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Monterey Peninsula College
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Physical Oceanography

College or University: Texas A&M University

Type of degree: M.S.

Brief overview of program: Physical Oceanography is the study of the physical processes in the ocean and the interaction of the ocean with the atmosphere. Physical oceanographers in our department study currents at the surface and in the deep ocean, water mass formation, and the role of the ocean in weather and climate. We also study the heat budget of the ocean including solar heating, evaporation, infrared radiation into and out of the sea, the transport of heat and salt by currents, and the formation of sea ice. The goal of our work is to understand and predict processes such as El Niño, the role of the ocean in climate and the ice ages, currents in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere, and physical processes along continental shelves. In doing our work we construct elaborate numerical models of the circulation, and we analyse data collected from instruments on ships and satellites.

Website: Click here for program website

Tuition (2007):In State: $5,400, Out of State: $10,400

Description of Facilities: Facilities include state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and field equipment including workstation computer labs, flow cytometry, digital deep-tow seismic survey systems and mass spectrometers. Researchers also have access to central university facilities such as electron microscopes, supercomputers, a visualization laboratory, wave tanks and a nuclear reactor.  

Program Faculty: A 40-member faculty offers a range of graduate courses; research is assisted by an additional 17 research scientists.

Student Support: Oceanography graduate student receive financial aid in the form of graduate assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, and student loans. When you apply for admission to the graduate program, you will automatically be considered for a graduate assistantship, as well as fellowships and scholarships offered by the University, college, and department. Student loans, fellowships, and scholarships offered by other entities require separate applications. Texas A&M University is committed to providing competitive packages for graduate assistantships to attract the highest quality students. Along with an assistantship stipend, the university pays the full-time, in-state tuition for graduate assistants involved in teaching and other academic support roles. Graduate assistants assigned to research activities will have their tuition paid by grants and contracts. Graduate assistants are entitled to receive Texas A&M employee insurance. Unless you are transferring with no break in service from another Texas state agency, you will begin receiving a monthly contribution the first of the month after your 90th day of employment. The department offers two types of graduate assistantships: Graduate Assistant Research (GAR) and Graduate Assistant Teaching (GAT). Unless your offer letter specifically states otherwise, you will be required to pay applicable fees. If you are selected to receive and assistantship, you will be notified when you are accepted into the graduate program. • Research assistants conduct research with a member of the faculty. The research normally forms the topic of a thesis or dissertation, with the faculty supervisor as the chair of the student’s advisory committee. • Teaching assistants teach the laboratory sections of an undergraduate oceanography course in College Station and Galveston. Competitive teaching assistantships are available for students in Galveston to teach other classes as well.

Program Point of Contact: Jana Corley


Department: Oceanography

Institution address: Texas A&M University 1204 O&M
                             College Station,TX 77843-3146

Phone: 979-845-6331


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This project is supported, in part, by the NationalScience Foundation.  Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation .