fields of marine science. SMAST faculty pursue cutting-edge research in biogeochemical cycling, coastal ecosystem dynamics and restoration, marine computational modeling, fisheries science and management, marine renewable energy, ocean observing/remote sensing, and ocean physics.


  • Applicants to the dual-degree 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 alternate institution
  • Students are advised to choose research areas of mutual interest to the two institutions

At a glance

The achievements of SMAST students include:

  • Fulbright Fellowships
  • Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships
  • Nancy Sayles Day Foundation Research Award
  • NOAA Sea Grant Fellowship in Population Dynamics
  • Awards for presentations at the following professional meetings:
    • American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists
    • American Fisheries Society
    • American Meteorological Society
    • International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
    • International Pectinid Workshop
    • National Shellfisheries Association


UMass Dartmouth has several financial programs to assist graduate students with the cost of advanced studies. These programs apply to degree-seeking, matriculated students only.

Applicants should take an active role in contacting faculty member(s) who could potentially advise them, as well as make an effort to seek funding before applying.

Student placement

SMAST alums succeed at becoming involved in research, teaching, and project management in academia, private industry, and governmental agencies.

Ana Paula Krelling: first PhD graduate of SMAST & IOUSP
Ana Paula Krelling: first PhD graduate of SMAST & IOUSP

Ana Paula Krelling is the first first dual-degree Ph.D. graduate of UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science (SMAST) and the University of São Paulo Institute of Oceanography (IOUSP).

  • Program includes four core courses (12 credits total), courses in a concentration area beyond the core, seminars, and dissertation research
  • Concentration area work includes a minimum of 24 credit hours of courses (includes elective and seminar courses) and helps students prepare for the written and oral candidacy examinations
  • A minimum of 18 credit hours must be applied toward thesis research, after completing a rigorous comprehensive exam
  • Overall average of 3.0 in the PhD degree program is required. (IOUSP students are referred to the degree requirements of their home institution.)


Changes to Graduate Studies admission requirements

In response to the COVID‐19 pandemic, admission requirements for graduate degree and certificate programs may have changed.
Learn more about changes to requirements

Successful applicants will have met the following criteria:

  • Completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Completion of an undergraduate major in one of the basic scientific disciplines or engineering, or strong multidisciplinary training
  • 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\
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (sent directly from ETS). Typically, GREs should have a combined score of 1200 or greater.


Deadlines and Test Requirements

University of São Paulo Dual PhD Faculty

Amit Tandon
Amit Tandon
Brian Howes
Changsheng Chen
Cynthia Pilskaln
Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
Geoffrey Cowles
Gavin Fay
James Bisagni
Jianhua Qi
Kevin Stokesbury
Mark Altabet
Miles Sundermeyer
Pingguo He
Steven Cadrin
Steven Lohrenz
Wendell Brown

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