Sep 28, 2022  
2014 - 2015 Graduate Catalog 
2014 - 2015 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

SMS: Admission

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Within the limits of its facilities and its obligations as a state university, the College of William & Mary offers the possibility of admission to all qualified students without regard to sex, race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.

General Requirements for Admission

Students interested in pursuing marine science as a profession should consult with their academic advisors, or the School of Marine Science, Office of Academic Studies (, early in their college careers to identify an academic program that will prepare them for graduate study in marine science. All applicants should have a strong background in basic science, including physics and chemistry (through organic), mathematics through calculus, and contemporary biology courses. The prospective chemical, geological or physical oceanography student should have an undergraduate degree with appropriate course work in chemistry, geology or related geophysical science, physics, meteorology, mathematics or engineering, and a solid quantitative background. Course work in statistics is recommended for all students.

For additional School of Marine Science admission information and the on-line application, please visit our website at:

Degree-Seeking Students

Students are admitted as Regular or Provisional graduate students in either the M.S. or Ph.D. program. For matriculation as a Regular graduate student, an applicant must have completed the requirements for a bachelor’s degree at an accredited college, with a record of high performance, and must have the recommendations of the SMS Admission Committee and a faculty advisor, and be approved by the Associate Dean of Academic Studies of the School of Marine Science.

A student without a master’s degree enters the program as a master’s student; however, those wishing to continue directly to the Ph.D. degree may apply to bypass the M.S. degree, provided the student meets the criteria for the bypass (see M.S. Bypass Option ). Bypass requires the recommendation of the student’s advisory committee, department chair, the Academic Status and Degrees Committee, and approval by the Associate Dean of Academic Studies.

An applicant judged deficient in preparatory studies or other areas may be admitted as a Provisional student. A Provisional student may petition for Regular student status after successful completion of those requirements stipulated in his/her notification of admission. Petition for change in status shall be reviewed by the Academic Status and Degrees Committee, using as criteria overall academic performance and performance standards previously specified on the student’s notification of admission. If recommended by ASDC, the petition must be approved by the Associate Dean of Academic Studies. Graduate credit earned by a Provisional student will be applied toward the graduate degree upon successful conversion to Regular student status.

Non Degree-Seeking Students

The School of Marine Science accepts non-degree seeking applications from individuals who have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Permission to enroll in a graduate marine science course as a non-degree seeking student must be applied for every semester and does not imply admission to any graduate program at the College of William and Mary. With permission of the Associate Dean of Academic Studies, graduate credit earned in a marine science course as a non-degree seeking student may be applied toward a marine science degree if the student is admitted to a SMS degree program.