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Undergraduate Preparation

The table below describes the undergraduate preparation typical for a specific Joint Program discipline. Students who do not yet have some of the usual or expected background for a discipline may be admitted with the understanding that they work with their advisors and Joint Committee to determine how best to acquire the needed foundation early in the program. For those applying to AOSE, please also see the admissions pages for the relevant MIT department (CEE, Aero Astro, MechE, EECS) and recommendations/requirements for applicants.

Students applying to this Joint Program discipline...Typically have completed:
Applied Ocean Science and Engineering Degree 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, or less commonly another physical science.

Courses in:
  • Organic and inorganic chemistry

  • Physics (one year)

  • Mathematics (through differential equations)

  • Foundational courses in biology, such as ecology, physiology, biochemistry, and genetics

  • Statistics

Students in our program come from diverse educational backgrounds and will not necessarily have completed all the coursework described above. They will typically have experience in conducting independent research. In addition, experience in computer coding is not required, but is desirable and increasingly common.

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)