student leans out of a boat to collect water sample near UMass Boston.

Marine Science and Technology, PhD

The oceans are part of the thin, outer shell of the Earth and marine science is the study of this envelope, from the deep sea to shallow coastal oceans. These systems are dynamic and vast, containing most of the Earth’s water and carbon and surface heat, and much of its biomass. Working like a machine in concert with the atmosphere, continents and ice oceans drive our climate system and support all life on our planet. Our PhD program centers around issues of biological oceanography, marine ecosystems, climate change impacts on the oceans, and marine policy and management.

What the School Offers to Ensure Your Success

In addition to the significant support provided by the Director and faculty of the marine science and technology PhD program, our Academic Achievement Services Center (AASC@SFE) offers a breadth of programs and activities designed to support you in your journey. Whether you seek additional support for your classes, need assistance in identifying an internship host, seeking information about fellowships or grants, looking for professional development opportunities or gearing up to enter the job market, AASC@SFE is always here for you. AASC@SFE offers support and connections for advising, student support (academic, financial, health), career services and opportunities, connections to internship hosts and employers, and more.

What You Can Take

Current students should refer to the graduate student handbook of the year in which they enrolled in the program.

The PhD in marine science and technology is a research-based degree wherein students are expected to generate new and original knowledge in their area of study. 

Concentration Areas
Doctoral Degree Requirements

What You Will Learn

Students in the marine science and technology PhD program are broadly trained marine scientists with deep expertise in their chosen concentration area. Students gain practical experience in marine systems data modeling, experimental design, field studies, and integrated science-policy methods and skills. Courses in the marine science and technology program include unique offerings in oceans and human health, paleoclimate reconstruction, and marine law. As a research intensive degree students gain significant proficiency in a breadth of methods and approaches to solving emerging issues facing our oceans.

What You Can Do With a PhD in Marine Science and Technology

PhD in Marine Science and Technology alumni lead their respective fields through their research and discovery efforts in academic institutions, government and legislative organizations, nonprofit research organizations, and private industry. The majority of our alumni are employed as chief scientists and lead researchers in federal and state government agencies. Our alumni are highly sought for their deep understanding of the interconnectedness of marine and human systems. Many, after winning federal fellowships and scholarships while PhD students, receive competitive post-doctoral fellowships with science agencies as well.

Program Faculty

Program Contact

contact Graduate Program Coordinator Maria Petrova at or Graduate Program Director Juanita Urban-Rich at