Graduate Program Overview
This page contains an overview of the marine science, oceanography, and fisheries graduate program (M.S. and Ph.D.) at UAF. If you're not already familiar with our program, we recommend you read over this information first, and then follow the links to more detailed information about our individual degree programs in oceanography, marine biology and fisheries graduate programs.
The School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences offers the M.S. degree in biological, chemical, fisheries, geological, and physical oceanography; marine biology; fisheries; and seafood science and nutrition (interdisciplinary degree). M.S. students in fisheries have a choice of several emphasis areas: Fish and shellfish ecology, stock assessment and fishery management, conservation biology and genetics, stock enhancement, toxicology; all programs include elements of biometry. The Ph.D. is offered in marine biology, oceanography, fisheries and in an interdisciplinary program in seafood science and nutrition.
M.S. programs in fisheries, oceanography and marine biology require at least one year of residence at UAF (which includes the School's outlying centers at Juneau, Seward, and Kodiak). Marine science faculty and students reside at Fairbanks and Seward. Fisheries faculty and students reside at Fairbanks and Juneau. Seafood science and nutrition is offered through faculty at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center (KSMSC) in Kodiak. M.S. degrees require a minimum of 30 credits. At least 21 credits must be at the graduate level. All M.S. programs require a thesis. Successful completion of an oral comprehensive examination and an oral defense of thesis examination are required of all M.S. students.
There are no fixed course requirements, nor is an MS degree required to earn the Ph.D. in oceanography, although the student is expected to complete course work at least equivalent to that required for the M.S. degree. The Ph.D. is awarded for proven ability and scholarly attainment, and each candidate's program is planned with the graduate advisory committee. Requirements include one year of full-time course work beyond the M.S. degree and at least 18 credits of thesis research. All Ph.D. candidates must pass a written comprehensive examination. Marine Biology and Oceanography Ph.D. students must also pass an oral comprehensive exam. A dissertation is also required of all candidates.
"Student Learning Outcomes Assessment" plans are available for the M.S. in Oceanography, the Ph.D. in Oceanography, the M.S. in Marine Biology, and the Ph.D. in Marine Biology. These outline the goals, objectives, and assessment criteria for each of these programs.
The Institute of Marine Science is the oceanographic research arm of the School, with major facilities in Fairbanks. Its coastal facilities include the Seward Marine Center. The Kasitsna Bay Laboratory in Kachemak Bay, near Homer, is used for marine biology research. The Juneau Center is located in the Lena Point Fisheries Facility, adjacent to the National Marine Fisheries Service Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute. The Juneau Center houses the majority of fisheries faculty and focuses on marine fisheries. Fisheries research on the Fairbanks campus is freshwater-oriented. The Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center at Kodiak conducts research in seafood processing and sustainable harvesting. Specialized research facilities and equipment within the School include stable isotope mass spectrometers, a flow cytometer, gas and liquid chromatographs, a gamma-ray spectroscopy system, liquid scintillation counter, atomic absorption spectrophotometers, automated nutrient analysis systems, controlled-temperature chambers, and running seawater systems (at Seward and Juneau).
More information on these facilities and others is available at the SFOS academic and research facilities overview.
Amanda Byrd, Matt Grey and Candace Picco (left to right) sieve sediment samples in the field to collect data on frequency and size distribution of sand dollars.
Financial aid in the form of research assistantships and a few teaching assistantships ($20,456-$36,109 per year) is available to qualified students. A Research Assistantship (RA-ship) or Teaching assistantship (TA-ship) is generally secured through a students' major advisor. This support typically requires 20 hours per week of research or related duties during fall and spring semesterss. Students receiving assistantships are eligible for a waiver of tuition.
For 2010, Alaska state residents enrolled in graduate courses are charged $316 per credit; nonresident fees are $646 per credit.
On the Fairbanks campus, residence hall charges range from $1385 per semester for a double room in a dormitory to $1430 per semester to share an apartment in the Student Apartment Complex. A meal ticket ranges from $1220-1400 per semester. A limited number of apartments are available for married students. Off-campus housing is available nearby.
Housing is available on the University of Alaska Southeast campus. Details can be found on the UAS Student Housing site. For more information on graduate fisheries housing locations, contact the Fisheries Division office (907-465-6451).
The Fisheries Program currently has 32 M.S. and 17 Ph.D. fisheries students attending at Juneau and 20 M.S. and 2 Ph.D. students on the Fairbanks campus. In marine science and limnology, there are 29 M.S. and 10 Ph.D. students in marine biology and 8 M.S. and 14 Ph.D. students in oceanography attending at the Fairbanks campus. About half of the students are women, and 10 percent are from outside the U.S.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks is 4 miles from downtown Fairbanks, on 2,250 acres. It has an enrollment of 8746 undergraduates and 1082 graduate students. The Fairbanks area, with a population of about 75,000 people, is only 130 miles from the Arctic Circle, making the University the northernmost institution of higher education in North America.
The Juneau Center, although administratively a part of UAF, is located near the University of Alaska Southeast campus. Juneau is the state capital, with a population of about 31,000.
Kodiak Island is a 3,500 square mile island in southeast Alaska. Kodiak has one of the largest commercial fishing ports in the nation and is an ideal place for graduate work. TheKOdiak Seafood and Marine Science Center (KSMSC) is located on the Trident Basin in Kodiak, and works year-round to discover better methods to harvest, preserve, process, and package Alaska's rich ocean bounty. With nine faculty members, students enjoy a low student–faculty ratio.
The School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences was created in 1987 to focus the fisheries and marine programs throughout the University of Alaska system. It consists of the Fisheries Program, the Graduate Program in Marine Sciences and Limnology, the Fisheries Division (with academic and research facilities at Fairbanks and the Juneau Center), the Alaska Sea Grant College Program, The Fishery Industrial Technology Center, the Institute of Marine Science, and the Marine Advisory Program. There are 50 faculty members within the School, and students enjoy a small student-faculty ratio.
An official transcript from each college or university attended is required, with at least three letters of recommendation. A $60 fee must accompany the application. The Graduate Record Examinations General Test score is required, with a Subject Test optional. A statement of academic goals should be sent along with the other application materials. Applications are accepted continuously throughout the year, although we start reviewing applications for the fall semester on 1 March. Applicants have the best chance of receiving a research assistantship if their application is complete by 1 March.
Academic ProgramsSchool of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks
P.O. Box 757220
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-7220
Telephone: (907) 474-7289
Fax: (907) 474-5863