Graduate Studies

PhD_students_at_seaGraduate studies in oceanography at Duke can occur via several departments and programs, depending on a student’s research focus and their adviser’s academic affiliation. Prospective PhD students are strongly encouraged to contact potential advisers before submitting their graduate application to determine the appropriate program, common research interests and potential availability of space. The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) for each program below may also be able to help.

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Earth and Ocean Sciences >

Ecology Program >

Marine Sciences and Conservation >

Courses Available

The courses below are some that are available that can be used to develop a course-work customized for each students’ interests. A complete list of courses available at Duke University is available here. Students enrolled at Duke also have cross registration privileges at UNC-CH and NC State that expands the course portfolio. Each program of study has course work requirements that are specific to its area.


203 – Marine Ecology
211L – Microbial Ecology and Evolution
217 – Ecology and Global Change
237 – Systematic Biology
262S – Molecular Genetic Analysis
267L – Biodiversity Science and Application
268L – Models for Environmental Data
271L – Genomics Laboratory
272 – Biogeochemistry
284 – Molecular Population Genetics
292 – Population Ecology (modeling)
303 – Principles of Environmental Modeling
311S – Ecology Seminar
313 – Statistical Computing for Biologists


210L – Applied Data Analysis for Environmental Sciences
219L – Marine Ecology
226 – Marine Mammals
231L – Models for Environmental Data
255 – Applied Regression Analysis
264 – Applied Differential Equations in Environmental Sciences
259 – Fundamentals of GIS and Geospatial Analysis
265 – Geospatial Analysis for Coastal and Marine Management
283 – Biogeochemistry
292L – Biological Oceanography
293 – Analysis of Ocean Ecosystems
298-111 – Molecular Ecology
303 – Principles of Environmental Modeling
329 – Data and Time Series Analysis in Marine Sciences


208 – Climate History
211 – The Climate System
212 – Climate change and climate modeling
215 – Introduction to Physical Coastal Processes
220 – Introduction to Fluid Dynamics
225 – Fundamentals of Water Biogeochemistry and Pollution
240 – Introduction to Modeling in the Earth Sciences
251S – Global Environmental Change
267 – Analyzing Time and Space Series


226 – Numerical Solution of Hyperbolic Partial Differential Equations
227 – Numerical Solution of Elliptic and Parabolic PDEs