Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements of the graduate program at CEOAS?

The students in my lab are typically working on an M.S. or Ph.D. in Oceanography, with a concentration in Biological Oceanography, or M.S. in Marine Resource Management. The first step in your exploration of possible graduate programs should be to learn about the program requirements and course listings.
Link to CEOAS College
Link to Discipline Group

What is the application process like?

Information on the application process can be found here. It is important that before you apply, you find a professor who will agree to be your major advisor should you be accepted to the program. You should identify potential advisors who have similar research interests and who are seeking graduate students early in your exploration of the graduate program. Your advisor will help you select courses and choose members of your research committee, and may also supply you with a research project and funding.

What do you look for in a graduate student?

Of course, high GPA and GRE scores, but low scores do not disqualify you from joining my lab. Having previous research experience is very important. I also look for self motivation and independent thinking, as well as intellectual curiosity. These can be demonstrated by your references in your letters of recommendation when you apply, and in the thoughtfulness of your questions when you contact me or my lab members during your initial inquiries. For more examples, read my letter to prospective students.

How does funding for graduate students at CEOAS work?

Although there are students who support themselves through graduate school, there are several ways you can secure outside funding. One is by applying for fellowships and grants on your own. There are several organizations that pay the tuition and living stipend of promising graduate students, including the NSF, NOAA, the North Pacific Research Board, and Oregon Sea Grant. Another route that many students take is to apply to work with a major advisor who has funding for a research assistantship for a graduate student. The student assists the advisor part-time with a component of their research, which the student will then use to write their thesis (a requirement for most programs at CEOAS, including biological oceanography). Students often take classes while performing their research duties, and the assistantship pays for their tuition and living stipend. However, not all potential advisors have funding for graduate students. For this reason, it is important that you contact potential major advisors before you apply to see if funding is available. It is also important to contact the potential major advisors you have identified to see if their research interests match your own, and if they will be able to provide appropriate mentorship during your studies. There are also limited numbers of teaching assistantships available at CEOAS, where a graduate student teaches undergraduate or graduate courses while in taking courses themselves. For more information and specific sources of funding, please see the Research Opportunities and Funding section of the CEOAS website.