Department & Faculty Information
Marine Science (M.S.) 45 units
This degree program, offered through the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, provides the opportunity for students to acquire a practical and theoretical education in the marine sciences to prepare them for careers as marine specialists, scientists, and teachers. The program at Moss Landing provides interdepartmental work and a field facility for advanced study in the marine sciences which cannot be duplicated on the Cal State East Bay campus.
Admission to the Program
The master’s degree program is administered through either the Department of Biological Sciences or Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, depending on the choice of the student. The prospective student must meet the admission requirements of either of these departments. Refer to descriptions of these department graduate programs for complete information. Students will be accepted as “Conditionally Classified Graduate” students in the department of their choice upon completion of the admission requirements. The student will become a “Classified Graduate” student upon completion of MLML’s requirements (below).
MLML Classification in the Program
A “Conditionally Classified Graduate” student may become a fully “Classified Graduate” student in the marine science program as set forth in the following steps:
- Obtain an adviser at MLML and one from the science department at the home campus. Each new student in the master’s program at MLML will be assigned an advisor who may or may not be the final thesis advisor.
- Make up any coursework deficiencies in either the home campus department (see their regulations) and/or at MLML. MSC 4104 - Quantitative Marine Science, and three of the following five courses are prerequisites for “Classified Graduate” standing: MSC 4103 - Marine Ecology, 4141 Geological Oceanography, 4142 Physical Oceanography, 4143 Chemical Oceanography, and MSC 4144 - Biological Oceanography. These courses may be waived by the graduate committee upon certification that equivalent courses have been satisfactorily completed. MSC 4104 - Quantitative Marine Science cannot be counted toward the 45 unit degree requirement.
- Students who do not receive a grade of “B” or better in the courses described in (2) above taken at MLML, or who wish to substitute equivalent courses taken elsewhere regardless of the grade(s) received, must petition to have the courses accepted, or must pass a written qualifying examination given by the faculty at MLML. The examination will substitute for any equivalent examination given by home campus departments. There is no official time limit, but the exam should be taken as soon as possible; only a limited number of units taken while in “Conditionally Classified” status can be counted toward the degree. The exam may be repeated once, and must be passed before the student can be “Classified.” The examination will consist of a choice of five out of six questions designed to test knowledge of the concepts and principles of oceanography, marine ecology, and statistics as covered in the courses listed under (2) above. It will be used to evaluate the student’s background in these subject areas and the ability to write well and formulate answers logically. Each answer will be graded “pass” or “fail” by two faculty members (a third faculty member will resolve disagreements) on accuracy, content, and ability to clearly communicate. For a reading list covering the required material and further details concerning the exam, see MLML’s Assistant to the Director.
- Students must have satisfied the University Writing Skills Requirement according to Cal State East Bay standards. For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see the Testing Office website at www.csueastbay.edu/testing or call 510.885.3661.
Advancement to Candidacy
In order to be Advanced to Candidacy, the student must have:
- Attained “Classified Graduate” standing;
- Selected a thesis problem and a thesis advisor committee. The thesis committee will be composed of at least three members, including one faculty member from MLML (who is ordinarily the thesis advisor) and, at the discretion of the home campus, a representative from that campus. The other member or members of the thesis committee may be from MLML, the home campus, or elsewhere, with the approval of the thesis advisor.
A student becomes eligible for the master’s degree in Marine Science after the following requirements have been satisfied:
1. The student has been Advanced to Candidacy
2. The student has satisfied MLML’s requirements for the degree
3. The student has completed the following curriculum requirements:
A minimum of 22.5 quarter units of 6000- level courses are required for the MS in Marine Science, including the two (2) courses listed below.
Note: Once all curricular requirements are met, the Marine Science MS student must submit a University Thesis (MSC 6910) pre-approved by the thesis advisory committee. The thesis must conform to the rules set forth in the Cal State East Bay “University Writing Guide,” available online at: www.csueastbay.edu/thesiswritingguide. Also, the student must successfully give an oral thesis defense in the form of a seminar open to the general public. The thesis advisory committee must be present, may require further oral questioning after the seminar, and will evaluate the success of the presentation.
An additional 22.5 elective units, consisting of 3000-, 4000-, and/or additional 6000-level courses as approved by the thesis committee, must be included to complete the MS in Marine Science. The following are elective courses that may be used to satisfy requirements for the major:
Use this link to see all Course Descriptions available throughout this catalog.
Other Graduate & Post-Baccalaureate Degree Requirements
In addition to departmental requirements, every student must also satisfy the university requirements for graduation as described in the Graduate/Post-Baccalaureate Admission and Degree Information chapter in this catalog. These include the 32-unit residence requirement, the five year rule on currency of subject matter, the minimum number of units of 6000-level courses, the 3.00 grade point average, and the University Writing Skills Requirement. For information on meeting the University Writing Skills Requirement, see the Testing Office website at www.csueastbay.edu/testing or call 510.885.3661.