Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long will it take to acquire an MPS degree?

    The RSMAS Master of Professional Science program is designed to be completed in 12-18 months. Students will be enrolled in 2 semesters of coursework (minimum of 24 course credits; usually 12 credits in the Fall and 12 credits in the Spring), followed by an internship (2-6 credits distributed throughout the duration of the internship project). The internship can range in length from 3-9+ months, depending on the hosting organization and relevant expectations. A comprehensive internship report is due upon completion of the internship, and students will graduate pending the evaluation of this manuscript. Additional program details can be found here: MPS requirements. Prospective Underwater Archaeology students should refer to Dr. Hanselmann's Underwater Archeology Track Guide.

  2. How many classes will I be required to take each semester?

    Students will be enrolled in approximately 4 classes each semester for a total of 12 credits per semester (Fall & Spring). This will fulfill the 24-credit coursework requirement, which will be followed by a comprehensive exam and the internship (2-6 credits). Additional program details can be found here: MPS requirements

  3. Will I be responsible for identifying the internship on my own?

    Yes, but  you will be offered ample assistance and guidance via your Academic Advisor, RSMAS Faculty, and the MPS Office. We provide a significant amount of professional guidance and support during your residency at RSMAS, and we do our best to assist students with identifying internships that reflect their personal and professional goals.

  4. What is the difference between class credits vs. internship credits?

    Class credits are self-explanatory. Instead of "research credits" for traditional MS and PhD students,  MPS students enroll in "internship credits" (XXX 805). These credits are applied to a student's record during the time in which he/she is engaged with an internship host organization and its corresponding master's project.Although you can begin your internship after you have completed 12 course credits, most students will begin when they have finished all 24 course credits (typically at the end of their second semester in residence; after completion of Fall and Spring semesters). Usually 6 “credits” remain of the 30 credit degree at this point. Students may enroll in more courses (maximum of 28 course credits) or begin his/her internship. If participating in an internship, a student must register for an internship credit(s). Students are required to complete a minimum of 2 internship credits during his/her time in the MPS program; a maximum of 6 internship credits are permitted. Six internship credits would keep a student fully enrolled for two years! Students should be mindful of their time-commitment to an internship project when registering for internship credits. A student is only required to register for 1 internship credit per semester in which he/she is engaged with the internship project. A student may register for more than 1 internship credit per semester.Enrollment in at least 1 internship credit designates "full-time" student status. Many internship organizations and/or scholarships require full-time enrollment in a graduate program, and unless there is a special circumstance, all students should plan on remaining fully enrolled (1 internship credit for each academic term) during their internship.Internship credits cost the same as course credits. 

  5. Are research and/or teaching assistantships available for this program?

    No, there are no research or teaching assistantships available to MPS students. The MPS is a self-funded degree program. There are a limited amount of part-time employment opportunities at RSMAS, reserved largely for MPS students, including office work, library assistance, marine operations support, and instructional student support. Notices for RSMAS campus jobs are distributed via the RSMAS mailing lists.

  6. How much does the MPS program at RSMAS cost?

    Cost of Attendance = 30 credits @ $2,030.00 USD/credit* = $60,900.00 (not including student fees, health insurance, transportation, or housing). Visit Tuition & Fees Rates Rosenstiel Graduate Rates . International Students should refer to the International Graduate Student Cost site. Please note, the International Graduate Student Cost calculates attendance for full-time status at 9 credits per Spring and Fall semesters. On average, MPS students register for 12 credits per Spring and Fall semesters. On average, MPS students register for at least 1 internship credit during the summer, although summer registration is not required unless engaged in an internship project or graduating during the summer. Please refer to question No. 4 for information on class vs internship credits.
    * Based on 2018-2019 Rosenstiel Graduate tuition rates, which are subject to change.

