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Marine Science and Technology PSM

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
Cassie Canastra
Cassie Canastra '20

"The PSM program provided me with the necessary science background to understand the various regulatory requirements.”

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

Salary range for 28% of PSM graduates:
$60,000 - $89,000

Council of Graduate Schools, 2011 outcomes survey.
  • 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

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 3.0 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) are recommended for PSM applicants and required of all others. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required if the applicant is not a native English speaker. Typically, GREs should have a combined score of 1200 or greater. For the TOEFL, a minimum of 577 (233 on the computer based exam, 90-91 on the internet based exam) is highly recommended

Deadlines and Test Requirements

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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