Sequence of Courses by Semester

Sequence of Courses by Semester - Typical Timelines

In the first two semesters, Professional Science Master's students normally complete the core courses and take courses towards fulfilling their elective requirements in either the sciences, policy, or "Plus" courses. Additional coursework and a one-semester internship are typically completed in the third and fourth semesters.

A total of 34 credits is required for completion of the COAST PSM degree. A full-time student will normally complete the degree requirements in four semesters; a typical part-time student will do so in six semesters. The following table summarizes the sequence of courses for four semesters.


  Core Courses Science Electives "Plus" Courses (Policy and Core Electives) Science and/or "Plus" Electives Overall Total
Semester 1 3 credits 3-6 credits 0-3 credits 0-3 credits  
Semester 2 3 credits 3-6 credits 0-3 credits 0-3 credits  
Semester 3 n/a 0-9 credits 0-9 credits 0-9 credits  
Semester 4 n/a 0-9 0-9 credits

0-9 credits

(1 credit for internship)

TOTALS 6 12 credits minimum 9 credits minimum

6 credits minimum

(including 1 credit for internship)

34 credits minimum


*"Plus" courses currently include: PSM 545 – Professional and Scientific Communication, PSM 535 – Project Management for Science Professionals, and PSM 555 – Professional Science Leadership.  

Example of a full-time COAST PSM *course sequence:

Semester 1:

  • Physical Oceanography
  • U.S. Ocean Policy
  • Quantitative Methods for Marine Scientists

Semester 2:

  • Chemical Oceanography
  • Project Management for Science Professionals
  • Physics of Fluids

Semester 3:

  • Professional and Scientific Communication
  • Coastal Physical Oceanography
  • Marine Biogeochemical Cycles

Semester 4:

  • Pollutant Transport in the Environment
  • Professional Science Leadership
  • Internship

*For coming semester's offerings, see SMAST Course List.

*For full course descriptions, see UMassD Graduate Catalog.