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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.

Learn more about assistantships at UMass Dartmouth

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.

University requirements for graduate admissions

  • Submit an application via the online portal. Be sure to provide your full legal name and to capitalize the first letter of all proper nouns.
  • Pay non-refundable $60 application fee (American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa) via the online portal. For Nursing applicants, the non-refundable application fee is $75.
  • Statement of Purpose, minimum 300 words. Unless otherwise indicated in the program requirement details, indicate your graduate study objectives, research interests and experience, and business or industry experience if applicable. If you are applying for a teaching or research assistantship, include any special skills or experience that would assist us in making assistantship decisions.
  • Resume
  • Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless of whether a credential is earned or not). Unofficial transcripts are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled a final official transcript is required. International students applying for Data Science must submit semester-by-semester transcripts as well as consolidated transcripts. 
  • Many programs have specific recommendations/requirements, please see the additional program-specific requirements for more information.
  • International students: official TOEFL, IELTS, Pearson PTE or Duolingo (if accepted by program) score. Unofficial scores are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled official scores are required and must be sent by the testing agency (copies/scans not accepted). This is required of any applicant who did not earn a bachelor’s degree or higher degree from an accredited academic institution in the U.S. or accepted English-speaking country, see exemptions for more details. The Duolingo test is not accepted for the following programs: Art Education, Biology/Marine Biology, Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies & Theory, Marine Science and Technology (MS, PSM, PhD), Nursing (MS, DNP, PhD), Portuguese Studies, Professional Writing and Communication, Psychology (ABA, Clinical, Research), and Public Policy.

Program-specific requirements

Candidates must submit the required application materials, university requirements and program-specific requirements, for consideration.

  • 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.


  • GRE is optional.
  • 3 letters of recommendation. Applicants will be required to provide the recommenders name and email address so we can contact the recommender for the letter of recommendation.

Program deadlines

Marine Science and Technology Faculty

Adam Delargy
Avijit Gangopadhyay
Amber Lisi
Alice Pietri
Andre Schmidt
Amit Tandon
Amit Tandon
Brian Howes
Brian Rothschild
Changsheng Chen
Christian Buckingham
Courtney Donovan
Cynthia Pilskaln
Christopher Rillahan
David White
Daniel Georgianna
Dale Goehringer Toner
Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
David Schlezinger
Geoffrey Cowles
Gavin Fay
James Bisagni
Jianhua Qi
Jefferson Turner
Jefferson Turner
Kevin Stokesbury
Kayhan Ulgen
Liuzhi Zhao
Mark Altabet
Micheline Labrie
Miles Sundermeyer
Pingguo He
Qichun Xu
Robert Griffin
Roland Samimy
Steven Cadrin
Steven Lohrenz
Wendell Brown