  7. Are there scholarships available for this program?
     "Merit-based Tuition Waivers"

    We currently offer a 3-credit or 6-credit merit-based tuition waiver. The minimum eligibility requirements for a 3-credit waiver is 297 on the GRE (a combined total score on the verbal and quantitative sections only), and a cumulative U.S. Grade Point Average (G.P.A .) of 3.0. The minimum eligibility requirement for a 6-credit waiver is 308 on the GRE (a combined total score on the verbal and quantitative sections only) and a cumulative U.S. Grade Point Average (G.P.A .). of 3.3. Applicants are still required to complete the analytical writing section of the GRE, however only the verbal and quantitative scores will be considered and calculated for tuition waiver purposes.

    Applicants and newly-accepted students (not current students) may retake the GRE and submit an updated/higher score by July 23rd for U.S. citizens/permanent residents, and June 1st for international applicants. We recommend submitting updated scores to the MPS Office after you've achieved your personal best. The MPS Office will consider the highest score listed on the GRE test report. GRE scores are valid up to 5 years from test date.  Prospective applicants who submit an application before completion of the GRE are still eligible for waiver consideration, upon receipt of GRE scores by the MPS Office.  Applicants and newly-accepted students (not current students) may submit "unofficial" GRE scores by downloading test scores from the ETS website while "official" records arrive in the mail. Send unofficial scores to if you are unable to submit scores with your application. GRE scores are considered "official" if they are mailed directly to MPS from ETS. If a merit-based tuition waiver is awarded, an applicant will be notified upon acceptance. Those eligible to receive merit-based tuition waivers are not required to apply, accept or reject the waiver; waivers are applied upon course registration.  3-credit waivers are applied to a student's first year at RSMAS. 6-credit waivers are distributed equally across your first two semesters at RSMAS (Fall & Spring semesters). Information regarding how to finance your education, including federal aid and other scholarships, is available here: Finance Education

  8. Will I be able to work while being enrolled in this program?

    Full-time enrollment in the MPS program will involve a significant amount of coursework (classes hosted predominantly during the day) and time commitment. Thus, we do not recommend that students work full-time while enrolled full-time. However, many students find part-time employment locally in order to offset the costs of the personal expenses (housing, transportation, meals, etc.). The RSMAS campus does offer a handful of part-time positions to students each semester at an hourly rate of approximately $8 to $10 USD an hour. RSMAS offices/departments such as Shipping & Receiving, Library, MPS Office, and Business Office tend to hire students. Job postings for RSMAS student-positions are sent via email to the RSMAS community (students, faculty, staff). Students interested in employment at other schools/campuses at UM should also visit this website . Most students use funds from on-campus jobs to help offset the costs of the personal expenses (housing, transportation, meals, etc.).

  9. Can I enroll part-time in the MPS program?

    Yes, you can enroll in the MPS program part-time. You will take 2 classes (vs. 4) each semester, and course selection will be discussed with your Academic Advisor. Please note that if you enroll in the program part-time, it will take approximately 2+ years to complete the degree.

  10. Are there any courses available online?

    No, we do not offer online courses at this time.

  11. What classes will I be taking while in residence at RSMAS?

    Each degree track has specific requirements. Experts in the field, as well as leaders from local businesses, NGOs and government organizations, designed the curricular and experiential structure of each track. Thus, you will be exposed to the theory and skills those experts felt were relevant and necessary to your development and professional success. There are a few mandatory courses in each track, as well as options for electives. The electives will reflect personal and professional interests and should be selected wisely. If you have a strong proficiency in a topic covered in a mandatory course (e.g. GIS), then you may be waived from the requirement with the approval of your Academic Advisor and MPS Director. For sample curricula and options for electives, please go here: Degree Track, and click on your preferred track.

  12. How do I apply?

    You must submit the following before the admissions deadline: an application form (online through CollegeNet), an $85 application fee, academic transcripts, a personal statement, your GRE scores, and 3 letters of recommendation. We do not require GRE subject tests. Applicants may submit "official" transcripts and  official GRE scores once a decision on admission has been announced. Applicants may submit unofficial records for the review process only. If an offer of admission is made, it will be contingent upon receipt of all official records. Applicants may also submit a resume and/or  Curriculum Vitae (CV). You can start this process by using this link: Apply . If you are unable to submit any of the documents listed above (except for the application), you and/or your recommender may send documents via email to

  13. Is there a minimum GRE score and/or GPA required for entry into the program?

    The University of Miami requires a minimum score of 297 (verbal + quantitative) and a GPA of 3.0+ for graduate program consideration. Applicants are also expected to complete the analytical writing portion of the GRE. See our Financing Your Education page for the minimum GRE/GPA requirements for merit-based tuition waivers.

