Master of Professional Science
Marine Biology and Fisheries (MBF) Tracks
- Fisheries Science
- Tropical Marine Ecosystem Science
- Marine Mammal Science
- Oceans and Human Health
- Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.)
- one year of General Biology + General Biology Labs
- one year of General Chemistry
- at least one semester of Calculus
- 9 additional credits in natural science (Research in these fields may, in some cases, substitute for coursework hours.)
Note to students: Deficiencies in the required courses
may be considered on a case by case basis for otherwise highly
Marine Affairs (MAF) Tracks
- Coastal Sustainability Science and Practice
- Coastal Zone Management
- Marine Conservation
- Underwater Archaeology
- Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.)
Meteorology (MPO) Tracks
- Broadcast Meteorology
- Computational Meteorology and Oceanography
- Weather, Climate and Society
- Weather Forecasting
- Undergraduate degree in Meteorology, or closely related field (e.g. Math, Physics, or Geosciences)
Note to students: Deficiencies in the required courses may be considered on a case by case basis for otherwise highly qualified students.
Course Requirements — All students are required to take the course and internship credits given below:24 graduate course creditsAll students are required to complete 24 – 27 course credits. Within each track, there are compulsory classes and electives. Coursework is multi-disciplinary and thus will be accepted from multiple departments. Students enrolled in the Marine Affairs Division must complete at least 5 of their 8 classes within MAF.6 internship creditsStudents are expected to complete an internship for 3 – 6 academic credits with an approved agency, institution, or business, culminating in a formal report.
All RSMAS students are required to take:
The Research Ethics Course (RSM 600)
Academic Advisor and Faculty Mentor/Committee Chair — Students will be assigned an academic advisor during their first semester in residence. The advisor must hold an appointment in the division representing each student’s track selection. This individual will offer guidance regarding University expectations, coursework, registration, program details, and graduation requirements. At the beginning of the first semester, the student and the academic advisor will establish the curriculum to be followed, based on the student's personal and professional goals and M.P.S. track enrollment. Each student will also identify and request the involvement of a faculty mentor, who will act as the committee chair and as a resource to the student regarding career guidance and the selection of an appropriate internship. Track coordinators act as faculty mentors/committee chairs, unless the academic advisor approves an alternate individual. Students should identify their mentor/chair no later than the end of the first semester.
Committee — All M.P.S. students must have a graduate committee of at least 3 members. This committee will include at least one member from your division (i.e. Committee Chair), one “outside” member (i.e. Internship Supervisor), and either Jill Richardson (MBF students), Maria Estevanez (MAF students), or Brian Soden (MPO students). Students are permitted to add a fourth committee member, provided they are RSMAS faculty or adjunct faculty. The “Appointment to Student Committee” form is due during the second semester in residence.
Comprehensive Examination – A comprehensive examination is required of all M.P.S. students after completing at least 18 course credits and prior to beginning an internship. The exam will be written and will typically be based on course content. Each division determines the content and form of the examination and establishes the test date for its students in a given year-class, according to general school guidelines. In the event of a failure, a student may be re-examined once, upon the advice of the student’s advisor and at the discretion of the faculty of the division. If granted, the re-examination must be given before the end of the following semester. The Graduate Studies Office should receive written notification of the examination results. Students who fail the re-examination are subject to dismissal from the school.
Pre-Internship — Before being allowed to begin an internship, a student must:
- submit the Internship Agreement Form, highlighting the timeline, goals, expectations, and objectives of the internship
- have the internship approved by your committee and the Internship Supervisor
- complete at least 12 credits, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0
- remove all “I”s or deficiencies
Internship — Each student will be required to complete an internship with an organization engaged in some activity associated with marine and/or atmospheric science and identify an Internship Supervisor. Such organizations can be national or international agencies, private corporations, or foreign governments with clearly defined marine-oriented programs or activities. Internships can be either paid or unpaid by the organization, or interns can complete the internship by formal participation in a University sponsored program in some area of marine science. The internship commitment form is due BEFORE a student engages in an internship. Additionally, a detailed synopsis of a proposed contribution to the hosting organization is required as a formal proposal, preferably before the internship begins, but no later than 2 weeks after the start date. The internship proposal will include: an introduction to the topic (i.e. a literature review), a statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, methods and materials (i.e. the proposed activities and analyses), a timeline, and plans for disseminating the information. An internship proposal template and guidelines will be provided. In addition, a strict requirement for the completion of the M.P.S. degree is an oral presentation, preferably offered to the hosting organization, and a detailed report.
Institutions may release an intern before the end of the proposed time commitment, and an intern may also terminate the position with an institution at any time, provided there are significant reasons not to proceed. In either case, due process will include a conference with the intern, the supervisor, and the student’s academic committee members. The resolution of any problems should occur during this meeting. However, should the problems continue, or are deemed to be irreparable/irrevocable, the internship may be terminated, and the plans for the involved student will be reevaluated by the student’s committee.
Internship Report — The final grade (pass/fail) will be based on a written report and an oral presentation. The internship report is not a summary of involvement but rather a contributory assessment of the experience, including developmental insight and a summary of any research performed. Eight copies of the final approved report should be distributed as follows:
- One electronic copy for the representative Division (MAF, MBF, or MPO)
- One electronic copy to each member of your committee
- One copy for the representative agency, institution, or business (electronic and/or hard copy at their request)
- One electronic copy to the RSMAS Library
- One electronic copy on a CD to the Graduate Studies Office
The report must be accompanied by one original of the Certificate of Approval signed by your committee members and the RSMAS Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Instructions and forms are available in the Graduate Studies Office or online: http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/academics/graduate-programs/current-students/forms/.
Conference — Though not mandatory, MPS students are strongly encouraged to attend a scientific conference during their academic residency at RSMAS.
Residency — For full-time students, residency will be limited to 24-months within a continuous 30-month period. A student who has not completed all of the requirements for graduation within this time period will be required to petition the division for continuation. Graduate coursework and associated credits completed at RSMAS are valid for a maximum of 5 years. If a student does not graduate within 5 years of starting the M.P.S. program, they must be reevaluated for enrollment and continuation
Transfer of Credits — A total of 6 credits may be transferred into the M.P.S. degree program from an outside institution, provided that those credits did not result in the conferral of another degree and were completed within 5 years of the start date of the M.P.S. program. However, all courses must be evaluated by the Academic Advisor and approved by the instructor of the equivalent RSMAS class prior to transfer/acceptance.
University of Miami Credits Taken as an Undergraduate — If pursuing an MPS degree in either MPO or MBF, you may complete 6 credits of required coursework while in residence as an undergraduate. If pursuing an MPS degree in MAF, you may complete 12 credits of required coursework while in residence as an undergraduate. However, none of those credits can fulfill undergraduate graduation requirements.
- M.P.S. vs. M.S. Distinction — Students in the M.P.S. degree program must complete a 3-6 month internship and submit a written internship report for approval by their committee. Students in the M.S. program must submit a M.S. thesis, which is an original research project synthesized into a manuscript comparable in scope and content to a peer-reviewed journal publication. The thesis may be conducted as part of research conducted at RSMAS or another academic institution, or as part of a collaborative effort with a federal, state, local, or non-governmental agency, or a private institution.
- Transfer from M.P.S. to M.S. — Students may request to be considered for transfer from the M.P.S. program into the M.S. program. These requests must be submitted PRIOR to the start of the second semester and/or before the completion of 12 graduate course credits. Transfers from the M.P.S. to the M.S. will not be considered after students have completed 12 or more credits.