Jun 18, 2024  
2022 - 2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022 - 2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Marine Science and Public Policy, M.A. or M.S./M.P.P.

A combined Marine Science and Public Policy program is available in which the student may obtain either an M.A. or M.S. in Marine Science and an M.P.P. degree. The M.A. or M.S. in Marine Science and the M.P.P. degree may be completed in a reduced amount of time compared to pursuing the degrees independently. 


Candidates interested in these combination degree programs must apply to and gain acceptance by both the School of Marine Science and the Public Policy Program and must fulfill the requirements of both programs. Consult the School of Marine Science’s Catalog listing for a description of the M.A. degree requirements  or M.S. degree requirements .

M.P.P. Degree Requirements

Students accepted for the M.A. or M.S./M.P.P. degree program are required to have thirty-seven hours of M.P.P. course credit.

The following core courses are required:


In addition to the core courses, students in the M.P.P. degree program are required to take at least one 3-credit or two 2-credit, program-approved, School of Law course(s), and an additional 3 credits of Applied Methods courses. Additional elective courses must be taken to fulfill the 46 hour credit requirement. Students choose elective credits based around their chosen area of interest or develop an alternative set of courses developed with the consent of the Director. Areas of emphasis include education policy, environmental policy, health care policy, international trade, regulatory policy, and state and local policy.

Students who have completed the first year of the Marine Science curriculum prior to starting the MPP coursework, will be exempt from PUBP 500, and PUBP 602, but will still be required to complete a total of 37 credit hours of approved Public Policy courses.

Additional Requirements

Internship Requirement

Students are required to complete an internship (at least 10 weeks of full-time employment) in the summer after their first year of the program.

Thesis Requirement

There is no thesis requirement for the M.P.P. Instead, all M.P.P. students register for the Policy Research Seminar.  In this course, students work in small teams for real-world clients. Like a more traditional thesis, the work done by students is original and demonstrates substantial mastery of the subject in a real-world setting.

Comprehensive Exam Requirement

There is no comprehensive exam requirement for the M.P.P.

Residence Requirement

Students are required to be in residence for the duration of the program, except during the summer internship.

Foreign Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for the M.P.P.

Academic Status

Continuance in Program

After each semester, the student must meet minimum levels of academic progress. The minimum requirements for continuance are as follows:

After Semester Cumulative Graduate Degree Credits Cumulative Q.P.A.
1 11 2.5
2 23 2.75
3 30 3.0

A student who does not achieve the minimum level of academic progress for continuance or receives a grade below C (quality points = 2.0) in any one of the required core courses will be suspended immediately from the program.

Satisfactory Progress

In addition to the requirements explained in the Grading and Satisfactory Progress section of the Graduate Arts & Sciences Catalog, be eligible to graduate, all students must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all courses undertaken for graduate credit at William & Mary after admission to a degree  program. No credit toward a degree will be allowed for a course in which a student receives a grade  below C (grade point= 2.0). 

To continue in the program, a student must make satisfactory progress toward the degree requirements. Satisfactory progress is defined as achieving and maintaining at least a 3.0 Q.P.A. for each semester of graduate study. Students with a Q.P.A. below 3.0 in any semester will automatically be placed on academic probation for the following semester. Students permitted to continue in the program on academic probation must earn a minimum of 11 academic credits and a minimum Q.P.A. of 3.0 during the probationary semester. A student who fails to meet the probationary standard will be suspended from the program.