Jun 13, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog (As of 09-20-21) 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog (As of 09-20-21) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Marine Biology, M.S.

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Program Requirements

  • Credit Hours: 30
  • By the second semester in the program, a graduate student is expected to choose a major professor, establish a graduate committee, and file a plan of study in the program’s office at Grice Marine Lab. This plan must be approved by the student’s committee.
  • Oral Comprehensive Examination - Successful completion of an oral comprehensive examination is required. This exam must be taken no later than 45 days after completion of the second semester of courses. Successful completion of the comprehensive exam formally admits students to candidacy for the degree.
  • Thesis Proposal - A formal written presentation of the research problem is required. This presentation to the student’s committee will include a detailed description of the scope of the research, the method(s) of approach and a timetable. The proposal is expected by the time the student has completed the first 15 months of the program.
  • Thesis - A formal written presentation of the student’s research, the thesis, is required. The student’s committee reviews the thesis and, if it is satisfactory, formally certifies its acceptance following an oral presentation and defense of the thesis by the student. A description of the required format for the thesis is available to students from the program office at Grice Marine Laboratory.
  • Students must maintain continuous enrollment in the program. Continuous enrollment can be maintained by enrollment in at least one graduate course per semester. This will entitle the graduate student to a valid ID card, full service of the campus library, and such support from faculty and facilities of the program as the plan of study authorizes.


Core course requirements may be waived if their content overlaps with prior undergraduate coursework. Petition for such waivers should be presented to the GPMB Director. Students receiving a core course waiver must take additional elective graduate courses to fulfill the 30 credit hours required.


Students are encouraged to take at least one organismal course as per the discretion of the thesis advisory committee. An organismal course is defined as one that surveys the biodiversity of a taxonomic group in the context of how its species are defined and how they fit into populations and ecological communities; such a course also covers multiple sub-disciplines of biology (e. g., structure and function, ecology, evolution).  Organismal courses include BIOL 627 BIOL 630 BIOL 632 BIOL 635  


Complete 4 credit hours of BIOL 700 Research and Thesis (1-4) .

Transfer Credit Policy

Acceptance of transfer credit(s) for fulfillment of the Marine Biology program requirements will be determined by the Marine Biology Graduate Council.  A maximum of 12 credit hours may be transferred into the Graduate School of the University of Charleston, SC. 

Credits to be applied toward the degree remain valid for five years from the date of enrollment.  In unusual circumstances, exceptions may be made by the Marine Biology Graduate Council and with the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School.  Courses with grades of “S” or “P” are not transferable unless the student or department provides written documentation from the instructor(s) of the course, a department administrator, or the registrar at the transfer institution that the “S” or “P” graded course was equivalent to at least a “B” grade.

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