  14. Can I apply for more than one track?

    In order of preference, you may indicate your top-2 tracks of interest on your online application, . Please contact the the MPS Office or the following Academic Advisors for track selection guidance:

    Atmospheric Sciences: Dr. Brian Soden (, MPS Associate Dean

    Marine Biology & Ecology: Dr. Evan D'Alessandro ( MPS Director

    Marine Ecosystems & Society (including the joint JD/MPS track): Professor Maria Estevanez ( or Dr. Jill Richardson (, MES Department Director

    Ocean Sciences: Dr. Igor Kamenkovich (, RSMAS Faculty

  15. My application has been submitted, and I am waiting to hear back. When will I know if I’ve been accepted?

    We cannot evaluate your application until it is complete. If you have questions about whether or not your application is complete, please contact the MPS Office: Application evaluations begin December 1 and roll through July 1st for US citizens/Permanent Residents, and June 1st for international applicants.

  16. Based upon my undergraduate degree and relevant coursework, what tracks am I eligible for?

    The requirements for tracks within each department (i.e. Atmospheric Sciences (ATM), Marine Biology and Ecology (MBF), Marine Ecosystems and Society (MES), Ocean Sciences (OCE), are listed here: MPS requirements.

    As long as you have successfully completed the relevant pre-requisites, you are eligible for that track (i.e. regardless of your major).

  17. Are there options for spring enrollment?

    Spring enrollment is available for the following tracks: Applied Remote Sensing, Broadcast Meteorology, Coastal Zone Management, Exploration Science, JD/MPS, Marine Conservation, Natural Hazards and Catastrophes, Climate and Society, and Weather Forecasting. The deadline for spring applications is November 15th. The application process starts here: Apply

  18. What is the difference between the Master of Professional Science Program and a traditional Master of Science degree?

    For starters, a Master of Science (MS) degree typically requires a 2-3 year time commitment, whereas the Master of Professional Science (MPS) degree is designed to be completed in 12-18 months. In addition, the MS is based on an independent research project, or thesis, while the MPS is skill and internship based. The primary focus of each track is to provide students with industry-relevant, multidisciplinary skills that are necessary to acquire and perform well in various employment settings. So, although students may not necessarily conduct independent research, they will be exposed to research and develop their analytic and communications skills. The internship experience is a contributory one, in that our students provide substantial logistical, developmental, management, research, and/or regulatory knowledge and feedback to the host organization. So, it is literally, a “real-world” experience and an opportunity to apply the theory and knowledge gained in residence at RSMAS to a relevant setting/project.

  19. What types of jobs do students with an MPS degree attain post-graduation?

    Most of our students become marine/atmospheric resource managers,  policy consultants, program coordinators, educational/outreach directors and more.  Several of our graduates work with government agencies, NGOs, and environmental consulting groups. Employment rate post-graduation is approximately 92%. Some students are employed by the internship hosting organizations after the termination of their internships, and the potential for this is something we consider heavily in the identification of and commitment to specific internships. Our students have interned and been employed with (list is not exhaustive): the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Royal Caribbean (Environmental Department), Everglades National Park, NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service, the Billfish Foundation, PBS&J, Biscayne National Park, SeaGrant, the Army Corps of Engineers, the New England Aquarium, Mote Marine Laboratory, and the Department of Environmental Resource Management.

  20. What is the deadline for fall enrollment?

    The deadline for fall enrollment is July 1st for US citizens/Permanent Residents, and June 1st for international applicants. However, we begin accepting applications on November 1st. All applications received after December 1st will be evaluated on a rolling basis through June and July 1st.

  21. Are there additional application requirements for international students?

    In addition to the GRE, international students must also take the TOEFL or IELTS exam, and submit a color copy of passport and visa (if active). If an offer of admission is made, international students must complete and submit a Financial Responsibility Form along with its corresponding bank letter (issued within the past 6 months) .

