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SMAST Professor Brian Howes and graduate student Jennifer Benson

Marine Science and Technology

Earn your Professional Science Master’s (PSM) degree 

Professionals in the marine science sectors of industry, government, and non-governmental organizations are expected to develop policy and planning options while managing both living and non-living marine resources based upon the best available science and technology. These individuals are also faced with managing personnel, funds, and businesses in increasingly challenging fiscal and policy environments.

Advance your career in business, government, or the nonprofit sector by earning your professional science master's degree. SMAST's Coastal and Ocean Administration, Science and Technology Professional Science Master’s (COAST PSM) degree will equip you with the required knowledge and skills to be competitive in today’s workforce.

Why the PSM degree?

  • This PSM program provides you with access to the University of Massachusetts’ system-wide Intercampus Marine Science program, including access to faculty and resources on all 4 campuses.
  • You may take courses elsewhere in the UMass system at UMass Dartmouth's reduced tuition rates.
  • You'll benefit from faculty mentorship, collaborate with the coastal community, and gain hands-on experience.
  • Earning the PSM degree requires completion of 11 PSM courses, plus an internship.
  • This 2-year, master of professional science program is ideal if you wish to pursue a non-thesis degree that focuses on marine science and engineering management, policy, or law.
  • Flexible course structure, including online courses, allows you to study part-time while working full-time.
  • Ideal for individuals with a BS degree in the STEM disciplines.

  • Biochemical cycling
  • Climate resiliency
  • Coastal ecosystem dynamics and restoration
  • Computational modeling
  • Fisheries science
  • Marine renewable energy
  • Ocean physics
  • Offshore wind development

Student success

Aubrey Church, PSM student at SMAST
Aubrey Church '22

“Pursuing my PSM degree provides me with an opportunity for career advancement, improved quantitative skills, and confidence to design and carry out research projects from start to finish."

Employment sites of SMAST graduates

  • Federal University of Ceará – Brazil
  • Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration
  • Lynker Technologies
  • Maine Department of Marine Resources
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
  • Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
  • National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • NOAA
  • Northeast Fisheries Science Center
  • Office of Naval Research
  • Rutgers University
  • Southwest Fisheries Science Center
  • University of California Santa Cruz
  • US Virgin Islands Center for Marine and Environmental Studies
  • Completion of 11 courses, plus an internship
  • Courses include 2 core courses from among the 4 science core courses in biological, chemical, geological, and physical oceanography
  • An additional, third core course in marine policy and/or management areas (including law and economics) is also required.
  • The remaining 8 elective courses include:
    4 science electives–12 credits
    2 elective “Plus” courses (includes such areas as communication, project management, and science leadership)–6 credits
    2 courses selected from science AND/OR “Plus” electives, chosen to fit the student’s area of concentration-6 credits

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 with an transcript evaluation, please submit that document with your unofficial transcripts. International applicants 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 iBT, 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. We require an overall/total minimum score of 72 on the TOEFL iBT or BAND 6.0 on the IELTS or a 52 on the Pearsons PTE Academic for entrance to any program and a minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL iBT or BAND 6.5 on the IELTS for consideration for a teaching assistantship. Some programs require higher minimum scores (see program-specific requirements). Most programs also accept the Duolingo with a minimum score of 95. The following programs do not accept the Duolingo: Art Education, Biology/Marine Biology, Nursing (MS, DNP, PhD), Psychology: Clinical, and Public Policy. 
  • All official documents are required for enrollment, please have documents (ie. test scores) sent prior to the expiration. 

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

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, climate resiliency, coastal ecosystem dynamics and restoration marine computational modeling, fisheries science and management, marine renewable energy, ocean observing/remote sensing, and ocean physics, & offshore wind development. 

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