Marine Sciences Graduate Handbook

This page contains information for our current graduate students to successfully navigate the program. For more information or if you have questions contact the Graduate Coordinator (cmeile@uga.edu)

Sections:

Registration

Course requirements

Establishing your committee

Changing committee members

Residency requirement

Teaching and field experience requirements

Guidelines for thesis/dissertation prospectus

PhD qualifying exams

What do I need to graduate?

Applying for graduation

Timeline

Conflict resolution

 

 

REGISTRATION

How do I register for classes each semester? 
Clearance for registration must first be obtained before each student registers for classes. On a yellow advisement form, fill in courses and research hours and have it signed by your major professor. Take the signed form to the Student Affairs Specialist, who will clear you for registration.

Each student must be cleared for registration and any classes that require special permission (permission of instructor or department) prior to registering.

A copy of the advisement form will be placed in your mailbox once you have been cleared. You will then be able to register through OASIS. 

Students must register during the preregistration phase to qualify for tuition waiver.

During spring and fall semesters, 12 hours of courses/research are needed to be considered a full time student; during summer, 9 hours is considered full time.

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Doctoral Degree: The program of study must include a total of at least 30 credit hours.

Course work exclusive of research:
If entering the program without a Master’s degree in a natural sciences discipline: Of the 30 total credit hours, 20 credit hours in non-research classes are required: 16 credits must be from 8000-level classes and 4 can be from any graduate-only classes. 
If entering the program with a Master’s degree in a natural sciences discipline: Of the 30 total credit hours, 16 credit hours in non-research classes are required: all 16 credits must be from 8000-level classes.

At least 3 research credits must be in MARS9000 and 3 in MARS9300. You should register for MARS9300 the semester you defend your dissertation.

You must obtain a grade of C or better for all courses on your program of study; you must maintain a B average for all graduate courses. Marine Sciences graduate core courses MARS 8010, 8020, and 8030 must be included in your program of study and an average grade of a 'B' among these three core courses is required. Any core class can be repeated no more than once. MARS7380 (Quantitative Methods) is also a required course.

You must take at least 30 credit hours of credit consecutively (not including summers) to meet the residency requirement

Master’s Degree: The program of study must include a total of at least 30 credit hours. 

Course work exclusive of research:  
Of the 30 total credit hours, 21 credit hours in non-research classes are required: 12 credits must be from graduate-only classes and 9 can be from graduate or graduate-only classes.

At least 3 research credits must be in MARS7000 and 3 in MARS7300. You should register for MARS7300 the semester you defend your thesis.

You must obtain a grade of C or better for all courses on your program of study; you must maintain a B average for all graduate courses. Marine Sciences graduate core courses MARS 8010, 8020, and 8030 must be included in your program of study and an average grade of a 'B' among these three core courses is required. MARS7380 (Quantitative Methods) is also a required course.

Definitions:
graduate-only classes: 8000 or 6000 level classes. 4000/6000 level classes count only if no undergraduates are enrolled; MARS6470L does not count. 7000 level classes do not count.

graduate classes: includes all 8000 and 6000 level classes. There are no restrictions on 4000/6000 classes, except that MARS 6740L does not count. 7000 level classes, except the required MARS7380, do not count.

To count more than a total of 3 credits from MARS8190, MARS8900 and MARS8990 towards a program of study requires a GAC-approved syllabus to be part of the student’s file.

 

ESTABLISHING YOUR COMMITTEE

When should I form my advisory committee?
Your advisory committee should be formed by the end of your first year of study for the Master’s and Doctoral degree.

How many members are on a committee?

Master’s Committee: 3 members. Your major professor and at least one of the other members of the advisory committee must be members of the graduate faculty.

Doctoral Committee: 5 members. Your major professor and at least two other members of the advisory committee must be members of the graduate faculty. 

For both MS and Ph.D. committees, one member may be from outside UGA (i.e., someone who is not a regular or adjunct member of the UGA faculty) if approved by the Graduate  School. The outside committee member must be available for committee meetings, oral exams, and final defense. Alternatively, one member may be a UGA employee who holds the rank of public service assistant, public service associate, senior public service associate, assistant research scientist, associate research scientist, or senior research scientist. To obtain approval in either of these cases, an updated CV of the potential committee member must be submitted to the Student Affairs Specialist, along with a letter from your major professor (addressed to the graduate dean) explaining the role this person would serve on your committee.  Following  approval in the department, the materials will be forwarded to the Graduate School along with the Advisory Committee Form. 

Where do I find the Advisory Committee Form?
You can find the necessary form on the Graduate School website under Current Students: Forms & Publications.  The completed form should be given to the Student Affairs Specialist.

 

CHANGING COMMITTEE MEMBERS

How do I change committee members once I have submitted an advisory committee form?
To change your advisory committee, submit a new committee form. Forms are available on the Graduate School website under Current Students: Forms & Publications. Be sure to mark "revised" at the top of the form.  The completed form should be returned to the Student Affairs Specialist.

 

RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT

How do I meet the residency requirement?

For Master’s degree the minimum residence requirement is two semesters which do not have to be consecutive.

For Doctoral degree a minimum of three full years of study beyond the bachelor’s degree is required. At least 30 hours of consecutive course work included on the program of study must be spent in resident study on this campus. Undergraduate courses taken either to fulfill research skills requirements or to remove deficiencies may not be calculated in the 30 consecutive hours of resident credit. Summer semester does not break consecutive enrollment.

 

TEACHING AND FIELD EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS

Master’s Degree:
None.

Doctoral Degree:
Obtain teaching experience by serving as a Marine Sciences TA for at least one semester. All TAs must complete the TA training course GRSC 7770 if applicable, and, when appropriate, successfully pass LLED 7768 and/or LLED 7769 courses.

Obtain field experience by participating in at least 14 days of research cruises and coastal (shore-based) research trips. The field experiences must include both ship- and shore-based research (minimum of 1 day in each category). Teaching-related field experience does not count toward this requirement. The 14 days do not have to be consecutive, but the ship-based research must include at least one overnight. A Field Experience Form must be submitted to the Department prior to filing for admission to candidacy.

 

GUIDELINES FOR THESIS/DISSERTATION PROSPECTUS

Master’s Degree:
A 3 to 5 page description of your proposed research which has been signed by each member of your committee should be given to the Student Affairs Specialist.

Doctoral Degree:
A 5 to 8 page description of your proposed research which has been signed by each member of your committee should be given to the Student Affairs Specialist.

 

PH.D QUALIFYING EXAMS

Written exams should be scheduled for year 3.  Each committee member provides written questions (typically taking 1/2 to 1 day to answer). To pass the written exam, a passing grade must be received from all but one committee member.  Oral exams should be scheduled after successful completion of written exams. If the written exam is failed, the entire exam must be re-taken, with new questions from all committee members. Only one re-take is allowed.

Notify the Student Affairs Specialist of the time and place of the oral exam at least two weeks prior to the exam date. To pass the oral exam, a passing grade must be received from all but one committee member. If the oral exam is failed, the entire exam must be re-taken, with new questions from all committee members. Only one re-take is allowed. All committee members must participate in the oral exam at the scheduled time. Committee members may participate via phone or satellite links. Note also that the graduate school requires the final program of study to be on file when scheduling the oral exam.

Continuation in the Program: Student academic and research progress is monitored by the advisor, the advisory committee, and the GAC. Lack of adequate progress or satisfactory work performance may be cause for dismissal from the program, in accordance with graduate school policies. At the departmental level, dismissal decisions are made by the GAC after consultation with the student, the advisor, and the advisory committee.

 

WHAT DO I NEED TO GRADUATE?

Master's Degree
Committee form, Program of Study form, and Thesis proposal must be submitted. Apply for graduation (see below). Pass an oral defense of your thesis. [Your oral defense must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance with the Graduate School, and your thesis must be provided to committee members at least two weeks prior to the defense.] Follow Graduate School deadlines for thesis check and final submission.

Doctoral Degree
Committee form, Preliminary Program of Study form, Final Program of Study form, Dissertation proposal, Admission to Candidacy form, and Field Experience form must be submitted. Obtain required teaching experience. Pass written and oral qualifiying exams. Meet residency requirement. Apply for graduation (see below). Pass oral defense of your dissertation. [Your oral defense must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance with the Graduate School, and your dissertation must be provided to committee members at least two weeks prior to the defense.] Follow Graduate School deadlines for dissertation check and final submission.

 

APPLYING FOR GRADUATION

When should I apply for graduation?
You must apply for graduation the Friday of the second full week (first full week for summer) of classes in the semester of the anticipated graduation date.

How do I submit an application for graduation?
You may apply for graduation online at the Graduate School website (Current Students: Forms & Publications).  After submitting the form electronically, you will receive a confirmation number from the Graduation Office. Please notify the Student Affairs Specialist after submitting your graduation application.

Once I have submitted an application to graduate, how do I change that date if I can’t meet that deadline?
Submit the Graduation Change Form, available at the Graduate School website (Current Students: Forms & Publications), to the Graduation Office. Alternatively, email the Graduation Office and request that the change be made.

 

TIMELINE

A suggested timeline of major milestones for graduation is:

Ph.D. 
Formation of Faculty Advisory Committee - First year
Approval of Preliminary Program of Study - First year
Committee Meeting   - Early in second year
Approval of Final Program of Study - Second year
Thesis Proposal - Second year
Written Comprehensive Exam   - Third year
Oral Comprehensive Exam - Third year
Application for Admission to Candidacy - Third year
Completion of Teaching Requirement - Any year
Completion of Ship/Field Work Requirement - Any year

M.S.
Formation of Faculty Advisory Committee - First year
Committee Meeting - Early in second year
Approval of Program of Study - Second year
Thesis Proposal - Second year

 

CONFLICT RESOLUTION 

For information on resolving personal and ethical, or academic concerns, please see this document