Our Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences and interdisciplinary Marine Sciences programs provide hands-on learning in conservation and management of aquatic environments, aquatic animal health, sustainable fisheries, and aquaculture.
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (MS/MFAS/PhD)
The SFRC offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (professional, non-thesis), Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.
Graduate students should have undergraduate training in biological, social, and physical sciences appropriate to their area of study. Students with inadequate backgrounds may still be admitted but will be required to take appropriate undergraduate courses to support their area of study.
GO ONLINE in FALL 2012! Students interested in a degree in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences can apply for the online MFAS, which is offered entirely via distance education. Tuition is set at near in-state levels, allowing even international students located overseas to register and complete the program without facing prohibitive costs and complications of relocation and out-of-state tuition rates. Non-degree seeking students are encouraged to take FAS courses as well, either prior to applying for the degree program or as supplemental career training.
Areas of Study
Degree Requirements Overview
Master of Science
The MS Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences is designed to train graduate students for entry-level, professional positions in fisheries biology, aquatic resource management, aquaculture, aquatic animal health, and related areas; and to provide a solid, scientific foundation for further graduate work leading to the PhD degree. Graduates of the MS program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences have readily found employment with the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Water Management Districts, US Fish and Wildlife Service, other state and federal agencies, and with the private sector. Some students have continued their education in other advanced degree programs.
The MS program normally takes two to three years to complete. During the first year, students are expected to fulfill most of their course requirements to obtain the skills needed for their master’s degree research project. They also spend time assisting their major professor with various related research projects. During their final year, students devote most of their time to their research project which culminates in the preparation, presentation, and defense of a thesis. The design, planning, and implementation of the research project are conducted with the guidance and approval of the major professor and Supervisory Committee.
- 30 credits
- 12 credits of coursework in the major
- up to 6 credits of research, FAS 6971
- seminar presentation
- thesis and defense
Master of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences – Online Program Available
The MFAS program is designed to train students in the technical aspects of fisheries and aquatic sciences with emphasis on written and oral communication of scientific information. This program is designed for students & professionals from environmental sciences, fisheries, aquatic sciences, and natural resources, and marine biology backgrounds. This program also provides one avenue of study for those desiring careers in environmental law but who may lack the prerequisite technical knowledge prior to entering law school.
Instead of the traditional Master’s degree thesis field project, MFAS students are expected to thoroughly research a subject and then develop a written/multimedia communications project. This is referred to as a “non-thesis” degree.
- 32 graded credits
- 16 credits of coursework in the major
- seminar presentation
- project or technical paper with examination
Doctor of Philosophy
The PhD in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences is designed to train graduate students in fundamental science and its application to the study of fishery and aquatic resource problems. Students entering a PhD program typically desire careers as researchers or teachers with academic institutions, government agencies or the private sector. The PhD program is normally a three to four year program beyond the Master’s degree or a five to six year program beyond the Bachelor’s degree. PhD students with Master’s degrees usually take courses for one to two years before working full-time on their dissertation project.
A Master’s degree is usually considered a prerequisite for admission into the PhD program, although this can be waived occasionally, following petition to the Graduate Programs Committee.
- 90 credits beyond the Bachelor degree
- 8 credits of graded coursework in the major
- qualifying examination
- seminar presentation
- dissertation and defense
For information on applying to our programs, see How to Apply.