  22. Who has to take the TOEFL exam?

    International applicants whose native language is not English must submit official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). An exception to this rule is the international student who is earning a degree, or has completed a substantial amount of coursework, at a North American university. A minimum score of 550 (paper-based test), 213 (computer-based test), 80 for the iBT (internet-based test), or 6.5 for the IELTS is required by the University of Miami for admission. This requirement cannot be waived. TOEFL scores remain valid for a period of two years.

  23. What is the visa process for international students?

    If you are accepted to the Rosenstiel School, we will prepare your I-20 and send it to you by express mail. However, you must first provide us with the financial/bank approval form. When you receive the I-20, you must verify that all the information on the I-20 is correct, and then take it the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for your F-1 visa. If you are required to obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa, please contact your U.S. Embassy or Consulate and inquire about how to apply for an exchange visitor visa. Contact information for and information on visa application procedures at U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide is available through the U.S. State Department.

    To apply for an F-1 visa, you must provide the U.S. Embassy or Consulate your Form I-20, your passport, statement of funds, and other documents, as required by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. To apply for a J-1 visa, you must provide the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with your Form DS-2019, passport, statement of funds, and other documents, as required by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
    For more information regarding international admissions

  24. What is the appropriate ETS code to use for the GRE and TOEFL exams?

    Please use institution code 7690 for the GRE scores and 2919 for the TOEFL.

  25. Is health insurance required?

    Yes, all domestic students enrolled in six or more credit hours per semester, and all international students, are required to have health insurance. The University of Miami Student Health Service offers a student health insurance plan. The premium for this plan is $2513 per year.

  26. Do I have to purchase the health insurance plan offered by the University? What if I’m covered under my parents/spouse/other source?

    Domestic students with adequate alternative coverage may request cancellation of the health insurance fee by submitting a Domestic Insurance Cancellation Form, or through the electronic Canelink system. Students with limited out of area coverage are urged to carefully review their options before waiving the Student Health Service sponsored insurance plan. Deadlines to waive the insurance fee are September 1st for the fall semester, February 1st for the spring semester, May 20th for summer I and July 1st for summer II.

    All international students are required to enroll in the University sponsored heath insurance program. This cannot be waived.

  27. How much does the University of Miami insurance plan cost?

    Annual insurance rate for the 2018-2019 year, offered through Aetna, is $3,096.00 USD. More information available on UM's Student Health Service page.

  28. If accepted, when should I plan to arrive in Miami?

    We recommend arriving in Miami 2 weeks before classes begin to allow ample time to familiarize yourself with the city and our central campus (Coral Gables campus) before classes begin. If you're searching for housing, we suggest  3-4 weeks minimum for your search, extra time for pet-friendly housing.

  29. Where do RSMAS graduate students live?

    The Rosenstiel School is not a residential campus, and there are no housing facilities on site. The main campus of the University of Miami, located about ten kilometers away in Coral Gables, does offer some graduate student housing in the form of campus apartments. However, most Rosenstiel students choose to live in apartments or rental units in the many diverse neighborhoods of the greater Miami area. Further information on housing.

  30. If accepted, when do I register for classes?

    Registration for classes runs from roughly July 15th to the week before classes start. You will be contacted by or meet your Academic Advisor during this timeframe to discuss your personal and professional goals and select your classes.

  31. Do I have to submit all admissions materials at one time?

    No, applicants are not required to submit all documents at one time. An applicant may submit official test scores from ETS (GRE, TOEFL), IELTS, official transcripts, passport (required for international applicants) and letters of recommendation at separate times. However, an applicant’s admissions file will not be reviewed by Track Leaders until all required materials have been received by the MPS Office.

For International Students A Statement of Financial Responsibility form and a bank/sponsorship letter (issued within the past 6 months) is not required for review purposes, but are required for applicants who have been accepted into the MPS program and intend to matriculate at UM. The Statement of Financial Responsibility form and a bank/sponsorship letter are required for processing of F1 or J1 visa documents.

MPS Requirements

MPS Handbook 2018-2019