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Undergraduate Preparation

Use this table to assess whether you have the undergraduate preparation typically expected for a specific Joint Program discipline. Students who lack some of the required background for a discipline may be admitted with the proviso that they make up the deficiencies early in the program.

Students applying to this Joint Program discipline...Typically have completed:
Applied Ocean Science and Engineering Degrees in engineering or physical sciences

Courses in:
  • Mathematics (through differential equations, advanced courses recommended)

  • Physics (one year)

  • Upper-level courses in specialty

Biological Oceanography Degrees in a fundamental field of biology

Courses in:
  • Organic and inorganic chemistry

  • Physics (one year)

  • Mathematics (through differential equations)

  • Ecology, physiology, biochemistry, and genetics (recommended)

  • Statistics

  • Independent research


The specialized, yet multidisciplinary, outlook that such a background provides is necessary to unravel the complex biological processes that occur in the marine environment.

Familiarity with marine systems is not required.
Chemical Oceanography Degrees in physical sciences with a solid background in chemistry

Courses in:
  • Mathematics

  • One or more of the physical, biological, or geological sciences

  • Engineering or materials science studies

  • Laboratory or field experience (recommended, particularly independent work involving quantitative work)


Students enter the Joint Program in Chemical Oceanography with a wide range of backgrounds, and eventually embark on thesis research in a wide variety of fields of study.
Marine Geology and Geophysics Degrees in geology, physics, chemistry, geophysics, earth sciences, mathematics, or engineering

Courses in:
  • Mathematics (calculus, linear algebra, differential equations; more advanced courses recommended depending on expected area of specialization)

Physical Oceanography Degrees in engineering, physical sciences, mathematics, or meteorology

Courses in:
  • Mathematics (through ordinary and partial differential equations; advanced courses recommended)

  • Physics (advanced classical mechanical and thermodynamics; fluid dynamics recommended)