Ocean Engineering Doctoral Program Curriculum Overview

The ocean engineering doctoral degree is an advanced graduate program designed to develop the student’s capability to perform research and design engineering solutions for the blue economy. The program is comprised of three branches: Naval Architecture, Coastal Engineering and Physical Oceanography.

By the end of this program, students will be able to:

  • Numerically model complex surface and subsurface flows
  • Collect and analyze field data
  • Conduct experimental towing tank testing
  • Work independently and in groups to solve actual, complex problems related to the ocean

Degree Requirements

Completion of the doctoral program requires 84 credits of graduate work in an approved program of study beyond the bachelor's degree. Up to 30 credits obtained in a master's program can be included in this program. Of the remaining 54 credits, 15 to 30 credit hours of coursework, as well as 30 to 45 credit hours of dissertation work, are required. The preliminary requirements for the doctorate are regarded not as ends in themselves, but rather as preparation for the dissertation in which the student demonstrates ability.

Thirty credits beyond the master's degree are required for the degree of ocean engineer. Eight to 15 of those credits must be on a design project. A student will be assigned an advisor who will help him/her develop a study plan and who will supervise his/her design project. The study plan, which should include details of the professional experience and of the design project, must be submitted to the departmental committee on the ocean engineer degree for approval. Upon completion of the design project, (s)he will submit a written report to the departmental committee for approval, and the student will be required to take an oral examination on the substance of the design project.

If you have existing graduate credits or experience in this area of study, please contact [email protected] to discuss opportunities to include it in the curriculum.

Qualifying Examination

Within two years from the time of admission, a student must take a qualifying examination that tests his/her basic knowledge and ability to critically analyze the research literature. Upon satisfactory performance in the qualifying examination, and completion of the required course work, (s)he must take an oral preliminary examination. This examination is primarily intended to evaluate the student’s aptitude for advanced research and examine his/her understanding of the subjects associated specifically with the dissertation topics.

Doctoral Dissertation and Advisory Committee

Upon satisfactory completion of the preliminary examination and all course work, a student will become a doctoral candidate and start his/her dissertation research. Doctoral research work must be based on an original investigation and the results must make a significant, state-of-the-art contribution to the field, and must be worthy of publication in current professional literature. At the completion of the research, a student must defend his/her thesis in a public presentation.

For additional information about courses, please review the academic catalog.