The School of Marine Science (SMS), along with Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Mason School of Business and W&M Law School, is one of five graduate and professional programs of the College of William & Mary. As the second oldest college in the nation, William & Mary is known as both a “Public Ivy” and a leading research university. The School of Marine Science, which is also an integral part of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), is located in Gloucester Point, only 16 miles from the main campus in Williamsburg and across the York River from historic Yorktown. The Chesapeake Bay ecosystem is literally “just outside the door” for students who come to study at the VIMS campus. The VIMS commitment to its three-part mission - to conduct interdisciplinary research in coastal ocean and estuarine science, educate students and citizens, and provide advisory service to policy makers, industry, and the public - creates a unique and dynamic training ground for students who want to interface science and its application in service to the global community. The first VIMS marine science master’s was awarded in 1943 and the doctoral program was inaugurated in 1964. With the VIMS 75th anniversary just around the corner, we celebrate over 900 VIMS alumni, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in academia and research-focused institutions, government agencies at the local, state and federal levels, and corporate and private sectors.
The School of Marine Science offers the M.S. and Ph.D. in Marine Science, with a concentration in one of the core marine science disciplines. Students entering without a M.S. are offered a M.S. bypass option. A subconcentration in Marine Policy and a Master of Science in Marine Science and Master of Public Policy Joint Program are other options. The programs are fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Students select a faculty advisor and department prior to matriculation and are required to complete departmental requirements in addition to the SMS core curriculum and electives, and a thesis or dissertation. Interdisciplinary studies are encouraged and students may have co-advisors in different departments. Interested students also have a wealth of opportunities to participate in areas of applied research and advisory service to government and other organizations.
An undergraduate minor in marine science is jointly offered and administered by the School of Marine Science and Arts & Sciences. Courses are offered both on the main William & Mary campus and on the VIMS campus. The nearby Chesapeake Bay gives students the ability to explore a unique ecosystem firsthand, while distant field courses allow students to experience an even broader spectrum of environments. More information on undergraduate courses and the marine science minor is available at: http://www.wm.edu/as/marinescience/