Richard Zimmerman, Graduate Program Director
Applicants who have obtained a bachelor’s degree in a science (e.g., biology, chemistry, geology, physics), mathematics, or engineering, with a minimum 3.00 grade point average in their major and a 2.80 overall grade point average, are eligible for regular admission to the program. At least two semesters of calculus are also required. Ocean and earth sciences is an interdisciplinary endeavor and it is expected that applicants have science courses outside their major.
For students wishing to study geological/earth sciences, an undergraduate major in geology is required for regular admission. Students wishing to study physical oceanography should have majored in physics, mathematics, engineering, computer science, meteorology or a related physical sciences. Such applicants must have completed 36 hours in one of these fields and completed mathematics through partial differential equations.
An applicant who does not meet all requirements for admission as a regular graduate student may be admitted as a provisional graduate student. Students lacking adequate preparation for the program may make up deficiencies by taking appropriate undergraduate courses.
The student shall meet all university requirements for graduate degrees outlined in the Requirements for Graduate Degree section in this catalog, including at least 30 hours of graduate study. A maximum of 12 hours of credit may be transferred into a graduate degree program from non-degree status at Old Dominion University or from another accredited institution, except in the case of an approved inter-institutional program. All students are expected to demonstrate competency in oral communication and proficiency in writing.
A minimum of 13 hours of basic course work in the four sub-disciplines of oceanography is required of all M.S. students. This core program consists of:
|Required Core Courses|
|OEAS 604||Introduction to Physical Oceanography||3|
|OEAS 610||Advanced Chemical Oceanography||3|
|OEAS 620||Advanced Geological Sciences||3|
|OEAS 640||Advanced Biological Oceanography||4|
|Courses to be approved by the student's guidance committee.||17|
|Total Credit Hours||30|
Students must achieve a grade of B or better in each of the four core courses. Students may repeat any individual core course only once; if a student fails to earn a grade of B or better on repeating a core course, then the student will be dismissed from the program.
The remaining 17 credits are chosen from a list of graduate courses approved by the student’s guidance committee. At least 60 percent of all courses must be at the 600 level or above. For the non-thesis option, up to three hours of research may be used to meet course requirements. For the thesis option, up to six hours of research may be used to meet the course requirements.
A student in the non-thesis program must pass a written comprehensive examination testing breadth of knowledge in oceanography. The examination is given twice yearly, normally in October and March. The examination grades are fail, pass, or pass with distinction. A student who has failed the examination may retake it only once.
Before a student embarks on thesis research, a thesis advisory committee must be formed. Further information on university guidelines for forming this committee can be found in the Requirements for Graduate Degrees section of this catalog. The student must also submit a thesis proposal which outlines the research to be undertaken and identifies the resources required for completion of the research. Guidelines for the preparation of the thesis proposal are available from the graduate program director. Any student whose thesis research requires departmental funding must obtain prior approval from the department chair and graduate program director. No funds will be given without this approval. The thesis proposal requires the approval of the graduate program director and the student’s thesis advisory committee.
As part of the thesis requirement, the student is required to present a public defense of the research. The public defense and approval of the thesis by the student’s Thesis Committee satisfy the comprehensive examination requirement. Students in the thesis program should consult the graduate program director regarding the preparation of the M.S. thesis, scheduling a thesis defense, and the final submission of the thesis.
Ship Time Requirement and/or Field Work
MS graduate students must participate in field activities for a total of 5 days.
Request to Graduate
The student should complete an Application for Graduation form through the Registrar’s Office. The deadline for submitting this application is listed in the class schedule each semester and usually falls near the end of the semester preceding the one during which graduation is anticipated. It is the student’s responsibility to meet these deadlines and submit the necessary paperwork for graduation.
Removal of Incompletes
At least one month prior to graduation, all incomplete grades should be cleared. An Academic Record Change form is used for this purpose, and the instructor of the course and the department chair need to sign this form.