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Doctoral Admissions Requirements

The Ph.D. degree consists of a program of upper-level course work and original research on a selected topic of importance in the ocean sciences. Courses consist of required general core courses as well as tutorial studies with the major professor. Ph.D. programs are informally divided into physical oceanography and marine biology.
For further information on the Ph.D. degree, click here.

Qualified Applicants

For Ph.D. applicants, previous degree(s) should be in the area of mathematics (for Physical Oceanography) or an appropriate area of the natural sciences (for Marine Biology). A Master's degree in Biological oceanography, Biology, Marine Biology, or a related science is preferred. Acceptance into the program is effectively provisional for all. The accepted student is a "precandidate" until later defense of proposal and successful passing of comprehensive exams.

To qualify for acceptance, applicants must submit a transcript for a master's degree with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, and bachelor's degree with a major GPA of at least 3.0 and a cumulative GPA of 2.9.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) requirements are scores of 55% on the verbal portion, 55% on the quantitative portion, and 4.0 on the analytical writing portion for acceptance.

A completed application along with a $50 application fee is required. Payment can be made by Visa, American Express, and MasterCard. 

The Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography requires all applicants to take the general GRE. Advanced aptitude test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) must be sent to us directly from Educational Testing Service, PO Box 995, Princeton, NJ 07540. Our Institution Code for Nova Southeastern University is 5514, and the Department Code for Marine Biology is 0211. The Institution code for the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography is 3236. The GRE requirement is waived only under extreme special circumstances. More information about the GRE may be found at

You need to request official transcripts from any educational institution attended since high school graduation. Request the certifying institution send transcripts directly to the

Graduate Program Office at:

Nova Southeastern University
Oceanographic Center
8000 North Ocean Drive
Dania Beach, FL 33004

(954) 262-3600

The Ph.D. in Oceanography/Marine Biology requires a minimum of three letters of recommendationWithin the application, you will find the letters of recommendation as supplemental items. Please fill out the letters of recommendation section of your application. Letters must come from professors or class instructors. An exception can be made if the applicant has been out of school for a long period of time, in which case, an employment supervisor's letter will be adequate.

An updated curriculum vitae (CV) is required for all doctoral applicants. The CV should elaborate on the applicants education to a greater degree than a resume and is expected to include a comprehensive listing of professional history including every term of employment, academic credential, publication, contribution, or significant achievement.

For the Marine Biology concentration, PhD applicants should have completed a dissertation pre-proposal that must be submitted with the application. The pre-proposal will be included as a supplemental item for the application that can be uploaded as a word document. The proposal will be a major factor in acceptance.

PhD Applicants must have obtained agreement from a faculty member to serve as the major professor. Furthermore, the Major Professor will need to state in writing that she/he has or will be able to acquire sufficient funds to cover the PhD student's research expenses, and salary for a minimum of 3 years. The Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography will not be responsible for covering research expenses in the event of funding loss by the Major Professor. This letter can be uploaded as an attachment in the application under supplemental items. 

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