Graduate Programs

Welcome, future Nanook! Thank you for your interest in our graduate programs here at the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Please feel free to explore our site and reach out to us at the Academic Programs Office at if you have any questions.

We offer multiple M.S. and Ph.D. opportunities in the fields of Fisheries, Marine Biology, and Oceanography. Our M.S. degrees require a minimum of 30 credits with some fixed course requirements, with at least 21 credits at the graduate level. All M.S. programs require the completion of a thesis. Doctoral degrees require one year of full-time course work beyond the M.S. degree and at least 18 credits of thesis research. All Ph.D. candidates must pass a written comprehensive examination and complete a dissertation. If you are a potential applicant, we highly encourage and recommend that you take the time to review our tenure-track professors, find one with similar research interests, and then reach out to that professor to see if they have an opening in their research group and are accepting new students. We recommend that potential applicants do this before applying to the program because application fees are non-refundable.

We also offer three non-thesis professional master’s degrees, Master of Marine Studies (M.M.S.), the Master of Marine Policy (M.M.P.), and Blue MBA. The M.M.S. degree program is intended for college graduates and working professionals to pursue further study in marine sciences. The program provides scholarly perspectives in the broad fields of marine biology and oceanography, sustainable use of ocean resources, and related societal impacts. This degree is designed to be relevant to those pursuing careers in a broad range of sectors, including teaching, government policy, and industry. M.M.S. graduates will have the knowledge base to be highly competitive in obtaining positions or advancing their careers in state and federal management agencies and /or related industries in Alaska and elsewhere.

The Blue MBA program combines the Master of Business Administration offered by the College of Business and Security Management with CFOS courses in fisheries, marine biology, and oceanography. Students in the Blue MBA program must take three 600-level CFOS courses which must be approved by a CFOS faculty member or advisor. Students also have the opportunity to take two 400- or 600-level CFOS courses as electives.

CFOS and the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) School of Arts and Sciences offer a joint Master of Marine Policy (MMP) degree. The demand for science and policy expertise is ever more pressing with the increasing effects of climate change on marine ecosystems. Students in the MPP program can choose from a wide variety of UAF and UAS courses that build a working knowledge of both natural and social sciences, which competitively positions graduates for marine resource management positions in Alaska and worldwide.