Master’s Degree Program


Conduct oceanographic research on the frontlines of climate change. Work with leading international experts on high-latitude ecosystems. Contribute to high-profile reports, panels, committees and steering groups. The master’s degree in oceanography at UAF offers opportunities unlike anywhere else in the world.

The study of oceanography affects the ways we use the sea for food, energy, water and more. It applies chemistry, biology, geology, physics and other branches of science to address some of today’s most fundamental challenges — like how a changing climate can impact the quantity of resources we depend on from the sea.

UAF's oceanography master’s program focuses on the high latitudes of the North Pacific and the Arctic Ocean, a region experiencing some of the planet’s most rapid rates of change. It also brings together some of the leading authorities in the field, with faculty who serve on state, federal, international and non-governmental advisory panels.

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Why Earn Your Oceanography Degree at UAF?

At the University of Alaska Fairbanks, oceanography connects directly to everyday life. From fishing, to tourism, to energy, the Alaska economy, community and culture are all critically dependent on marine resources. UAF is also centrally located to all of Alaska’s large marine ecosystems: The Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea, the Chukchi Sea and the Arctic Ocean. Here are more reasons why UAF offers one of the best oceanography graduate programs in the nation.

Research and field-based learning

  • Research Alaskan ecosystems on the frontlines of climate change.  Field work is often conducted from large vessels by teams of scientists and students and combines diverse scientific disciplines. The experiences you'll gain will prepare you for challenging careers within the oceanographic community.

Cutting-edge technology

  • Oceanography is a technology-heavy discipline. UAF's program is supported by the Seward Marine Center which is home port to the 260’ RV Sikuliaq, one the academic fleet's newest and most advanced vessels.

Strong financial support

Flexible course delivery

  • Oceanography courses are delivered in-person at the Troth Yeddha' campus in Fairbanks, and via distance delivery remote classes offered in Juneau and Anchorage.

Specialized tracks of study

  • Specialize your master’s degree in one of five areas: Physical oceanography, chemical oceanography, biological oceanography, geological oceanography and fisheries oceanography. Your graduate advisors will work closely with you to tailor your degree to your career goals.


What Can You Do with an Oceanography Degree?

Oceanography graduates take on diverse careers across state, federal and international agencies that are responsible for managing the oceans from regional to global scales. The demand for sustainable energy sources and climate change research, continues to fuel faster-than-average growth for many careers in the field.

Many graduates also pursue doctoral programs in oceanography and faculty positions within institutions of higher education.  

Oceanography master’s degree jobs include:

  • Marine biologist
  • Fisheries scientist
  • Physical oceanographer
  • Aquatic chemist
  • Ocean geologist
  • Research scientist
  • Climate data scientist



Get Started on Your Master’s Degree in Oceanography

Take the next step toward earning your master’s degree. We have the resources to help you get started.