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Marine Science and Technology PhD

The School for Marine Sciences & Technology’s (SMAST) PhD in Marine Science and Technology program emphasizes societal need-driven research and learning in an interdisciplinary environment. The PhD program focuses on observations, modeling, experimentation, and theory in the areas of ocean sciences, ocean technology, and marine policy.

Students work independently as well as collaboratively with our faculty as well as colleagues from other most highly regarded institutions to pursue a range of leading-edge research projects. Topical areas include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Biochemical cycling
  • Coastal Ecosystem Dynamics and Restoration
  • Computational Modeling
  • Fisheries Science
  • Marine Renewable Energy
  • Ocean Physics

View the complete list of faculty and their areas of expertise.


  • Program requires four core courses (12 credits) and an additional 24 credit hours of courses (which includes both elective and seminar courses), which help prepare the student for the written and oral candidacy examinations
  • Upon completing the comprehensive exams, students are required to take a minimum of 18 credit hours toward their dissertation research
  • PhD students may be accepted as part-time students
  • Courses may be selected from those offered by UMass Dartmouth,  other UMass campuses, and other academic institutions subject to approval by the SMAST Dean

At a glance

SMAST student achievements

  • Fulbright Fellowships
  • Knauss Marine Policy Fellowships
  • NOAA Sea Grant Fellowship in Population Dynamics
  • Nancy Sayles Day Foundation Research Award

Awards for presentations at various organizations

  • International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
  • American Meteorological Society
  • National Shellfisheries Association
  • International Pectinid Workshop
  • American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists
  • American Fisheries Society


The University of Massachusetts 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.

Doug Zemeckis PHD in Marine Science and Technology
Doug Zemeckis: PhD in Marine Science & Technology

Doug Zemeckis PhD '16 researched the spawning dynamics of the Atlantic cod during his doctoral studies at SMAST.

A limited number of assistantships are available on a competitive basis. This award is subject to the work needs of the position and department, your satisfactory performance of duties, your academic record, and availability of funds, and may be subject to change.

International (F-1) students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees may be eligible to apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT). To learn about the eligibility criteria and detailed steps to apply, please review the International Student & Scholar Center (ISSC) OPT page and USCIS resources. F-1 students must consult with the ISSC to apply for STEM OPT.

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 3.00 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

Marine Science and Technology 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

Explore more about Marine Science and Technology

Course Catalog

See course schedules and requirements.

Related information


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