The specific objective of the university-wide Graduate Program in Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Sciences (MEES) is the training of qualified graduate students, working toward the M.S. or Ph.D. degree, who have research interests in fields of study that involve interactions between biological, physical and chemical systems in the marine, estuarine, freshwater or terrestrial environments. The program comprises six areas of specialization: Ecology, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Environmental Science, Fisheries Science, and Oceanography. Students work with their Advisory Committee to develop a customized course of study based on research interests and previous experience.
Applications for admission in the fall semester must be filed by February 1; if financial assistance is needed, it is better to apply by December 1. Students may also be admitted for the semester starting in January, for which the deadline is September 1, with July 1 as the preferred deadline for assistance and June 1 as the international applicant deadline. Applicants must submit an official application to the University of Maryland, along with official transcripts of all previous collegiate work, statement of interests and experiences, resume, three letters of recommendation, and scores on the General Test (aptitude) of the Graduate Record Examinations. It is particularly important that a student articulate clearly, in the application, a statement of goals and objectives for future work in the field. Because of the interdisciplinary and interdepartmental nature of the program, only students for whom a specific advisor is identified in advance can be admitted. Prior communication with the faculty in your choice area of specialization is highly encouraged.
Type of Applicant Fall Spring
Domestic Applicants; US Citizens and Permanent Residents with foreign credentials; International Applicants seeking admissions under A, E, G, H, I and L visas and immigrants
Deadline: February 1
Preferred: December 1
Deadline: September 1
Preferred: July 1
International Applicants seeking admission under F (student) or J (exchange visitor) visas
Deadline: February 1
Preferred: December 1
Deadline: June 1
1. Official transcripts for all college coursework 2. Official GRE General test scores 3. Three letters of recommendation 4. Statement and resume
Master of Science (M.S.)
Course Work: A minimum of 30 credits with 24 credits of course work and 6 credits of graduate research. Of the 24 course credits, 12 of them must be at the 600 level or higher; including, a) one seminar course (MEES 608 or equivalent) must be taken for each year in residence (on average); b) one approved Statistics course (400 level or higher); c) one graduate course representing significant interdisciplinary breadth, outside the student's specialization; d) one course or seminar in management, ethics or philosophy of science.
Thesis Defense: An Oral Defense of the Thesis, administered according to Graduate School regulations, will take place at the completion of the research project. This defense will be conducted by the Advisory Committee and will be administered once all other degree requirements have been fulfilled.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Course Work: The student must complete a minimum of 36 credits, with at least 24 credits of course work and 12 credits of dissertation research. Twelve credits of course work must be at the 600 level or above. Course work completed to fulfill a Master's degree can be applied against this requirement, up to a maximum of 16 credits. Required course work includes a) one seminar course (MEES 608 or equivalent) is required for each year in residence (on average); b) one approved Statistics course (600 level or higher); c) one graduate course representing significant interdisciplinary breadth, outside the student's specialization; d) one course or seminar in management, ethics or philosophy of science.
Examinations: Formal application for Advancement to Candidacy for the doctoral degree requires successful completion of both a Comprehensive Examination (written and oral components) and an oral Defense of the Dissertation Proposal. The Comprehensive Examination must be passed before the student can defend the Dissertation Proposal. An Oral Defense of the Dissertation will be conducted by the Advisory Committee and will be administered once all other degree requirements have been fulfilled.
Students may conduct their research in the laboratories and facilities of the College Park (UMCP), Baltimore (UMB), Baltimore County (UMBC), or Eastern Shore (UMES) campuses, in one of the laboratories of the University's Center for Environmental Studies (UMCES): the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL) at Solomons, Maryland; the Horn Point Laboratory (HPL) near Cambridge, Maryland; and the Appalachian Laboratory (AL) in Frostburg, Maryland; or at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) in Baltimore. CBL and HPL are located on the Chesapeake Bay. They include excellent facilities for the culture of marine and estuarine organisms. Berthed at CBL are the University's research vessels. At HPL there are extensive marshes, intertidal areas, oyster shoals, tidal creeks, and rock jetties. AL, located in the mountains of western Maryland, specializes in terrestrial and freshwater ecology. On the campuses and at IMET are specialized laboratory facilities for environmental research, including microbiology; biotechnology; water chemistry; cellular, molecular, and organismal biology; and specialized facilities for remote sensing of the environment. Extensive field sites for environmental research are available through the University's agricultural programs and through cooperation with many other organizations in the state.
University fellowships, research assistantships and traineeships, and teaching assistantships are available. In general, aid provides for full living and educational expenses. Some partial assistance may also be available. Research support from federal, state, and private sources often provides opportunities for additional student support through either research assistantships or part-time employment on research projects.
Dr. Kennedy T. Paynter, Jr., Director
MEES Graduate Program, 1213 HJ Patterson Hall,
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Telephone: (301) 405-6938
Fax: (301) 314-4139