School for Marine Science and Technology University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

School for Marine Science and Technology University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

New Bedford, MA
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
February 15
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
2 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


The School for Marine Science and Technology

The School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth conducts graduate education and research in ocean sciences, fisheries sciences, ocean technology, marine resource economics and marine policy, with a combined emphasis on curiosity-driven and societal need-driven research and learning involving observations, modeling, experimentation, and theory. Researchers at the school work with local industry and governmental and nongovernmental agencies in the areas of ocean engineering, ocean modeling and monitoring, coastal systems science, fisheries science and management, biogeochemistry, ocean acoustics, and remote sensing.

SMAST is home to the Department of Estuarine and Ocean Science and the Department of Fisheries Oceanography. The school offers graduate degrees in seven interdisciplinary fields through a University of Massachusetts system-wide Intercampus Marine Sciences Program that uses the resources of five different UMass campuses and involves more than 80 faculty members from a dozen departments.

The Department of Fisheries Oceanography

The core mission of the Department of Fisheries Oceanography (DFO) is to educate students and conduct research in the interdisciplinary sciences related to the interactions between marine organisms and marine environments through field exploration, laboratory experiments, theoretical research and modeling. Critical to the mission of the DFO at UMass Dartmouth is cooperative research with the New England fishing industry. For example, the DFO has worked extensively with the fishing industry to develop the world's largest video survey database of the Northwest Atlantic sea scallop resource, and this research has been used in every management plan since 1999. The DFO also collaborates with the industry in studies of lobster and finfish fisheries, bycatch reduction, gear modification, and the economics of fishing and fishing communities. DFO scientists apply computer models to marine ecosystems and marine renewable energy harvesting, while biological oceanographers investigate the dynamics of plankton in water quality and the red-tide phenomenon.

DFO is dedicated to training tomorrow's scientists in the techniques and theory of fisheries oceanography, with emphases on stock assessment, population dynamics, physical and biological interaction, and ecosystem modeling, addressing the growing need for MS- and PhD-level marine scientists in federal and state agencies, universities and other academic institutions, and industry.

The Department of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences

The mission of the Department of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences is to pursue state-of-the-art basic and applied marine science research and to provide quality graduate education. The department has a strong interdisciplinary emphasis. High priority is placed on the development of innovative approaches and technologies and the training of the next generation of marine scientists for academia, government, and the private sector. DEOS maintains a close partnership with regional industry and governmental and non-governmental agencies on compelling regional marine-related issues and technological development.

The DEOS faculty identify their research programs with one or more of three research focus areas: (1) coastal ocean processes; (2) ecosystem dynamics; and (3) marine biogeochemical processes. These research focus areas are natural groupings within which the faculty collaborate with one another on both ongoing and proposed research projects and on the development and teaching of SMAST courses. The strength of the focus areas and the overall DEOS research program derives from both the recognized expertise of the individual faculty researchers and their collaboration within and across disciplinary interfaces.

Graduate Degree Options in Interdisciplinary Fields

Through the Intercampus Marine Science Program, SMAST offers not only Master of Science (MS) and PhD degrees, but also a Professional Science Master's (PSM) degree. The PSM program provides a non-thesis degree that blends the study of science management, policy, and law with marine science.

The MS Program

Students in the MS program can complete a 30-credit-hour thesis option or a 33-credit-hour non-thesis option. Most students finish the degree within four semesters, but part-time students may take as few as two courses each semester. In addition, students in both tracks attend weekly seminars. SMAST graduate students must maintain a GPA of 3.0.

The PhD Program

Students in the PhD program take four core courses along with 24 credit hours in an area of concentration prior to their oral and written candidacy exams. In addition they must also complete at least 18 credit hours of thesis research.

The PSM Program

The COAST (for Coastal and Ocean Administration, Science and Technology) Professional Science Master's program permits students to pursue a non-thesis degree that blends a study of science with coursework in management, policy, or law, and also has a strong emphasis on writing and communication skills.

Each COAST Professional Science Master's student must complete three core courses (nine credits), including at least two of the four science core courses in biological, chemical, geological and physical oceanography. An additional, third core course in marine policy and/or management areas (including law and economics) is also required. Elective courses covering additional science and technology areas, along with quantitative skills, are generally subject to student choice and advisor approval. The PSM program requires completion of eleven courses plus an internship.

A Fully Equipped Research Facility

The School for Marine Science and Technology is headquartered in a two-story, 32,000-square-foot building that contains 15 research laboratories; two temperature-controlled rooms for acclimation of marine species for culture and reproduction and for physiological and behavioral experiments; a seawater room that contains approximately 2000 square feet of filtered, raw, chilled or heated seawater; a greenhouse for aquatic photosynthetic organisms; and a 90,000-gallon acousto-optic test tank. University, industrial, and government researchers use the tank to test underwater measurement concepts and devices they have developed.

SMAST has docking facilities that provide access to Buzzards Bay located in the historic fishing port of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The school's 50-foot, diesel-powered research boat is docked across the harbor in Fairhaven, where the school also maintains facilities.

Award-Winning Faculty and Students

The SMAST and SMS faculty members are well-regarded in their fields and have been granted over 135 awards for their academic achievements. These include the NSF CAREER Award, the ONR Young Investigator Award, the Hershman Excellence in Mentoring Award (by the Joint Ocean Commission), the Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Outstanding Scientific Paper Award, the Friends of the Fishing Industry Award and the Best Column Award from the AFT Communications Network. SMAST students have also received multiple awards for best papers in many national and international conferences, for summer research, and short-term merit awards from private and public funding agencies for their research.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

The main campus of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is located in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, in the northeastern region of the United States. It is one of five campuses in the world-renowned University of Massachusetts system. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is consistently ranked as a top-tier regional university in the Northeast.

Established in 1895, UMassD is today highly regarded for its outstanding academic programs, personalized teaching methods, and ground-breaking research. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is a supportive community that embraces diversity. It provides its students with the resources needed to excel academically, professionally, and socially.

Location & Contact

School for Marine Science and Technology

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

706 South Rodney French Boulevard
New Bedford, MA 02744-1221
United States

Steven Lohrenz

Graduate Program Director

Phone: 508-910-6550
Fax: 508-999-8197

Steven Briggs

Director of Marketing and Recruitment for Graduate Studies

Phone: 508-999-8604
Fax: 508-999-8183

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • Coastal And Ocean Administration Science And Technology Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 4
    • Doctoral Degrees 10
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


92% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 28
    • Accepted 26
    • Acceptance Rate 92
    • Enrolled 11
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $60
    • Application Fee - International $60
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline February 15th January 15th Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline November 15th October 15th Yes
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE, statement of intent (minimum of 300 words), statement of interest (minimum of 300 words), resume, and 3 letters of recommendation, official transcripts
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE, statement of intent (minimum of 300 words), statement of interest (minimum of 300 words), resume, and 3 letters of recommendation, official transcripts
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 533 paper based, TOEFL iBT, IELTS required, IELTS paper based

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsMarch 1
    • Types of financial support availableResearch Assitantships, Teaching Assistantships, Federal Work-Study, Financial Support for Part-time Students, Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students56
    • Female Percentage46%
    • Male Percentage54%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students56
    • Part-time Percentage61%
    • Full-time Percentage39%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino2%
    • Black / African American0%
    • White / Caucasian85%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian0%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races5%
    • Unknown8%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty13
    • Full-time Percentage100%
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Female Percentage8%
    • Male Percentage92%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchPhysical oceanography, marine and environmental chemistry, ocean circulation, ocean internal waves, ocean acoustics
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$9,014,000