Sep 19, 2018  
2016 - 2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016 - 2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Marine, Environmental and Public Policy

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The School of Marine Science (SMS) recognizes the critical need to improve communication between marine scientists and resource managers, policy makers, and the public. This requires literacy in the language of policy. Students enrolled in the M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Marine Science who want exposure to marine, environmental and public policy can elect one of the following options:

M.S. or Ph.D. and Master of Public Policy Program

Students may obtain either a M.S. or Ph.D. in Marine Science concurrent with a Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.) in a reduced amount of time compared to completing the degrees independently. Candidates interested in this program must apply to and gain acceptance by both SMS and the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy  offered at W&M's main campus.

Subconcentration in Marine Policy

School of Marine Science students may complete additional course work for a subconcentration in marine policy. Students exercising this option will receive a notation of "Subconcentration in Marine Policy" on their transcript.  The subconcentration is offered in collaboration with W&M's Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy and the Marshall Wythe School of Law.  In addition to the course work required for the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in Marine Science, requirements for the subconcentration are as follows:

  1. Completion of 10 credits of course work to include the following courses:
    1. MSCI 689 - Public Policy for Science & Professions . 3 credits. (main campus)
    2. MSCI 687 - Environmental Policy . 3 credits. (main campus)
    3. MSCI 698, Sea Grant Policy Seminar Series. 1 credit.
    4. Elective course (3 credits) from the following menu:
  2. All grades for coursework in the Marine Policy subconcentration must be B- or above.
  3. A student must receive the approval of his/her advisor prior to pursuing the subconcentration.
  4. Once the student has advisor approval for the subconcentration, the SMS Graduate Registrar must be notified.


Within the SMS, students may access a wide range of cross-departmental courses that cover marine and environmental resource management, policy and application. In addition, the SMS Office of Academic Studies at VIMS sponsors policy-oriented professional development opportunities for our students in Washington D.C. and on campus in Gloucester Point.  Courses related to environmental law and business are available at the Williamsburg campus.  Additional information on SMS courses may be accessed using the navigation, above.