Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits for the thesis option or 34 credits for the non-thesis option. This includes four core courses in biological, chemical, geological, and physical oceanography, as well as seminar and proposal development. Students in the thesis option will complete a thesis of 6 credits (in addition to the course credits) that is acceptable to the thesis-examining committee, and must pass an oral thesis defense presented to the public. Students in the non-thesis option will also complete a Directed Research project.
Students plan a program of study in conjunction with a faculty guidance committee (FGC). Students entering the program without a master's degree are expected to complete a minimum of 36 credit hours. Students with an M.S. degree in oceanography or related field in physical science from UNH or another university should first demonstrate (through accredited transcript or the qualifying examination) acceptable mastery in the basic core areas. All students must complete at least one course from each of the following categories: Natural Sciences, Methods, Ethics/Policy/Law, and Seminar. Additional credit hours (typically 15) and the foreign language requirement are determined by the FGC. Students present an original research proposal and undergo a qualifying examination to advance to candidacy.