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University of Rhode Island — Marine Affairs
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Available Programs
What is available at URI?

The Department of Marine Affairs offers four graduate programs:

Master of Marine Affairs (M.M.A.)
Applicants for this program must either have a graduate degree in a field useful in coastal and ocean management, such as the behavioral sciences, ocean science or engineering, resource economics, law, political science or public administration, OR have at least five years of experience in some ocean-related activity. In this program, students acquire knowledge and analytical skills through required and elective courses.

The core courses are: Ocean Uses and Marine Science (MAF 511), Economics of Marine Resources (EEC 514), International Ocean Law (MAF 577), and the Marine Affairs Seminar (MAF 651). The fall Seminar is the focus of interdisciplinary exchange; it relies heavily on outside speakers and resident faculty members and requires student presentations on specific selected problems.

Students also take 15 credit hours of electives in marine affairs and in other fields, such as community planning, fisheries technology, geology, oceanography, political science, and resource economics. An additional three credits are earned with the preparation of a major research paper, the subject of which is determined by the student with the approval of the student's major professor. Substantial independent effort is required in research projects and written work. The 30 non-thesis credits required for the degree may be earned in nine months of intensive, full-time resident study. The major paper is submitted toward the end of the spring semester. A written comprehensive examination is also required for the M.M.A. degree.

The Master of Marine Affairs degree program does not offer an intensive concentration but fills in the gaps left by narrow specialization.

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs (M.A.M.A.)
Potential applicants who do not have a prior graduate degree or the requisite marine experience may apply for the Master of Arts in Marine Affairs. This degree is a two-year, 45-credit program with the option of a thesis. Candidates for the M.A.M.A. take 18 required course credits (six courses) including those listed above under the M.M.A. program, as well as Research Methods in Marine Affairs (MAF 502) and Quantitative Methods in Marine Affairs (MAF 482). Additionally, a minimum of 21 credits (seven courses) is earned in elective courses. This program of study enables a student to specialize in a given area and still receive the multidisciplinary influence of the M.M.A. program. To complete the program of study, M.A.M.A. students have two options: a six-credit master's thesis of an inter-disciplinary nature, or a three-credit major paper with written comprehensive exams (the same requirements for the M.M.A. degree).

M.M.A./J.D. Joint Program between URI and Roger Williams University Law School
The Roger Williams University J.D. program requires 90 credits that can be completed on a full-time basis in three years. The M.M.A. degree at URI requires 30 credits that can be completed on a full-time basis in one year. A student matriculated in the joint program will take some credits in one program that will also help satisfy the overall credit requirements of the other degree program. The effect of these credit transfers generally reduces the total time needed to complete both degrees from four to three and one-half years. Students in the joint program must complete MAF 511, 577, 589, 651, and EEC 514 or their equivalent as part of their 24-credit requirement at URI, in addition to six credits at Roger Williams University School of Law. The Department of Marine Affairs very strongly recommends that students take Ocean Uses and Marine Sciences (MAF 511), International Ocean Law (MAF 577), and the Marine Affairs Seminar (MAF 651) in their starting fall semester and Economics of Marine Resources (EEC 514) in the following spring semester. Roger Williams University School of Law students must complete the required law school curriculum and may apply nine marine affairs credits toward the J.D. Students should note that, as is the case with all students in the M.M.A. program, students in the Joint Program also take the written comprehensive examination for the M.M.A. degree.

Students must apply and be accepted into each program under the separate admissions requirements currently in effect at each university. Students already enrolled as J.D. candidates at RWU School of Law must submit their COMPLETED application for the URI M.M.A. degree by close of business (5 pm) on January 15.

Oceanography/Marine Affairs Ph.D./M.M.A.
The Graduate School of Oceanography and the Department of Marine Affairs of the College of Environment and Life Sciences are offering a Joint Degree Program in which students simultaneously take an Oceanography Ph.D. and a Master of Marine Affairs (M.M.A.) degree. The program in marine affairs focuses on ocean/coastal management, policy, and law and the joint degree program will prepare scientists with policy knowledge and skills needed in many contemporary professional positions, both inside and outside of government. At the discretion of the cognizant major professor, up to six credits from each degree may be counted toward the degree requirements of the other, thus, reducing the total requirements by up to 12 credits (to 66 + 24 = 90). Students wishing to enroll in the Joint Degree Program must apply to be admitted to both the Department of Marine Affairs' M.M.A. program and the GSO Ph.D. program. To ensure adequate marine experience, a student in the program may not be nominated for the M.M.A. degree until the comprehensive examinations in the oceanography doctoral program are successfully completed.

To learn more about graduate degree opportunities in the Department of Marine Affairs, visit the Marine Affairs Graduate Program Website. Feel free to contact the graduate director, Dr. Richard Burroughs, with any questions you may have about the program.

For admissions information and to apply on-line, visit the URI Graduate School